CarbonCloud now includes global deforestation data for carbon emissions

CarbonCloud has recently updated the deforestation data we include in ClimateHub and the CarbonCloud platform. We now have the most extensive deforestation available for food companies. Existing CarbonCloud customers will be able to benefit from this update, as the new data is inline with the GHG Protocol and SBTi requirements.

The ability to track deforestation is becoming a significant issue for food companies. The EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) comes into effect at the end of 2024 and companies can face substantial fines for non-compliance. At the heart of EUDR is the prohibition of using seven commodities: cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, rubber, soya, and wood, if they originate from land that was recently deforested. 

CarbonCloud has a history of collaboration with Chalmers University who has undertaken substantial research into deforestation data. The new deforestation data set is updated data from the same research group at Chalmers.

Some highlights of the new data:

Global coverage

Our data now includes 176 countries and 184 commodities from around the world and it is no longer restricted to countries from the tropics. This will result in minor changes to footprints as most deforestation occurs in the tropics. We estimate some footprints will increase about 5% due to this change.

20 years of data

We now use a 20-year amortization period that replaces the 5-year period we were using. This will bring our data inline with the requirement for SBTi to use 20 years.

The change to 20-year amortization will result in significant changes in some crop footprints.  For a number of crops, the rate of deforestation has gone down over the last 5-10 years. Therefore, the footprints under the 5-year calculation are not that high, but taking the full 20 years into account brings them back up to much higher footprints. In some cases, some customers noticed the footprints of some crops are not higher given that these crops and countries are well-known for being deforestation problems. The updated footprints using the new dataset will be more in line with expectations. 

Some examples of large changes due to the 20-year amortization of deforestation are quinoa from Ecuador and Bolivia. Both countries went from very low values to higher than Peru, now 50 and 35 kg CO2e/kg. Also, cocoa from Ghana, Colombia, Brazil, and Ivory Coast (going from the 1-5 range to 10-30 kg CO2e/kg). 

Various modeling improvements

We have made minor updates to our statistical models based on updates from the latest scientific research. These changes will have a minor impact on larger crops (for example oats, corn, etc.) but more impact on smaller crops that are more sensitive due to smaller production levels. 

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