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Sustainable Practice & Carbon Footprint

 

Striving to be sustainable and minimising our carbon footprint are central to all of Apsley Farms’ operations.  Our philosophy is built on working more efficiently, consuming fewer resources and reducing our environmental impact.

Every quarter, we complete a full carbon model to assess our carbon footprint. Insights from this help to guide our future practice.

Working toward net zero

The Apsley Farms team is proud of what we’ve achieved in reducing our carbon footprint. But our ambitions go further still, and we’re committed to making our operations completely carbon neutral.

We will update our site as we progress towards this important milestone.

For further information, contact our friendly team.

CO2 Reduction

Our operations at Apsley Farms supply the UK with biomethane, electricity and soil improvers. Our methods allow all of these to be produced with a much lower carbon footprint than traditional means.

Carbon modelling shows that the carbon footprint of our biomethane production is just 5% of natural gas. This means that our gas production now reduces the UK’s CO2 emissions by around 27,500 tonnes per year. Since the start of our gas production, that adds up to 150,000 tonnes — the equivalent of taking 93,000 cars off the road for a year.

In addition, our high-quality mulch offers a low-carbon footprint alternative to ammonium nitrate fertiliser (which is produced by high-energy processes). By displacing this from the market, we estimate that to date, we’ve lowered UK carbon emissions by a further 1000 tonnes.

Sustainable Practices

Sustainability has many different facets. At Apsley Farms, our sustainable practices focus on:

Using farming practices which lower soil disruption.

Tilling the soil inevitably releases considerable volumes of CO2 as well as disrupting soil integrity and soil ecosystems. Our minimal tillage operations are designed to produce small tills. By using advanced RTK technology, we can also reduce the number of passes needed by farm machinery.

Read more about our sustainable farming.

 

Minimising chemical input to soil

Chemical inputs greatly increase crop yields, but carry an environmental price – in terms of ecosystem disruption and by a high carbon-footprint production. Our boundary mapping technology ensures precise distribution of any chemical input, drastically lowering the quantities required.

Further reductions are achieved by using our own certified organic mulch, produced from our biodigesters. These benefits go beyond our own farm: other farmers also use our mulch, lowering their dependence on chemical fertilisers.

Trading locally, reducing farm traffic

Local trading networks can play a major role in reducing the carbon footprint of transporting goods. In line with this, nearly all of Apsley Farms’ commerce is done locally. For example, our 40 partner farms which supply our biodigesters are all located within a 20-mile radius of the Apsley Estate. Likewise, our soil improving products are mainly sold to local farmers and consumers.

During construction of our facilities, local contractors were used wherever possible, again minimising transport costs. And with the growth of our expertise, most of our technical work can be achieved in-house for further transport reductions.

Crops from our partner farms are stored in AgBags on the fields and collected directly by Apsley. This reduces the amount of farm traffic needed to transport the material.

Maximising efficiency in all our operations

Efficiency is a major factor guiding all of our operations, including:

  • High-spec biodigester design to maximise production of biogas
  • High-tech CHP generators to produce heat and electricity with minimal waste.
  • Use of efficient membrane systems to separate CO2 cheaply and with lower energy costs
  • Advanced monitoring systems to ensure biodigester bacteria can work optimally
  • RTK and other farming technology to reduce chemical input and farm machinery fuel use.

Working within a circular economy

A circular economy is one which recycles resources and minimises waste. Moving towards a circular economy is considered vital for long term sustainability.

Our business model has used circular economy principles for over a decade. For example, our energy need – both for electricity and heating – are supplied from our own biodigesters. Our own digestate fertilises our fields – and some of our partner farms. Even our CO2 is cleaned and supplied to the food industry.