Ganders Goat is a shining example of a small business reaching for the pinnacle of sustainability within their business practices.
Ganders Goat is a family-run goat farm that specialises in the production of goat-milk products such as goat-milk soap and goat-milk ice cream, whilst also offering immersive farm experiences including tours and goat walking.
Goats are ruminants - mammals that acquire nutrients from plant-based food by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion. This natural process creates methane gas which is a greenhouse gas 32 times more environmentally damaging than CO₂. For Ganders Goat, sustainability and carbon neutrality has been at the core since the business’s inception, so it was vital for owner and director, Ian Horton, to actively take steps to mitigate the natural by-products of their business activities.
The business took stock of their environmental impact, targets, and goals to develop a three-stage plan towards net-zero. Their green journey began by reducing energy demands, achieved by converting all lighting to LEDs, and replacing six small inefficient freezer units with a single larger unit in which to store goat ice cream.
Stage 2 looked at how the farm’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, their livestock, could be addressed. The solution? To remove and lock up the equivalent amount of carbon, emitted by the goats, into the soil. Incredibly, the business boasts 5 years-worth of CO₂e sequestered in 2020/21 alone, equating to 220 tonnes! But they won’t stop there…they intend to invest in bio-digestion to capture the bulk of methane before release and use that captured energy to charge an electric vehicle fleet.
Stage 3 will involve becoming entirely energy self-sufficient. With the help of grant funding, they will implement a solar system to generate 50% of the annual energy needs. To generate the remaining 50%, a wind turbine is due to be installed in 2022, which will also coincide with the first of the vehicle fleet being aftermarket-converted to electric, using second-life components where possible.
As a self-proclaimed ‘eco-island’, Ganders Goat truly is a shining example of what sustainable goals businesses can achieve.
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