We want to be making delicious snacks for some time to come, and that means taking care of our place in the world and the people who make the 10 Acre magic happen. We're always looking for new ways to live that purpose, and on this page you'll find a few...
Our carbon footprint and getting to carbon neutral
We gathered lots of paper, lots of information and lots of receipts to calculate our carbon footprint with the goal of getting to carbon neutral, and beyond to net zero.
In doing so, we calculated that a 135g bag of our crisps in 2021 had a carbon footprint of 162g CO2e*^
Here's what that's made up of:
Using these figures, we can pinpoint and prioritise ways to reduce our impact.
To get to carbon neutral, we reduce and offset the difference in a number of ways, including the positive carbon impact of our rye crop and carbon-capturing habitats around the farm. We also engage with suppliers to reduce the impact of the whole supply chain – for example, our packaging producer is already a net zero company.
The remainder of the footprint will be offset with carbon credit purchases to achieve carbon neutrality. Our goal in future is to not need carbon credits, and manage our impact solely on the farm. Our footprint is calculated each year for the previous year in Feb-March.
*CO2e means CO2 equivalent, which takes into account all greenhouse gases (including things like methane) and expresses them as an equivalent number. It helps make comparison easier.
^These figures are in the process of independent verification, but we promise that if there’s anything missing from the figures when that process is complete, we will include this in 2023 offset activity.
Around the farm, we make sure that we have plenty of wild habitat for the insects, birds and mammals that call it home. We have dedicated areas for plants that bees love as well as an annual tree planting effort to reduce our carbon footprint - and we're on our way to carbon zero.
Ever heard the phrase 'make hay while the sun shines'? Here, it's also 'fill the reservoir when it's wet and miserable'. In this country we tend to have more water than we need in the winter, and not enough in summer - especially the summer of 2022. In the colder months, we use the free-flowing nearby rivers to fill our reservoir. When things get drier we're then less reliant on other water sources, which is better for both us and the environment, with the reservoir now home to many insects - including Big Dave the swan.
There's also an anaerobic digestion plant (we call it 'the AD') on site, which takes the potatoes we can't use, as well as the maize and rye we grow, and produces renewable energy from biogas. It's really very clever. When digested, what's left also works as fantastic fertiliser, so it's back to the field to help our potatoes grow even better! We also have solar panels on site, which power our offices.
Packaging is a head-scratcher, but we're determined to work with the solution that is genuinely best for the environment. We don't want to be using single use plastic, and our packs are currently recyclable at large supermarkets - as well as coming from a net zero supplier. Of course, we also want them to be recyclable at home. We're trialling and looking into all kinds of alternatives and will continue to do so. Right now, we're not keen to use compostable packaging because of the precise conditions and length of time needed for this kind of packaging to decompose, as well as the non-recyclable status and comparably high carbon footprint of currently available compostable packaging.