Comparing apples & oranges: Carbon footprints of 10,000 food products revealed

Comparing apples & oranges: Carbon footprints of 10,000 food products revealed
Photo - CarbonCloud

ClimateHub, the free-access carbon footprint database by CarbonCloud, digitally releases the climate footprint of 10,000 branded food and beverage products on American grocery store shelves. Ahead of World Consumer Rights Day on March 15th, American consumers can exercise their right to information about the climate impact from their most frequent purchase: Food.

“This is a bold yet inevitable move," says David Bryngelsson, chief executive officer and founder, CarbonCloud. “Considering the severity of the climate crisis and the investment of citizens in climate action, the climate impact of consumer goods should be publicly available information, a driver for consumer decisions. If the food companies or the grocers themselves have not yet made it available, we decided we should.”

The library of carbon footprints includes the most prolific food and beverage products, such as Lipton tea, Campbell soup, Barilla pasta, and Tyson packaged meat. The carbon footprints were calculated with CarbonCloud’s automated emissions mapping engine from openly available ingredient data. The results are calculated from farm to shelf, including supply chain emissions – the majority source of emissions typically in food products – and with the same system boundaries, making all quantified carbon footprints comparable with each other.

The open access to the carbon footprint of 10,000 products comes just in time for World Consumer Rights Day, on March 15th, and responds to the loud consumer demand for transparency. 87% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products, and over half of them claim that they are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce their environmental impact. The response of the food industry has been partial. Carbon footprints are cramped in corporate sustainability reports and are rarely quantified per product and market. Moreover, the scope of calculations often differs among companies rendering existing carbon footprint information incomparable.

“This release goes beyond providing consumers with climate transparency,” adds Bryngelsson. “Our ambition is that the release of the carbon footprint information will mobilize the food and beverage industry to look above their sustainability reports and calculation methodologies. The food industry has digital tools to dynamically enter the market of climate transparent food and grab a share.”

The carbon footprints are searchable by name and openly accessible at Each product page includes a carbon footprint calculated in lb of CO2e per lb of product, a breakdown of emissions per supply chain stage, and an attributional life cycle assessment. CarbonCloud, is set to expand the digital library of carbon footprints with food and beverage products on store shelves globally, following with the UK.

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