Energy and greenhouse gas management

Chapter 8: Energy and greenhouse gas management

The Energy and GHG management chapter focuses on practices that improve the efficiency of energy use, such as effective fertiliser management and minimizing soil disturbance, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and in reducing the operating costs of horticulture operations.

Although energy from sunlight is essential for growth, the energy balance of agricultural systems depends on additional energy from non-renewable sources to power machinery. Sustainable practices can improve the balance of energy and contribute to efficient energy use.

Sources of greenhouse gases in horticulture include fuel and electricity use (70%) especially for irrigation, nitrogen fertilisers and animal manures (20%), and waste and refrigerant loss to the atmosphere (10%). Methane can be produced from composting processes and stagnant pools of contaminated water, but it appears not to be a major concern.

Note that within each chapter the guidelines provide information and guidance on the following:

  • the priority environmental management issues of concern;
  • how a business can assess the associated environmental risks;
  • practices that are recommended for addressing the identified risks; and
  • suggestions for monitoring and recording to demonstrate that environmental management outcomes are being met.

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