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GrowHow achieve product carbon footprint certification

25 March 2013 | News

Britain's only major fertiliser manufacturer, GrowHow, has worked with the Carbon Trust to certify the carbon footprints of its products. 

Ken Hayes GrowHow CEO & Michael Fallon MP

Ken Hayes GrowHow CEO & Michael Fallon MP

GrowHow is responsible for about 35% of the fertiliser used in the UK, with most of the rest imported from abroad. Working with the Carbon Trust, GrowHow has had the carbon footprints of its fertiliser products certified, as well as the reductions that have been achieved. Some of GrowHow's products, including its most popular fertiliser Nitram®, will now carry the Carbon Trust's Carbon Reduction Label, demonstrating real reductions and  showing a commitment to make further reductions in the future.

The food chain is responsible for between 20 and 30% of the UK's consumption-based emissions, and fertiliser is a crucial link within this chain. GrowHow has been working to cut carbon at this stage, with one of the best examples being through acting on direct emissions from nitric acid production - one of the key ingredients of ammonium nitrate fertilisers. The installation of nitrous oxide abatement technology at its Billingham manufacturing site that has led to the direct gaseous emissions from nitric acid production falling from 1.9 t CO2e/t acid to less than 0.1 t CO2e/t acid.

 

The abatement technology removes over 90% of nitrous oxide produced during nitric acid manufacture. So, in the first year of operation we have removed emissions equivalent to over 1.1 million tonnes of CO2. This means that, overall, we have achieved a 40% reduction in the carbon footprint of our leading ammonium nitrate product Nitram®. Fertilisers are, and will remain, an essential part of the drive to produce more food to feed a growing population. However, it is important that as a manufacturer GrowHow plays a full part in achieving this as sustainably as possible. By working with the Carbon Trust, we believe we have calculated product carbon footprints with strong credibility. This means our customers and suppliers can have confidence in the data. We believe robust measurements are vital as increasing numbers of food chain suppliers and retailers take seriously the challenge of carbon footprinting from raw ingredient to supermarket shelf." The news of GrowHow's accreditation and the reductions achieved by its investment has been welcomed by the UK Government.

Deborah Pritchard Jones, GrowHow's Public Affairs Director

This launch has only been made possible by GrowHow's determination to reduce its carbon footprint and through a long-standing engagement with Government on what is a shared commitment to reduce the UK carbon emissions. By using Carbon Trust methodology, GrowHow has generated sufficiently detailed numbers to act as a sound and genuine baseline. The company's commitment to a sustainable future will be invaluable, both at a national level and within the agricultural sector which is committed to its own Greenhouse Gas Action Plan.

Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise

By measuring the carbon footprints of its products, and getting them independently certified by the Carbon Trust, GrowHow is doing more than helping to reduce emissions. The company is demonstrating leadership at one of the earliest stages of the agricultural process. This has the potential to cause a ripple effect throughout the fertiliser industry, farming and later stages of production and use.

Darran Messem, Managing Director Certification, The Carbon Trust

View videos below from Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise, Michael Fallon and The Carbon Trust's Managing Director - Certification, Darran Messem:

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