Farmers have access to a new free tool to help them calculate their carbon footprint in minutes.

The Cool Farm Tool was created by the University of Aberdeen in partnership with Unilever and the Sustainable Food Lab to help farmers calculate their greenhouse gas emissions and to provide tips on reducing their environmental impact.

After downloading the tool from http://www.coolfarmtool.org/, a farms’ own crop or livestock management data is entered, for example fertiliser and feed types and rates, energy used in field machinery operations, animal housing and on-site storage or processing.

The CFT calculates the farm’s emissions profile and suggests how its carbon footprint can be reduced through more efficient fertilisers, different technologies, better soil carbon management or considering the energy used in storage.

It has been used by PepsiCo on more than 80 UK potato farms this year for Walkers crisps, which has led to benchmarking and the development of carbon action plans for the company and for its growers.

Other companies including Marks & Spencer and Costco are using the CFT in their sustainability schemes.