One way to reduce the carbon footprint of the food we produce is to use more efficient methods in agriculture, but we also need to gather information on what works best and how we are getting better.

This research was designed to develop a robust method for generating intensity data for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on Scottish farms. We wanted to be able to generate an estimate for individual farm businesses, and also scale up to a Scotland level, and to be able to repeat the process so that improved performance could be recorded. This work is focussed on beef production.

We designed a framework that could begin to calculate the intensity of the emissions – that is, the amount of emissions per unit of production (for example, per kilo of beef). using data on GHG intensity from carbon footprinting tools.  We concluded that there is considerable potential for the framework to generate an estimate of emissions intensity, although more detailed information across a wider range of farms will improve its robustness.