University of Aberdeen


Cool Farm Tool - Cropping global emissions from agriculture

Around a third of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arise from the global food system, so feeding the world sustainably while tackling climate change is an enormous global challenge.

The ‘Cool Farm Tool’ (CFT) is a free app for farmers and producers to easily calculate their carbon footprint and environmental impact, based on robust scientific data and methods. The CFT enables decision making at farm and field-level allowing farmers to understand environmental impacts of different options, using “plug-in” parameters relevant to their farm and practices.

The CFT provides a straightforward way to test “what if” scenarios in agriculture, including GHG emissions, soil quality, biodiversity, and water use. For global application, the CFT has recently been expanded to model crops including coffee, cocoa, citrus, apple, and grape vines. The project is a success story funded by UKRI, European Commission and industry, enabling sustainable food production to be maximised in the context of mitigating environmental impact.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:

What the Judges Thought

The Cool Farm Tool is an exemplar of ‘Research with Impact': compelling research, distilled into an accessible tool, empowering global peer-learning and evidenced by transformative business action across different continents.

The evidenced application was high scoring. The case study examples really shone out, demonstrating the tangible reach of the applied research and its impact. The judges applaud this project! We are advocates!

What it Means to Win

“Our Aberdeen 2040 strategy places sustainability at the heart of our institutional mission. Winning this Green Gown award for research impact recognises not only the academics involved but also colleagues across the University working to support research that directly addresses key global challenges and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”  

Professor George Boyne, Principal and Vice Chancellor

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Ensuring CFT could be easily used by farmers with straightforward input data was crucial.
  2. Our diverse global network adds value to all aspects of the food supply chain.
  3. Transparency and communication are key in building a strong community.
12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 13 - Climate Action 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
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