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Derby College Group helps create first industry-wide equine carbon calculator

Derby College Group (DCG) has helped create the first industry-wide equine carbon calculator.   

Technology industry leaders, Farm Carbon Toolkit, led a unique collaboration of equine academic institutions – Hartpury University, Derby College Group and Sparsholt College Group – and with equine environmental sustainability specialists White Griffin Ltd to deliver this innovative toolkit. 

The tool will be free to use for small equine businesses and enable horse racing and equestrians to calculate both their carbon emissions and the potential carbon stored within their land and will be released in spring 2024 

Environmental sustainability has become an industry critical topic since the White Griffin 2022 environmental sustainability report for the British Horse racing Authority, sponsored by the Racing Foundation and the 2023 reports for Horse Sport Ireland and the British Equestrian Federation outlining the risks, challenges and opportunities for both sectors. 

All three reports identified a need to support businesses with data collation in order to baseline carbon emissions.  

In doing so, businesses can understand where the majority of their carbon footprint lies and begin work to reduce emissions in those areas. 

The calculator is based upon the existing agricultural tool created by Farm Carbon Toolkit, adapted to cater for the unique nature of equestrian businesses.  

In addition to input from the project organisations, a working group of equine businesses has been used to pilot the technology, and harness insight from Landex.

Two equine students sat on the back of their horses.

Jon Collins, Assistant Principal at DCG commented: “I started looking into the concept with Amy Robbins from Sparsholt and Rachel Collins from Hartpury College, around a year ago, as whilst I was aware of many farm carbon toolkits, I hadn’t been able to find one specifically for equine. 

“So, we then proceeded to create a team of experts, including Ruth Dancer from White Griffin and Lizzy Parker from the Farm Carbon Toolkit, who are leading the equine carbon calculator.  

“I believe it should be a very user-friendly and valuable tool for equestrian centres across the country, to evidence how they are doing in relation to sustainability and achieving net zero. 

“So, we wanted to provide a tool that is free of charge and that the national equestrian community can use. 

“It really has been so exciting working on such a collaborative and beneficial project.” 

Director of White Griffin, Ruth Dancer, said: “This calculator will sit within an overall equine industry strategy, to help people gain an understanding both of their impact, but also of ways in which they can reduce their emissions and enhance the potential of their land for the benefit of nature and carbon sequestration.”

The equine carbon calculator will be launched to the equine industries in the spring of 2024. 

Interested parties in the technology may contact Lizzy Parker at Farm Carbon Toolkit.