Development of a digital platform that will allow Australian farmers, fishers and foresters (growers) to calculate their enterprise’s carbon footprint across multiple commodities is underway.
Agricultural Innovation Australia’s (AIA’s) environmental accounting platform will enable growers to baseline and benchmark their enterprise as well as use scenario planning to aid decision-making around reducing carbon emissions and capturing new opportunities.
The platform is being developed by AIA with investment from some of Australia’s rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), including Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Eggs, Australian Pork Limited, and AgriFutures Australia (chicken meat).
AIA CEO Sam Brown said that the platform will provide a widely accessible and standardised implementation of carbon footprint calculation models.
Growers will be able to access the carbon footprinting solution via these channels, as well as online via RDC websites.
Mr Brown said that growers will also be able to share their data with their advisors and consultants, supply-chain partners, financial institutions or other organisations of their choice.
Initially, AIA’s platform will digitise and house the University of Melbourne’s Primary Industry Climate Challenges Centre Greenhouse Accounting Frameworks for Australian Primary Industries (GAF Tools).
Developed by greenhouse accounting expert, Prof. Richard Eckard, these tools are aligned to the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory reporting protocol, and also compliant with ISO standards and the GHG protocol.
Mr Brown said that the GAF spreadsheets were a logical starting point for AIA’s environmental accounting platform.
“It made sense for AIA to focus on the current de-facto standards first, as these are the most widely used tools by growers. During our discovery phase, we found that many growers found spreadsheets cumbersome and difficult to use”
“With Prof. Eckard’s support, AIA has designed an architecture that will digitise and aggregate these tools so that growers can use one common platform to calculate their footprint across multiple commodities.”
Prof. Eckard said that the platform would help Australia avoid the pitfalls other countries have struggled with in the carbon footprinting space.
AIA is building the platform using self-contained, modular calculators to ensure extensibility and enable new commodity-specific calculators and other accounting frameworks, such as natural capital, to be added incrementally over time.
Agtuary, a leading developer of digital tools, workflows, and analytics for agriculture and environment, was selected by AIA to build the platform.
“We chose Agtuary for their strong focus on data security and privacy, as well as their desire to be not just a provider, but a partner in the design and delivery of a whole of industry solution,” said Mr Brown.
AIA’s environmental accounting platform will be built over the next six months, with user testing and piloting planned for late 2023.
Mr Brown said that several commercial supply chain companies and financial institutions have already expressed interest to partner with AIA on the platform.
“We are actively seeking commercial investors and partners who want to connect to our platform or build it into their own service offerings. AIA very much sees this as a carbon footprint solution to support a connected supply-chain.”
Interested parties are invited to contact AIA via email@example.com
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