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  Riverford sustainable development project


carbon footprint

The case for climate change, driven principally by greenhouse gases emitted as a result of mankind’s activities, is well proven and accepted by all but a very small band of determined mavericks. Here are a few links to websites that analyse the fundamentals of climate change ...



Friends of the earth

Direct gov

Met office


The purpose of this part of our website is to:

  • explain how we defined and assessed Riverford's carbon footprint
  • show the size of that footprint, and how it breaks down
  • tell you what we are doing to reduce it
  • make a few general comments about the broader implications of what we have learned

managing carbon: do we need to develop a new currency?

Business is adept at finding ways of providing goods and services at the lowest financial cost. Now there is an emerging expectation that it should also provide them at the lowest environmental cost. The imperfect, but most widely accepted measure of environmental cost of goods and services is their carbon footprint. It took centuries to develop the apparatus that constitutes our global financial economy. We are now in the process of learning how to measure and manage a carbon economy. As a business we are having to learn to incorporate carbon into all our decisions. In management it is fair to say that if you can't measure it you can’t manage it, so the first stage in managing our carbon was to measure it…


In an ideal world everyone would pay the true costs of their activities including the use of non-renewable resources in the same currency we pay for everything else.


This would mean much higher energy prices and heavy taxes on pollution. In this utopia we would not need carbon foot-printing, carbon labelling, carbon off-setting or carbon trading. The normal economic forces inherent in our commercial world would ensure that mankind’s incredible powers of ingenuity would be harnessed to find more sustainable ways of living. The innovation, creativity and global systems that gave us the internet and mobile phones would be harnessed to create perfect composting and the ultimate re-usable milk bottle.