Including biodiversity and water use issues into assessments of agricultural sustainability

Lead Research Organisation: University of Aberdeen
Department Name: Inst of Biological and Environmental Sci


Economic and environmental performance are key to locating a sustainable model for agriculture. We propose the use and expansion of a GHG estimation tool developed by the University of Aberdeen and Unilever to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practice into mainstream agriculture. The focus of the project will be on

identification of straightforward win: win scenarios for individual users, products or geographic regions, where emissions reduction is associated with an instant profitability gain or risk reduction
achieving the required industry endorsement to make the method a standard
assessment and benchmarking of bio-energy crops using the same method
integration of GHG assessments with other environmental sustainability performance indicators such as biodiversity and water impacts


10 25 50
Title Cool Farm Tool Biodiversity 
Description Biodiversity module for the Cool Farm Tool 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Case studies at 
Title Cool Farm Tool Water 
Description Water footprint module for the Cool Farm Tool 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Case studies at 
Description These are numerous. I co-led the formal establishment of the Cool Farm Alliance. A member funded organisation with members from over 50 companies including major global brands. We have regular cross-sector meetings and Annual General meetings with around 100 participants. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Cool Farm Alliance has grown it's membership from 7 to over 50 organisation and now has a spin-off "Innovation Hub" involving several research organisations which I helped establish. I am Chair of the "Methods Committee" of the Cool Farm Alliance and a co-Director. The Cool Farm Tool is now a central platform for sustainability assessment in major businesses such as Danone and Unilever. It has been used on 1000s of farms in over 100 countries and as a result of this fellowship embeds NERC funded science for water, biodiversity, climate and GHGs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019