How to calculate your impact with the HeavyFinance Green Calculator?

Data on agricultural production, farm management trends and the impact of farming practices is essential for building and scaling HeavyFinance’s Carbon Farming Programme which aims to increase soil quality, biodiversity and water quality.

Drawing on advanced research from the University of Nebraska’s Tractor Test Laboratory and actual data from our platform, HeavyFinance introduced the Green Calculator. This tool provides farmers with estimates of emission reductions and operational savings, emphasising the importance of modern, efficient agricultural equipment for sustainable farming. This feature aids investors in understanding the ecological and economic benefits of supporting sustainable farming practices. Explore how the Green Calculator provides transparency and empowers investors to make environmentally conscious decisions.

How does the HeavyFinance Green Calculator work?

Simply put, data collected from farmers seeking a loan is entered into a database which calculates the estimate for emissions the project will address. This calculation takes into account the regenerative farming methods used, the machinery used, and finally, the duration of the loan.

Regenerative Farming Methods Used

Our approach for estimating the impact of regenerative farming techniques is purposefully conservative. We calculate the carbon dioxide reduction at 1.6 tonnes per hectare, applying this rate across the entire farm area. This conservative estimate encompasses practices such as no-till, strip-till, and minimum-till farming, which are known for their efficiency in carbon sequestration and minimal soil disruption.

Machinery Used

Calculating the impact of machinery on carbon dioxide emissions is the more complex aspect of the calculator’s mechanisms. Many factors need to be considered, such as; 

  • Engine power of the new tractor
  • Year of manufacture of the new tractor
  • Engine Power of the old tractor 
  • Year of manufacture of the old tractor
  • Annual hours of use for the old tractor
  • Attachments 

To enhance the accuracy of our calculations, we consider the impact of machinery’s attachments, which highlight reductions in carbon dioxide emissions with modern equipment. We verify whether farmers have upgraded to newer, larger attachments. If so, these newer machines generally require fewer annual usage hours than their older counterparts. This efficiency gain is due to the fact that modern attachments can reduce fieldwork time, enhancing overall productivity and environmental benefits.

For harvesters, similar data is required as for tractors, however, we also request information on both the old and new cutting widths. If the cutting width remains the same or decreases, we anticipate a reduction in time due to technological advancements. However, if the cutting width has increased, time savings will still apply but on a smaller scale, and the annual hours of use are adjusted based on the ratio of the new cutting width to the old. This accounts for the fact that although a larger cutting width increases the weight the harvester pulls, it also saves time by covering more area per pass.

Duration of the Loan

The amount of carbon dioxide addressed that is illustrated on each individual project is also calculated based on the duration of the project. This will vary between 3 and 4 years for regular loans, whereas for Green Loans it will be more significant because of the 20 year project duration.

Accuracy of the Green Calculator

As noted earlier, the HeavyFinance Green Calculator provides an estimate of the CO2 reductions achieved through the changes implemented by the farmers. To validate the accuracy of our Green Calculator, we’ve benchmarked its results against those from the European Investment Bank (EIB). For instance, when evaluating a 70 kW tractor from 2012 with 300 annual work hours, our calculator estimated a CO2 reduction of 1,489 kg, while the EIB’s estimate was slightly higher at 1,624 kg, showing comparable results.

The HeavyFinance Green Calculator represents a significant advancement in quantifying the environmental impact of farming investments. This tool not only enhances transparency but also motivates sustainable practices across the agricultural sector. As we continue to refine and expand its capabilities, we look forward to seeing how it empowers investors and farmers alike to make more informed decisions that contribute to a healthier planet.

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