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How do you calculate a foods climate impact?

The best way is to make a life cycle analysis, that is, to carefully analyze all the steps in the product's “life" — from farm to shop. Then you not only see how much CO2e the product generates in total, it also becomes clear which steps generate the most emissions — and quite often, the biggest offenders may not be what you’d expect.

Looking closer at the different steps, you can see, for example, that the greatest impact in the production of a food is neither the transport nor the packaging, but it is almost always in the "farm step” — during the creation of the raw material itself. Below, you can see how much CO2e is generated in each step of production of our oat drink as compared to cow's milk.

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Ok so our job here is done?

Animal-based products account for more than half (60%) of global food emissions, but supply only 18% of calories.* Clearly, that is a waste of resources, and one reason why virtually all researchers agree that we must eat more plant-based to cope with the climate challenges we humans face. Of course, that doesn’t mean producers of plant-based foods like us can just sit back. We also have to continue to reduce emissions every step of the way. But for you as a consumer it is quite simple: Eat more plant-based!

If you want to get nerdy…

You can find out the specifics about the climate impact of our products, what is included and what’s not. And you can read about the method behind the life cycle analysis here.

The calculations are made by a company called CarbonCloud and you can read more about them here:

*Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers​: J. Poore1 and T. Nemecek (2018)