The Sustainable Food Lab is instrumental in managing the newly formed Cool Farm Institute which brings together agricultural growers with multinational food suppliers and retailers to promote agricultural practices that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Unilever, PepsiCo, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Yara and Heineken have joined forces as founding members of The Cool Farm Institute whose mission is to enable millions of growers globally to make more informed on-farm decisions that reduce their environmental impact. Focusing on greenhouse gases in the first phase, the Institute provides the Cool Farm Tool as a quantified decision support tool that is credible and standardized.
The Cool Farm Tool was developed initially through a multiyear engagement, the Global Agriculture Climate Assessment, which tested ways to measure and incentivize low-carbon agricultural practices through the food supply chain with a team of member companies, university researchers and technical experts. Increasing soil organic matter, improving fertilizer application, and capturing methane from livestock are turning agriculture from a problem (accounting for one/sixth of global GHG emissions) into a solution (by enhancing the capacity of crops and soil to store carbon).
Before the Global Agriculture Climate Assessment formed, The Market Mechanisms for Agricultural Greenhouse Gases initiative aligned and developed methods to quantify carbon for markets. Sustainable Food Lab staff organized workshops and other forms of outreach for this initiative.
The Sustainable Food Lab connects and facilitates collaboration among many sustainability metrics initiatives in the food industry through workshops, publications and projects. The most recent such publications are:
Comparison of Three Biogeochemical Process Models for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Effects of Agricultural Management, compiled by Lydia P. Olander and Daniella Malin
"Operationalizing Sustainability" by Jon Johnson, Peter Senge and Hal Hamilton.