Register an account in the Cool Farm Tool. which allows you to make up to 5 free assessments that you can change and adjust. You need to active your account via the link you will receive in a separate email (please check your junk folder). Once logged in, fill out your farm settings. You can register for the free CFT E-Learning Course that helps you to set up the account and navigate through the system. Also, use the info buttons in the tool to guide you through the assessments.
Members of the Cool Farm Alliance have different access benefits that can be added to an account by entering the organisations’ group code. This can be entered in the “my projects” tab. Please ask the contact in your organisation responsible for Cool Farm Alliance matters to share the group code with you.
The group code is entered under the tab “my projects” and activates certain member-only features such as data export unlimited assessments. If you think you should have access to member-only features, contact your buyer or check with the Cool Farm Alliance team to make sure your customer is a member. As member, you can share the code with your project group within or outside your company. The functionalities associated to a group code can be:
a. Sets the limit number of assessments above the free five assessments.
b. Export: provides the ability to export results of your made assessments as Excel file.
c. Supplier Section: Functionality to share specific information and documents with your suppliers on a ‘landing page’. Only those with the relevant group code can see the information, by clicking on the code under ‘my projects’.
d. Custom fertiliser production (for advanced users only): the ability to add a fertiliser with its own embedded production emissions value, rather than using one of the standard values in the CFT.
Drop-down lists in the tool simplify data entry. Here is a list of questions for crop products that may require preparation in advance: Harvested yield and marketable yield product weights, Growing area, Fertiliser applications: type and rate, Number of pesticide applications, Energy use (kWh and fuel use) and (optionally) transport: mode, weight of product and distance. For livestock, calculations are built from herd size, manure management, feed and energy use.
The greenhouse gas metric works on a per-product basis, whereas in contrast the biodiversity metric is for whole-farm. A whole-farm assessment is a GHG emission inventory considering all aspects that may influence the overall footprint of a farm/business including arable land etc., while the current CFT does a product carbon footprint. E.g. forest areas belonging to the farm may have an impact on the company’s carbon footprint, but will not impact the product carbon footprint itself (also GHG Protocol standards differentiate between company and product footprints).
We recognise the potential benefits that exist from taking a whole farm perspective, but these are not readily modelled to allow simple user data entry. However, the Tool does already account for cover crops used in rotation, as well as factors such as land use change and trees on the land.
Data aggregation is a member-only feature and is handled through “share codes”. Cool Farm Alliance members can have one or more share codes. Customers give these codes to their farmer-suppliers, who upon completing their crop footprint can send their data with this share code by clicking on “share” on the top right of an assessment. This process enables the owner of the share code (normally the supply chain customer) to see all of the datasets sent using the share code, at which point they can be analysed in detail and exported in a report.
The Cool Farm Tool is free for farmers. Organisations that use the Tool to support sustainable agriculture become Cool Farm Alliance members and pay to help build literacy and understanding about the relationship between agriculture and climate change mitigation throughout the industry. The memberships fees enable us to operate and further develop the Tool – find out more at Join the Alliance.
The Cool Farm Tool covers virtually all crops and livestock globally. One exception is for crops grown in non-soil media (e.g. greenhouses or hydroponically), but proxies can be used. The Tool is undergoing an update for livestock including new emission factors for feed, and improvements to the user interface. A project is also underway to improve ease of use and applicability of the Cool Farm Tool for many perennial and multi-year crops (coffee, tea, orchard crops, berries).
No, unfortunately we cannot include all local units, but most of the standard unit conversions are included
The tool creates a default name by crop and by year, but allows you to overwrite it. The naming convention depends on what you’re measuring, and how you keep your records. Many growers choose to enter by crop, field and year. When sharing your assessment with others, add or exclude sensitive data such as farm name so the assessment can be linked to your or stays anonymous.
Go to the answer on the methodology for “soil carbon change”.
You can duplicate an assessment via the “save as” button in the pathway, change certain values and use the compare function in the results tab to create “what-if” scenarios that shows how your GHG footprint can be improved by implementing more sustainable practices, e.g. applying different quantities of nutrients; how sequestration can be improved with soil (non) tilling and cover cropping practices; how improved herd and feed management lowers your footprint per kg of product.
Your completed footprint is private and not visible to any other tool user, unless you wish to share it with a third party which requires active steps using a ‘share code’. To enable sharing, a customer would provide you with a share code. Make sure to check with your customer if the privacy of your name is also preserved when the data is exported (farm name can be activated or disactived upon request by the administrator).
User data is held privately within each user account, and is not accessible to other users. Users are the owner of their data, but have an option to share assessments in the system using a members-only “share code”. The Cool Farm Alliance doesn’t own assessment data nor any personal data. These are only used to provide our service and for support activities.
How does the CFA currently store user data, and does that differ for inputs via the WebApp and via API?
The Cool Farm Tool currently stores user data to manage user accounts, as well as farm assessment data entered into the tool in order to calculate assessments. We currently do not store assessment results, these are dynamically calculated and presented when a user accesses an assessment. This also applies for the API when only used for calculating results. However, in case the API is used to push data into the tool, the data will be stored as assessments.
The data within the Cool Farm Tool is currently stored on OVH data servers in London (UK), and is managed in compliance with the following standards:
- ISO 27001: 2005 for supplying and operating dedicated cloud infrastructure.
- ISO 27002 and ISO 27005 for security management and risk assessment norms and associated processes.
Please find further information at https://www.ovh.com/world/us/about-us/datacenters.xml
In the future, we hope to store results to improve user experience within the CFT, including benchmarks and improved scaling for the tool.
The Cool Farm Tool is intended to help farmers choose management options that improve their environmental performance and to track and measure improvement over time. Tool results can be reported to CDP to provide carbon disclosure for agricultural supply chain emissions, the Sustainability Consortium. Participation’s climate key performance indicator (KPI) and in Corporate Social Responsibility reporting generally. For consumer facing labels or claims, Tool results require third party verification.
Is the Cool Farm Tool compliant with standards such as the WRI GHG Protocol ISO, PAS2050, Carbon Trust, Life Cycle Analysis, the International Dairy Federation etc?
Generally speaking, the CFA seeks to be aligned with various standards and protocols in terms of scope and boundaries, but does not seek to be necessarily ‘compliant’ to those standards. This is because the CFT is agnostic of standards per se, as they are in some areas conflicting.
The CFT can support your assessment following the Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol for products) as well as other GHG protocol standards. It can be part of an LCA study as being used to determine the global warming impact category and in either consequential or attributional LCA studies.It is however not an LCA tool and does not replace a full assessment, which also includes a scope definition, uncertainty assessment, and reporting. A few members use the Cool Farm Tool for reporting to the Science Based Targets initiative for their agricultural raw materials.
We are currently exploring to compare the CFT with leading standards to provide a more detailed answer.
Which IPCC Tiers does the Cool Farm Tool incorporate? Do you consider Global Warming Potential from the IPCC Assessment Report 4 or 5?
For crops, the Cool Farm Tool incorporates Tier 1, Tier 2 and when it comes to N2O emissions and soil carbon sequestration, a “simple Tier 3” model – as described by Prof. Pete Smith – as it is a multi-factoral empirical model based on Bouwman, which is widely acknowledged in the public domain. The Cool Farm Tool is moving towards Tier 3 whenever possible. Also for livestock it considers Tier 1 and 2 as in dairy and beef. For example manure on pasture is modelled using Tier 1 (1% of N applied becomes N2O), while gross energy demand is Tier 2. There is only some unclarity for other livestock like camels & goats, and we have prepared methodology to update models for pigs & poultry which are not deployed, but would bring that along.
Currently, we are still using the Global Warming Potentials for methane and nitrous oxide from the IPCC Assessment Report 4. However, this is mostly related to the development of versioning of the Cool Farm Tool, which will enable us to operate with different Global Warming Potentials based on the selected version. We are planning to include the new Global Warming Potential values soon.
The Cool Farm Alliance is always open to discuss improvements in the current methodology. The CFT is fully based on peer-reviewed empirical research from a broad range of published data sets and IPCC methods. Therefore, it is a prerequisite that everything that is feeding into the Cool Farm Tool needs to provide enough sound evidence that the method is an improvement to the current approach. This is best done by scientific review studies, which indicate that a methodology has proven accurate for a wide range of settings. For more details on our methods guidelines please contact the Cool Farm Alliance.
Are there forums for Cool Farm Tool users to share information, experiences, and to ask questions directly?
Yes, the Cool Farm Alliance is a community of members working together to develop and use a common Tool, and to share knowledge on its use in supply chains. The Alliance meets regularly, and has internal technical working groups and committees to tackle shared challenges and jointly drive the development of the tool. Please join the discussion and support the mission.
In the app.coolfarmtool.org at the end of the help ? page you can find the API documentation as well as the demo tool to test the endpoints of the connection.
The issuing of the API app key is a benefit of the membership with the CFA. For this, we need a user account that will be linked to the API key. This account has the second key (User API key), visible at the end of the help page, which provides together with app key and the API documentation all you need to set up a connection with the CFT.
The Cool Farm Tool is a GHG calculator at farm level – this means related emissions coming from agricultural production of a specific product (crop or livestock).
The GHG Protocol defines three different scopes:
- Scope 1: Direct emissions at your farm (e.g. combustion of diesel, N2O emissions from your field, CH4 emissions from your cattle)
- Scope 2: Indirect emissions from purchased energy/electricity (Emissions are produced someplace else, but the energy is used at the farm)
- Scope 3: Other indirect emissions (Emissions from another company that provide products or services for your operations.)
The Cool Farm Tool is taking the scope 3 approach for many aspects, such as fertilisers, pesticides, and transportation of goods to and from the farm. However, there are also areas, which are only partly covered such as seed production (only for potatoes) or not covered at all such as the production of machinery or build infrastructure. The latter are not covered to ease the use of the CFT and also because the emissions may have only a minor impact on the overall result.
The electricity emissions are based on DEFRA. We are hoping to switch to IEA or Ecoinvent in the new version of the tool in 2022.
If you have previously registered an account in the Cool Farm Tool but forgotten your password, you can simply go to https://app.coolfarmtool.org/, and click on “forgot password”. Follow the instructions you receive via mail (check your Junk & Spam folders).
Please note that an email address can only be used once for registration. Every additional account in the CFT needs a new email address.
How do the location and the average temperature of my farm influence the results of my footprints in the CFT?
The selected location determines the conversion of electricity to GHG emissions under the “Fuel & Energy” tab in a GHG assessment. The average annual temperature determines the emissions from fertiliser and soil carbon management (e.g. manure application, tillage).
Yes, you can copy the data of an existing assessment by clicking on “save as” at the end of any tab of the assessments’ pathway. This allows you to save the whole assessment under a new name and change the data as needed.
This provides you with the opportunity to complete subsequent assessments based on the first assessment without having to re-enter all the information. It also provides the opportunity for scenario and what-if modelling to explore the impact of potential practice changes.
The tool is set up to represent one specific farm and its related location and climate. If you need to register data from several farms in different regions/countries, consider creating different accounts to reflect the differences in climate until the CFA develops an option for multiple farms in one account. You can also use one test assessment as baseline and see how changing the location and climate in the farm settings under your username actually affect the final results. If the difference is not big enough, it is your decision whether to create different accounts or to make all assessments in one account deciding on one representative location.