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Shaping agriculture’s transition to a net zero future

We recognise that climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the UK today. Because of this, sustainability is now a key part of our business strategy, as it is for many of our clients.

However, the transition to sustainable business practices can be challenging without support. This is why we are committed to supporting Britain’s farmers to transition to sustainable business models and operations, and to pursue new clean growth opportunities.

Report introduction

The purpose of this report is to outline practical tips, sign-posting and finance solutions to the agriculture sector as part of its transition to a net zero future. These have been drawn from a range of bodies, including the Committee on Climate Change, Promar International, the NFU and others.

The report covers:

  • What climate change is and why it matters.
  • What is net zero and why agriculture?
  • 7 practical recommendations as to how you can transition to net zero.
  • How AMC can help.

Download full report (PDF)

Executive Summary

Steps to net zero

Our ambition is to be the sector’s partner of choice on its transition to a low-carbon future. Climate change presents both risks and opportunities, and with over 90 years of working with the agricultural sector, we’re keen to help finance a greener future, together.

A summary of our recommendations to support the agricultural sector’s transition to net zero include:

  1. Measure your farm’s carbon footprint

    Measuring your carbon footprint at farm-level is a critical first step. There are a number of carbon calculator tools on the market which can do this, and different tools will be appropriate for different farms. We offer an introduction to the three market leading tools to support you on this journey.

  2. Planting trees and hedgerows to sequester carbon

    Tree planting and reforestation is key to decarbonising agricultural land and increasing the UK’s woodland cover in line with the UK’s transition to net zero. Our partnership with the Woodland Trust offers farms the opportunity to plant trees and hedges at heavily subsidised rates reducing the cost to you by up to 75%.

  3. Improve productivity and efficiency

    There are a number of ways to improve agricultural productivity and efficiency while also reducing your carbon footprint. Reducing nitrous oxide and methane emissions are priorities, via activities such as the use of controlled release fertilisers and urease inhibitors and improving animal health and reducing livestock numbers overall.

  4. Invest in low carbon agri-technology

    The adoption of agri-tech solutions is a key enabler of the transition to net zero. From utilising livestock sensors, precision agriculture and hydroponic technology, the solutions support an increase in both yield and productivity.

    Find out more about our lending options.

  5. Boost renewable energy generation

    Boosting renewable energy and the bio-economy to displace greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels is a key part of the NFU’s ambition for achieving net zero. Investment in renewable energy can provide additional income, support the production of organic fertiliser and improve waste management.

  6. Improve soil health

    Soils are the second largest carbon sink after our oceans, containing approximately 94% of the total carbon stored in the biosphere. Soil health is therefore hugely important both to preserving soil fertility, and the fight against climate change. Key solutions include maintaining cover crops, minimising tillage and tree planting.

  7. Restore peatlands

    Peatlands are a key part of the UK’s landscape, covering 12% of the UK’s land area. Both upland and lowland peatlands are significant carbon sinks with 57% of the UK’s soil carbon stored in peatland. However, it is estimated that 80% of peatlands are significantly damaged, and so restoring and preserving peatlands is crucial.

Download the full report

Sustainable agriculture hub

We’re committed to supporting farmers achieve the NFU’s goal of net zero by 2040. Our sustainable agriculture hub provides expert resources including sector factsheets, webinars and links to carbon calculators designed specifically for farmers.

Explore the AMC sustainable agriculture hub

AMC loans available for business purposes only, provided on a secured loan basis. Minimum AMC standard loan £25,001. To meet customer requirements, lending criteria will vary. Lending is subject to status.

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The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation plc, registered in England & Wales, no. 234742. Registered office: Charlton Place, Charlton Road, Andover, Hampshire SP10 1RE. Telephone: 01264 334344.

We adhere to The Standards of Lending Practice which are monitored and enforced by the LSB: www.lendingstandardsboard.org.uk and apply to businesses which have an annual turnover of no more than £25 million.

The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lloyds Bank plc. Lloyds Bank plc is a member of Lloyds Banking Group. Lloyds Banking Group is a financial services group that incorporates a number of brands including Lloyds Bank. More information on Lloyds Banking Group can be found at lloydsbankinggroup.com.