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Engaging Equine Owners in the Climate Crisis – Launch of the Equine Carbon Calculator

The Equine Carbon Calculator has recently been designed and launched by environmental sustainability specialists White Griffin and the Farm Carbon Toolkit alongside input from Derby College Group, Hartpury University and Sparsholt Group. It is hoped that this tool will enable equine businesses and horse owners to consider how they may be contributing to climate change and where meaningful reductions can be made in their greenhouse gas emissions.

Vet Sustain

Undertaking an appropriate carbon calculation is a great starting point for anyone to better understand their carbon footprint and take strides to reduce their contribution to the global climate crisis. There are many carbon calculator tools that have been created within the agricultural sector, all of which have played a vital role in helping agricultural businesses reduce their carbon emissions. However, until now, no such tools have been available at scale for equine businesses and horse owners.

The Equine Carbon Calculator is a freely available tool and comes with a pack of supportive resources such as explanatory videos and data collection guides. Users navigate through the following 4 steps to complete their carbon calculation:

  1. Gather the data required using the data collection sheet
  2. Complete some basic information about the equine business/yard
  3. Enter the data into the calculator and view the report
  4. Make an action plan for the next year

The data collected must be representative of a 12 month period and must include the same time period year on year to allow accurate comparison of annual footprint. Data is recorded onto the data collection sheet provided with the calculator which helps owners to know what records they need to keep to facilitate easy future calculation. The website provides an array of supporting resources as well as frequently asked questions to provide guidance to those wishing to use the tool.

Data collection is focused around key areas associated with greenhouse gas generation such as fossil fuel and energy consumption, contracted activities (e.g. hay baling), purchase of materials and consumables (including water), infrastructure on site (e.g. machinery and buildings), crops produced on site (e.g. hay/haylege), use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, number and species of animals resident on the premises (including time spent indoors versus outdoors), waste generation and disposal, transportation (to competitions) and land use (e.g. woodland, soil analysis, hedgerows).

Farm Carbon Toolkit project lead, Lizzy Parker said, “after years of supporting agricultural farms with reducing their environmental impact through a clear and easy-to-use tool, we know how important measuring to monitor is. Our equine calculator allows equine businesses to properly understand their carbon footprint and make the necessary changes to reduce their emissions.”

In order for us to make headway in the journey to net zero, this calculator poses an excellent opportunity for veterinary professionals to use their sphere of influence. Through encouraging our clients to calculate their carbon footprint alongside calculating our veterinary business carbon footprint we will make greater ground in achieving net zero. You can find out more about the Vet Sustain Carbon Calculator Tool for veterinary businesses here:

Check out the Veterinary Carbon Calculator for Veterinary Practices