Horses Grazing Field

Industry-wide equine carbon calculator launched

Hartpury University and Hartpury College have joined a consortium of fellow organisations and education establishments to launch the first nationwide equine carbon calculator today. The calculator is the result of a collaborative effort among academic institutions committed to driving real change in the industry.

Pioneered by equine environmental sustainability specialists, White Griffin and the Farm Carbon Toolkit, in partnership with Hartpury University and College, the Derby College Group, and the Sparsholt Group, the calculator has been developed to empower equine businesses and horse owners to better understand their environmental impact and take meaningful steps to mitigate it.

The free-to-use tool - accessible here - also identifies opportunities for businesses to minimise their energy costs and maximise their potential to regenerate the countryside.

While carbon footprint tools are prevalent in the agricultural sector and play a vital role in government carbon reduction targets, no such tools have been available at scale for equine premises until now. 

Without insights into the scale of the challenges and opportunities, the equine industry is hindered in setting meaningful targets. The equine carbon calculator seeks to bridge this gap, empowering stakeholders to make informed decisions for a sustainable future.

The launch of the carbon calculator marks the beginning of a comprehensive campaign to educate and inspire the equine industry on environmental sustainability. This initiative will be complemented by a suite of resources set to launch in autumn, offering support to stakeholders across the horse racing and equestrian sectors.

It follows a broader industry shift toward a more sustainable future for the equestrian industry and horse racing, underscored by the tangible impacts of climate change on the industry. Following the hottest year on record in 2023, coupled with significant flooding, the UK equine industry suffered significant cancellations across the full spectrum of events, highlighting the urgency of addressing these challenges.

White Griffin's previous reports for the British Horse Racing Authority and the British Equestrian Federation have laid strong foundations for these sustainability initiatives, emphasising the need for tools and resources to support businesses in their sustainability efforts.

Director of White Griffin, Ruth Dancer said: “The equine community holds a deep connection to the natural world, so we have a unique opportunity to safeguard it for future generations. By implementing the equine carbon calculator, we can better understand our emissions and find innovative ways to reduce them, saving money and paving the way for a better future.”

Project lead for Hartpury University and Hartpury College, Rachel Collins, said: "We’re passionate about sustainability at Hartpury and have worked with both White Griffin and Farm Carbon Toolkit to deliver the most up-to-date training and knowledge to our students on equine sustainability. This tool represents an important step in our commitment to drive the industry forward toward a sustainable future. We are proud to be part of this collaboration, leveraging our expertise to empower stakeholders and effect meaningful change.”

Farm Carbon Toolkit project lead, Lizzy Parker said: “after years of supporting agricultural farms with reducing their environmental impact through a clear and easy-to-use tool, we know how important measuring to monitor is. Our calculator allows equine businesses to properly understand their carbon footprint and make the necessary changes to reduce their emissions.”