Sustainable sourcing tools

The Cool Farm Tool is a new greenhouse gas calculator for farming. It's easy to use and gives instant results that invite users to try out alternatives and ask 'what if' questions. The tool was commissioned by Unilever from the University of Aberdeen.

The Cool Farm tool

Access the Cool Farm Tool

The tool is ideal for farmers, supply chain managers and companies interested in quantifying their agricultural carbon footprint and finding practical ways of reducing it. It calculates the greenhouse gas balance of farming, including emissions from fields, inputs, livestock, land use and land use change and primary processing. It uses 'Tier2-type' methods, offering users simple menu choices for parameters that farmers can influence to reduce their carbon footprint.

Reporting greenhouse gas emissions is part of the Metric Reporting requirements of our Sustainable Agriculture Code. The Cool Farm Tool calculator will be used in a multi-company project on agricultural climate mitigation co-ordinated by the Sustainable Food Laboratory, which includes Unilever, PepsiCo, Marks & Spencer, Pulse Canada, Yara, Sysco and others. If this is something that would be of interest to you, please visit The Sustainable Food Lab to find out more.

This Cool Farm Tool calculator is free and open source. It is provided under an Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 (UK: England & Wales). View the html text.

Cool Farm Tool model help

Warranty and disclaimer (DOC | 27KB)


EIGER is a web-based tool that identifies themes related to global change. It is presented as searchable maps that give detailed information about agricultural raw materials, biodiversity, water, GDP and population.

EIGER helps us to identify new supply chains and new supply routes to ensure a secure supply of raw materials over the long term. It identifies opportunities and risks posed by global environmental and social trends that we need to consider when making sourcing decisions.

These include :

  • New sourcing countries: Where do crops grow best now and in the future?
  • Water vulnerability: What areas suffer current or future water scarcity? What is the irrigation water demand for our crops?
  • Biodiversity impacts: Are existing or new sites and supply chains close to or inside biodiversity conservation areas?
  • What are the different opportunity and risk profiles of two alternative sites?

We created the EIGER database by compiling information from a range of R&D organisations and institutes and contain information that will be relevant for the next 5-10 years.

PRoMPT: Pesticide Risk Management profiling tool

In partnership with academia, industry and other stakeholders, Unilever Colworth has developed PRoMPT. PRoMPT is an integrated profiling tool to help evaluate the environmental and operator health risks of pesticide use. It uses state-of-the art science to calculate relative risk indices on ground water, terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems and operators. It is aimed at farm managers, agronomy advisors, supply chain managers and food buyers, or any manager who is monitoring progress towards more sustainable farming.

One of PRoMPT's strengths is its global applicability. While there are more specific and more sophisticated systems for some parts of the world, PRoMPT works globally and therefore allows like-for-like comparisons of farming systems across the globe.

Biodiversity Action Plan

The Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code requires our suppliers or farmers to prepare a Biodiveristy Action Plan (BAP). We have prepared guidance that should be useful to all those who are preparing BAPs as it provides a standard, structured approach. However, to comply with the Code, it is not necessary to use this format. In many cases it will be easier for suppliers and farmers to prepare a BAP that aligns with local or national BAPs or formats used by local naturalists, nature reserves or consultants.

Nutrient content of Fertilisers and Manures

In 2009, we commissioned a study on the nutrient content of a wide range of fertilisers and manures. Download the results of the study here to learn more.

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