How Herdwatch can help you understand Scope 3 Emissions in Irish Agriculture. - Herdwatch.com

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How Herdwatch can help you understand Scope 3 Emissions in Irish Agriculture.

Katie Shanahan

| General

| Mar 8, 2024

In recent years, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations have gained prominence across various industries as stakeholders increasingly prioritize sustainability and responsible business practices. In the agricultural sector, the focus on ESG principles is particularly pertinent, given the sector’s significant environmental footprint and social implications. A key aspect of ESG in farming involves addressing Scope 3 emissions, which encompass indirect emissions throughout the agricultural supply chain. 

In the discourse surrounding climate change and sustainability, the focus often falls on direct emissions from industries such as energy production and transportation. However, in the realm of agriculture, there’s a significant but less discussed aspect of emissions known as Scope 3 emissions. These emissions encompass indirect emissions that occur along the entire agricultural supply chain, from production to consumption. In the context of Irish farming, Scope 3 emissions play a crucial role in shaping the sustainability landscape and offer opportunities for positive change. 

Towards Sustainable Farming Practices 

While Scope 3 emissions pose challenges, they also present opportunities for Irish farmers to embrace more sustainable practices and contribute to climate mitigation efforts. Here are some strategies that can help reduce Scope 3 emissions in Irish agriculture and how Herdwatch can help you with some of these solutions 

What are Scope 3 Emissions? 

Before delving into the specifics of Scope 3 emissions in Irish agriculture, let’s clarify what they entail. According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Scope 3 emissions include all indirect emissions that occur in the value chain of a product, including both upstream and downstream activities. In the case of agriculture, this encompasses emissions generated by activities such as: 

Towards Sustainable Farming Practices 

While Scope 3 emissions pose challenges, they also present opportunities for Irish farmers to embrace more sustainable practices and contribute to climate mitigation efforts. Here are some strategies that can help reduce Scope 3 emissions in Irish agriculture and how Herdwatch can help you with some of these solutions 

Improved Efficiency 

Enhancing resource efficiency on farms, such as optimizing feed conversion efficiency in livestock production and reducing fertilizer usage through precision agriculture techniques, can minimize emissions intensity per unit of output. With the use of the Herdwatch app, Farmers can now track their fertilizer and slurry use on farm with the Grass & Crops solution. Farmers can also record their soil sample results and track their soil fertility ensuring excess fertiliser is not used. Similarly, Farmers can track animal performance in the Herdwatch app by inputting weight recordings which allow the farmers to gain valuable insights into their herd- all easily accessible from their phone. 

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Sustainable Sourcing  

Adopting sustainable sourcing practices for agricultural inputs, including locally sourcing feed and utilizing organic fertilizers, can reduce the carbon footprint associated with production and transportation. The Buy & Sell by Herdwatch platform allows Herdwatch members to search for verified animals online, filtering results to potentially show livestock in their area. This allows farmers to buy and sell livestock without the need to sending them to the mart- potentially reducing the carbon footprint associated with their transportation and selling.

Diversification and Agroecology 

Diversifying farm enterprises and integrating agroecological principles can enhance ecosystem resilience and carbon sequestration potential, thereby offsetting emissions and promoting biodiversity. Farm maps by Herdwatch can allow farmers to map out their farm and record important field tasks which are stored on the cloud for future evaluation and inspections. This also leads to accurate records and informed decisions for the future. 

Carbon Offsetting and Renewable Energy 

Investing in renewable energy technologies and participating in carbon offsetting schemes can help farmers mitigate their carbon footprint and contribute to Ireland’s renewable energy transition. 

Good farm management recording plays a crucial role in promoting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles in farming by enhancing transparency, accountability, and efficiency across various aspects of agricultural operations. Scope 3 emissions represent a critical yet often overlooked aspect of sustainability in Irish agriculture. By recognizing and addressing the indirect emissions embedded in the agricultural supply chain, farmers and stakeholders can pave the way towards a more sustainable and resilient farming sector. Through collaboration, innovation, and concerted efforts, Irish farming can play a leading role in mitigating climate change while ensuring food security and environmental stewardship for future generations. 

For more information on how the Herdwatch app can help you on your journey to more sustainable practices and record keeping join today along with over 21,000 farmers 

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