Ingram Valley sows the seed of sustainability by achieving The Planet Mark

Mar 2, 2020 | News

By <a href="" target="_self">George Catchpole</a>

By George Catchpole

Marketing Manager

Ingram Valley, a farming region in Northumberland’s Cheviot Hills, has achieved certification to The Planet Mark.

This is Ingram Valley Farm’s first year of business carbon footprint reporting and certification to The Planet Mark. Ingram Valley Farm’s total carbon footprint in the year ending December 2019 was 16.1 tCO2e and the relative carbon footprint was 4.9 tCO2e per employee.

Electricity accounts for 16% of the total carbon emissions, fleet travel accounts for 77%. Scope 3 emissions (paper and business travel) account for 6.5% of total emissions. This year’s footprint includes emissions from purchased electricity, propane gas, fuel used by the fleet, business travel, printing paper and electricity Transmission and Distribution losses (T&D).

Steve Malkin, CEO & Founder of The Planet Mark, commented: “Sustainability beats at the heart of Ingram Valley and we are thrilled to have them begin measuring and reducing their carbon footprint with The Planet Mark. Their commitment to sustainable produce and local farming can be combined with continuous improvement in sustainability to assure its customers that its values and practice are united. Ingram Valley is leading the way in sustainable farming and I am excited to begin working with them.

‘Ingram Valley Farm is very passionate about playing our part to tackle climate change. We produce local & seasonal food & care for the environment. We are very proud of our sustainable farming community in the uplands. Upland peat soils & blanket bogs are some of the largest stores of carbon in the UK. England’s uplands hold approx. 200 million tonnes of carbon.

Our community efforts to protect these habitats in the uplands through sustainable grazing; renewable energy; planting new trees; hedgerows; looking after breeding wader bird habitats and planting wildflowers all help protect the carbon locked in the soil. An estimated 70 % of Britain’s drinking water is sourced from the uplands and sustainable best farming practices enhances water quality at the source. Some of Britain’s cleanest rivers are sourced in the Northumberland National Park where we farm. The pure nature of the water is in relation to our type of sustainable farming practices in the uplands working with Natural England, The National Park, Tweed River Forum and Environment Agency. Upland farmers like Ingram Valley Farm are also crucial to ‘slow the flow’ initiatives helping to decrease the impact of flooding during high rainfall periods.

We are very passionate about helping to reverse climate change through our sustainable farming methods and our work with The Planet Mark. The Planet Mark has helped us to see how we can apply sustainability to the farm office also from using electric vehicles for travel to business meetings, Cool Earth Office Club paper (the partnership between Cool Earth & Office Club helps indigenous communities protect endangered rainforests in the Peruvian Amazon), using less paper, investing in green energy, to the way we wash and dry clothes without the tumble dryer. Having a shower instead of a bath after a hard day on the farm can save 100Kg CO2. Making changes like this can dramatically help the environment. Thanks to The Planet Mark we have also downloaded the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development on all our technical platforms. We look to continue our journey with The Planet Mark as we commit to reducing our carbon footprint. With The Planet Mark we can make a world of difference to take climate action”

Ingram Valley was formed volcanically over 480 million years ago and has been farmed for thousands of years for its rich soils, fresh air and clean water. From heritage preservation to environmental projects, they offer ethical produce that has stood the test of time.

Ingram Valley truly believes sustainable farming is the only option. Alongside certification to The Planet Mark, Ingram Valley works with The Northumberland National Park Authority, Natural England & Historic England to help look after one of the most ancient farming ecosystems in the world. The Valley is seen by experts as one of the finest prehistoric landscapes in Britain. Under a Heritage Partnership Agreement with the Northumberland National Park Authority, Natural England & Historic England 1,300 acres of the farm at Ingram has been scheduled as an ancient monument – the largest piece of scheduled land in England with the same legal protection as Stonehenge. The farm contains a history going back over 6,000 years providing a brilliant insight into how our ancient ancestors lived and farmed. The agreement aims to look after this very beautiful landscape. The farm also works within the UN Sustainability Development Goals framework to guide its projects, working towards responsible consumption and production, climate action and protecting biodiversity and wildlife conservation.

Farming is on the front line of the battle against climate change. First, agriculture is responsible for approximately 9% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, and second, farming is particularly vulnerable to changes in temperature, rainfall, soil properties and the increase of extreme weather. Increasingly consumers are wary of the carbon footprint of the food they consume, so measuring and reducing the carbon of farming operations is an important step in a world increasingly concerned with the effects of climate change

The Planet Mark’s three-step process to certification:

1. Measure – The Planet Mark certification team conducts a robust measurement of carbon across scopes 1, 2 and 3, compiling a report that complies with global protocols.
2. Engage – Secondly, The Planet Mark helps engage staff to unlock their knowledge and drive passion for change.
3. Communicate – The programme provides tools to communicate progress, influence others and build a positive brand.