Striving to be sustainable and minimising our carbon footprint are central to all Operations at Apsley Farms.
Our philosophy is built on working more efficiently, consuming fewer resources, reducing our environmental impact as well as helping others to do the same. Every quarter the Farm completes a full carbon model to assess our carbon footprint. Insights that are gained from this report will help inform our future business practices.
Working towards net zero
The team at Apsley Farms is proud of what’s been achieved towards reducing our carbon footprint. But our ambitions go further still and we’re committed to making our operations completely carbon neutral. Watch this space!
For further information on our journey towards achieving carbon neutral, click here.
Reducing CO2 emissions
Our operations at Apsley Farms supplies the UK with biomethane, electricity, CO2, soil improvers and liquid fertilisers. Our methods allow all these product 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. That’s 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 Farming Practices
We use 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.
Minimising chemical inputs into soil
Chemical inputs greatly increases crop yields but carries an environmental price – in the form of ecosystem disruption, a high carbon-footprint production and soil imbalances. Our boundary mapping technology ensures precise distribution of any chemical input, dramatically lowering the quantities required.
Further reductions are achieved by using our own digestate-derived mulch, produced from our biodigesters, certified for organic use by the Soil Association. These benefits go beyond our own farm: other farmers also use our mulch which reduces their dependence on chemical fertilisers.
We’re reducing farm traffic by trading locally
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 when required. This reduces the amount of farm traffic needed to transport the material.
We’re maximising efficiency across 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 circular economy systems is considered vital for long term sustainability.
Our business model has used circular economy principles for over a decade, and we continue to bridge any gaps. For example, our energy needs – both for electricity and heating – are supplied from our own biodigesters. Our own digestate fertilises for our fields – and some of our partner farms. Even our CO2 is cleaned and supplied to the food industry.