As well as trapping carbon in the wool, a lot of carbon is stored within vegetation on our farms. The most recent study estimates that 4.5 kt of Carbon is stored on each of our farms. All up that is 3,240,000,000 kg of Carbon stored on Wools of New Zealand's 700 plus farms, just in the trees.
There is a lot of greenhouse gas contributed by farms. Most New Zealand farms have cows and sheep that produce beef, lamb and wool. Wool’s share of the blame accounts for less than 7% of total farm greenhouse gas. Sheep do tend to fart and that’s OK. Farting is natural. This produces methane which is quite a bad greenhouse gas.
When we start counting carbon sequestration, that is all the CO2 soaked up by vegetation on the farms, it balances out very well. Because we farm with nature and work hard to ensure the soil maintains its health, we don’t break nature. We grow our wool to ensure it does not cost the earth.
Carbon being soaked up in the Manuwatu.
Let’s crunch some numbers:
Greenhouse gas per kg wool (including farts) = 0.426 kg/CO2-e
Carbon stored in wool = 0.51 kg
The carbon equivalent impact in growing wool is slightly outweighed by the carbon stored in wool. That's before we think about trees.
According to the very latest scientific study, on balance, sheep and beef farmland in New Zealand have net annual greenhouse gas emissions.. The 42.6 grams of CO2 created by sheep growing wool is fully restored by trees on the same farm. That means all the trees growing on farms actually suck in enough CO2 to balance out all of the farm emissions, cow burps and sheep farts that is.
So wool in itself is carbon neutral, grown on farms that take care of their own emissions... The true Impact of wool becomes -0.51kg Co2-e... Every kg of wool used actually pulls carbon out of the air and stores it in both trees and wool fibre.
Fernvale Annbank 100% wool carpet
With carbon stored in wool and on the farms, an average Kiwi house of 110 square meters of 48oz carpet is estmated to lock away 92 kg of Carbon.
Ask yourelf - Plastic carpet made of oil, or a truly planet friendly natural wool carpet that helps to regenerate the earth.
*The data referenced in this article is taken from various scientific studies. At the time of writing Wools of New Zealand products have not been independently certified for their carbon impact.