Frontier Agriculture, the UK’s largest arable marketing business which is jointly owned by Associated British Foods and Cargill, has pledged to reduce carbon emissions from its own direct operations to net zero by 2030.

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This target exceeds both the UK government net zero by 2050 and NFU 2040 targets. Frontier says the deadline will be achieved by improving the environmental performance of its site facilities, operational activities and company vehicles to reduce the company’s carbon intensity, along with using renewable energy sources and alternative fuels.

Frontier has already reduced its carbon footprint over recent years. The company cut its operational emission rate by 28% between 2015 and 2019 and the overall CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per £1,000,000 of turnover from 10.3 tonnes in 2015 to 9.49 tonnes in 2020.

Over the next year Frontier will pilot sustainable solutions in key areas of its business such as bulk grain haulage; crop production product deliveries; grain drying and alternative fuels. It also plans to install more solar panels across its 46 sites to produce more renewable energy.

At the same time, the company will help its farmer customers grow crops more sustainably through advice and tools. For example, the Frontier Soil Life service and research sites provide farmers with data to improve the health and resilience of their soils. Also, the environmental mapping tool within Frontier’s MyFarm digital farm management platform will enable farmers to plan, record and manage their natural capital in preparation for a change in farm support payments linked to environmental improvement. The latter tool was launched by Frontier subsidiaries Kings and SOYL.

“We are committed to maintaining good environmental practice across our business through our ‘Responsible Choice’ sustainability initiative,” says Frontier managing director Mark Aitchison. “Our continued efforts to find more sustainable solutions will go beyond what is legally required of us.

“Our pledge to become net zero carbon equivalent emissions by 2030 is challenging, but we believe it is achievable,” he continues. “We have a dedicated in-house team working on multiple projects to help us meet this goal.”