Soil carbon is the key driver to healthy soils; the key driver to soil carbon is plant life. Healthy plant life draws carbon from the atmosphere, storing the resource in their leaves and branches, sinking it into the soil through the plants’ roots.
Under the surface, the process of transferring atmospheric carbon to the soil delivers essential nutrients, enhancing the microbiome and soil structure. In a self-perpetuating cycle, as the plant absorbs more carbon and grows through the photosynthesis process, the plant’s capacity to absorb increases.
When soil is left undisturbed and tillage is minimised through thoughtful soil management, this positive feedback loop is retained and carbon is effectively captured under the soil in the carbon sequestration process.
Deconstructing Carbon Terminology
Climate Positive describes a relationship with carbon wherein carbon sequestered is greater than carbon emitted – a step beyond carbon neutral.
To put it simply, there is no standardised way to define ‘sustainable’ in terms of the environment, and this topic is cause of much debate.
Good Earth Cotton® considers sustainable to refer to practices which cause little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to be continued for an extended period of time.
A life cycle analysis (LCA) is an analysis technique used to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product’s life.
Cradle-to-farm-gate is an assessment of a partial product life cycle from resource extraction (cradle) to the farm gate.
Good Earth Cotton® is guided by standards from the International Organisation for Standardisation. ISO standards and publications accelerate the successful achievement of the Paris agreement, London Declaration, and United Nations call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience. The ISO 1400 family standards contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and play an essential role in the climate agenda, helping to monitor climate change, quantify GHG emissions and promote good practice.
ISO 14044:2006 specifies requirements and provides guidelines for life cycle assessment (LCA) including: definition of the goal and scope of the LCA Sustainable Development Goal #12 and #13.
ISO 14040:2006 describes the principles and framework for life cycle assessment (LCA) Sustainable Development Goal #13.
ISO 14064-2:2019 gives specifications for the quantification, monitoring and validation/ verification of GHG emissions. Sustainable Development Goal #9 and #13.
Carbon Case Study
The First Good Earth Cotton® Farm
In Northern New South Wales, Australia, the first Good Earth Cotton® farm is our own research and development hub. Serving as a base, it is from here we are able to pursue best-practice in modern regenerative agriculture with state of the art agricultural technology.
Results of effective carbon sequestration and management
The home of Good Earth Cotton® reliably produces cotton with a climate positive result – total carbon sequestered is more than total carbon emissions of the cotton to farm gate.
This climate positive output contributes to offsetting subsequent emissions per bale associated with shipping and downstream processing of the cotton lint.
Excerpt of evaluation conducted by a third-party.
Good Earth Cotton® is second and third party audited by Carbon Friendly and SGS respectively.
This analysis evaluates the carbon footprint of cotton produced on-farm and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions and removal enhancements in 2020/21 compared to the baseline of 2017/2018. The GHG emissions assessment was performed using the attributional life cycle assessment (aLCA) approach in compliance with ISO 140401 framework and ISO 140442 requirements. The methodology and calculations are detailed in the Carbon Friendly Standard V1.4., which complies with ISO 14064-2 (2019) Standard. The assessment was undertaken for a ‘cradle-to-farm gate’ system boundary and was based on primary inventory data collected from the farm. The inventory data covered all relevant sources of emissions, from the direct emissions of farm inputs, farming practices and cultivation activities (scope 1 emissions) to indirect emissions resulting from the production of farm inputs and transports to the farm (scope 3 emissions) as well as emissions from grid electricity consumption (scope 2). Two carbon sinks were considered for the Keytah production system; these sinks were SOC improvement and carbon sequestration in the native vegetation area. Background inventory data (i.e. emissions factors for the production of farm inputs and transports) was taken from literature and the Australian Life cycle inventory (AusLCI) database where applicable.
This assessment confirms that the cotton production system at the reported Good Earth Cotton® farm are Carbon Net-ZeroPLUS with GHG emission removals by the Carbon Friendly Standard V1.4.