Our Net Zero Target and How We Plan to Achieve it 

UK agriculture currently accounts for 10% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions which is why we have set a target to become ‘Net Zero’ within the British farms we buy directly from by 2030, to do our part in helping tackle the global climate change crisis. At Morrisons we are in a unique position to help drive this change, buying directly from farms into our manufacturing business and as we are British Farming’s biggest supermarket customer. 

What do we mean by Net Zero?

By Net Zero, we mean that by 2030 we aim to be supplied by ‘Net Zero' carbon British farms as a whole - with some farms that are better at carbon storage balancing other farms with higher emissions. Net Zero means that the emissions from farming activities and inputs are equal to the emissions removals from the atmosphere. We will be working closely with our farmers that supply; beef, lamb, pork, eggs, potatoes and soft fruit directly to us to help them achieve this 'Net Zero' target collectively by 2030.

How do we plan to do this?

We are aware that this sounds like, and is a very challenging task, but we are confident that with the knowledge of industry experts, the engagement of our farmers, our team and everyone’s passion to achieve this goal, we have come up with a plan that will help us achieve our target. 

This plan is designed to encompass farming both now and in the future. Focusing on current farming practices in order to understand the emissions produced by our farms. While also making long lasting changes, ensuring that the work we do is embedded in the future generations of farmers to come. 

We are also working closely with the farming industry, and organisations such as the NFU, WRAP and the AHDB to ensure our work complements wider industry goals.

1. Measurements

In order to set targets to achieve ‘Net Zero’ on our farms, we first need to know what emissions they produce. We have teamed up with industry leading company Map of Ag and developed a tried and tested measurement system which calculates farm emissions.

We work with over 2300 farms here at Morrisons, therefore measuring emissions on all these farms is a big job. We plan to increase the number of farms we measure, starting with 450 in year one, 860 year two and so on until we have measured the emissions produced by all our UK farms by 2024. Once we have these we can work on reducing emissions across all of our suppliers to achieve our goal of being ‘Net Zero’ by 2030.

We are currently on track to achieve this measurement goal and over the past few months have worked hard to engage farmers with the project.

2. Seeing is Believing Farm

For many farmers in the UK the words ‘Net Zero’ and ‘Sustainable Farming’ are heard regularly but in a lot of cases it can be tricky to understand how to get there. This is why we want to work closely within farming so we can demonstrate how sustainable farming and ‘Net Zero’ can be achieved. 

Our plan is to focus on two beef farms in the UK to demonstrate how this is possible. These will be our blueprint beef farms where we will trial different farming methods and once we have achieved ‘Net Zero’, this blueprint will be cascaded to the rest of our farms both online and in person, in order to demonstrate that the ambitious targets we set are achievable.

Tim Phipps is one of our ‘blueprint’ beef farmers. Click here to find out more about Tim and how he is helping us achieve Net Zero.

3. Harper Adams School of Sustainable Farming

We want to ensure that farming remains sustainable both now and in the future, and doing so requires lasting behavioural changes in the ways we farm. This is why we have formed a partnership with Harper Adams University, a leading agricultural university which is known and trusted by the farmers that supply us. 

The goal is to work closely with Harper Adams to utilise their insight and knowledge on sustainable farming, while shaping the future of farming. They will also deliver courses and qualifications in partnership with Morrisons to help educate farmers on more sustainable farming practices.

4. Project Farming Groups

Achieving ‘Net Zero’ would be impossible without the help, support and engagement of the farmers that supply us. This is why we want to take a proactive approach, ensuring that we involve our farmers in the work that we do, in order to best understand what we can do to help them. Therefore, we have set up a number of project farming groups in all our direct farming supply chain areas, so we can engage with our farmers and understand what needs to be in place for us all to best succeed.

5. Incentivising for the Future

At Morrisons we are in a unique position to help drive this goal of ‘Net Zero’ within the farms that supply us and are able to provide farmers with incentives to help us achieve that will also benefit them. We plan to do this by incentivising the ambition by rewarding and promoting ‘Net Zero’ activities to keep our farmers engaged and encourage them to achieve our goal and make sure there is something in it for them.

The Outcome

While we know this is an ambitious goal to have set, here at Morrisons we are passionate about farming and ensuring it is sustainable for the future and with the help of all the industry experts and farmers, we are working hard towards achieving our target of becoming ‘Net Zero’ in our direct farming base by 2030.

Harmonised Farm Sustainability Metric (HFSM)

The Sustainable Food Trust has conceptualised the ‘Harmonised Farm Sustainability Metric’, which we at Morrisons are a part of, to help speed up the process of achieving more sustainable food and agriculture. This model takes on an inclusive approach, providing a common language for all, and encompasses all the key stakeholders; farmers, consumers, governments and businesses all of which have a role to play in making sustainable choices and driving change in the right direction. Net Zero is one part of this big puzzle to making big changes but we believe it is vital for us to take part and do our bit to help.