England’s first Carbon Neutral Cheese
Winterdale Cheese of Kent produce “Carbon neutral cheese”. They generate their own electricity from a 20.kwp solar voltaic array (look carefully behind the cows) The hot water for cheese making is heated by a Kensa Ground Source heat pump that extracts heat from the ground that the cows graze on. Cheese is delivered by and electric car that is charged from the solar panels.
Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal (often through carbon offsetting) or simply eliminating carbon emissions altogether (the transition to a “post-carbon economy”). It is used in the context of carbon dioxide-releasing processes associated with transportation, energy production, and industrial processes. Carbon-neutral status can be achieved in two ways:
- Balancing carbon dioxide emissions with carbon removal beyond natural processes, often through carbon offsetting, or the process of removing or sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make up for emissions elsewhere.Some carbon-neutral fuels work in much the same way by being made from carbon dioxide, either already offset or simply as part of natural processes, despite producing carbon emissions themselves. Much more extreme forms of carbon dioxide removal may also be used.
- Simply eliminating carbon emissions altogether (the concept of the “post-carbon economy”) through the use of renewable energy that does not produce carbon emissions at all (such as wind and solar power). Carbon projects and emissions trading are often used to reduce carbon emissions, and carbon dioxide can sometimes even be prevented from entering the atmosphere entirely (such as by carbon scrubbing).
The concept may be extended to include other greenhouse gases (GHGs) measured in terms of their carbon dioxide equivalence. The phrase was the New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2006. The term “climate neutral” reflects the broader inclusiveness of other greenhouse gases in climate change, even if CO2 is the most abundant. The terms are used interchangeably throughout this article.