Carbon Audit (Scotland) under Preparing for Sustainable Farming incentive

Scottish Government is currently developing a new programme of policies and payment schemes to replace the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Agrecalc continues to support the delivery of these programmes, having delivered previous Government farm carbon assessment services such as those through the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) and the Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES). 

Supporting development of new Scottish farm schemes

Across Scotland, grant schemes like FAS and BES offer valuable support and business insights to farms in these times of transition and uncertainty, with uncertain markets, rising input costs, and changing subsidy regimes. 

Agrecalc has worked with Scottish Government to ensure the tool delivers the features and services required by industry, and continues to do so as policy develops, and new schemes emerge. 

While FAS carbon audit (Scotland) (CA) funding closed to new applications in August 2022 due to reaching the funding quota, a new phase of carbon assessment funding, Preparing for Sustainable Farming (PSF), is now open through Scottish Government’s National Test Programme. 

The PSF Track 1 guidance notes lists Agrecalc as a recommended “Carbon Audit supplier”. With this, the selected tool, and CA report claims must meet three criteria: 

  1. The farm or croft business does not have a current CA or where the current one is more than 3 years old; 
  2. The CA must be aligned with PAS 2050 standards, which is the consistent internationally applicable method for quantifying product carbon footprints. Agrecalc is PAS 2050:2011 certified, adhering to the international method plus the GHG Protocol Product Standard released in 2011;   
  3. The CA must be reviewed by and include recommendations for actions that can be taken by the business to reduce their carbon emissions from a Farm Business Adviser Accreditation Scheme for Scotland (FBAASS) adviser.

It is also a priority for Agrecalc to ensure that the flow of information for carbon assessments is not just one way, and to maximise the benefit and usefulness of the tool to users. Agrecalc provides insights into the productivity and resource efficiency of enterprises and whole farm systems, as well as a carbon footprint.

Greater functionality is being currently built into the tool to enable future integration with existing datasets (to minimise data collection and entry for the user), and integration with other tools and software in the future (to provide a wider range of insights and use of existing data). 

PSF enables Agrecalc licencing for carbon audit (Scotland)

Under the FAS CA scheme, Agrecalc was provided a per farm payment from Scottish Government which subsidised the licence fee to pay for administration and validation. Because of this, Agrecalc was able to offer a free full licence to farms in Scotland for FAS audits. 

With FAS carbon assessments no longer being offered, this support is no longer being provided; therefore, Agrecalc will not be able to, going forward, offer a free, full version of the tool. A free version of the tool is still available to individual farms, although this offers limited benchmarking capabilities, and is restricted to one farm report per year. 

PSF requires that farm specific GHG mitigation actions are provided for the farm to qualify for funding. To facilitate best identification of relevant and valuable mitigation actions, full benchmarking capability is recommended.

It is advisable to contact the consultant completing the carbon action plan to determine whether they will pay the licence fee as part of access to a consultant portal in Agrecalc, or whether the farmer should pay for an individual farm licence themselves. Either way is eligible for the cost to be claimed back through PSF, providing proof of payment is supplied.  

Full licence access for farmers can be requested via the tool when you log in. Create a new account, if you haven’t already done so. 

If you are a consultant and would like to learn more about providing multiple farms with carbon assessments and access to portal with convenient access to all of your farm clients in one place, please contact [email protected] for details and charges. This is generally charged at a rate based on the number of farm licences used, plus an administrative fee for portal management and support.  

If you are looking to complete a carbon audit under PSF it is recommended to begin by speaking to your local adviser. If your adviser is an FBAASS adviser, they can help you complete your carbon audit to PSF standards.

How to complete a Carbon Audit (Scotland) under FAS and PSF schemes

If you have been awarded funding under the last batch of FAS carbon audits in the summer, you should have been allocated to an adviser who will guide you through the process. 

If you are looking to complete a carbon audit under PSF it is recommended to begin by speaking to your local adviser.  If your adviser is an FBAASS adviser they can help you complete your carbon audit to PSF standards, otherwise they will be able to direct you to someone who can help.  Alternatively, contact your local SAC Consulting office where the advisers have experience in using Agrecalc and writing farm-specific recommendations.  

You will be required to complete Agrecalc for a 12-month period to calculate emissions. This can be done by your adviser. Data will be required for all enterprises. Once complete the report needs to be submitted for validation.  

Your FBAASS adviser will discuss your business with you to understand your farm practices and efficiency. This will enable them to consider farm-specific mitigation measures which would be beneficial in helping the business reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

Once complete you will receive your carbon audit report, and an invoice for the agreed amount will also be sent out. You are required to pay your invoice in full.  

To claim the £500 after your carbon audit is completed you will need to submit a claim to Preparing for Sustainable Farming (PSF) (ruralpayments.org). You will need to provide: 

  • Date of completion and name of company CA completed with (i.e., Agrecalc)  
  • FBAASS adviser accreditation number (this number can be supplied by your Consultant / Adviser) and is not provided through the carbon calculator. 
  • Carbon emissions result measured in kilos or tonnes of CO2e  
  • Invoice and copy of bank statement showing evidence of payment 

If you have more questions, contact your local consulting office, or write to us directly: [email protected]

Anna Sellars

Anna Sellars

Service Development and Industry Delivery - Agrecalc at SAC Consulting Solutions
Anna is contributing to consumer support and delivery of commercial work including market research, policy and economic analysis, and resource benchmarking using Agrecalc.

Jessica Armstrong

Jessica Armstrong

Agrecalc Customer Development Manager, responsible for client and account management, market research and analysis, communication management and system implementation, and database design and management.

Tiffany McTaggart

Tiffany McTaggart

Agriculture consultant at SAC Consulting, with a proven track of professional agricultural practice. FBAASS-accredited adviser, assisting with creating business plans, completing accounts analysis and carbon audits.

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Contact the Agrecalc team to find out about the best way to secure a Carbon Audit for your business.

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