Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Carbon footprinting

The carbon footprint is a consumption-based indicator used to highlight the climate impacts of a certain good or service. Carbon footprinting is based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach but focuses only on greenhouse gas emissions, rather than a suite of environmental areas. The “size” of the footprint is usually expressed in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). The footprint analysis considers impacts along several or all the stages of a product’s life cycle, which may span agricultural production (and the inputs to this production) through to consumption and waste disposal. The footprint approach can be used to measure the carbon impact of food at various scales; from the individual food product, to an entire meal, through to a dietary pattern of an individual or a country. Carbon footprinting may simply be undertaken by a company in order to understand the impacts of the products it sells and ascertain opportunities for improvement, but information about a product's footprint is also occasionally included on packaging in the form of a consumer-oriented label.

28 February 2017

This report details the methodology used to create a new online tool which can help companies set science-based emission targets and incorporate land-use change into their mitigation strategies. It is part of the Science Based Targets initiative run by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) CDP, UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Photo credit: Gregor Sieböck, Flickr, Creative Commons License
2 November 2016

Opponents in an academic discussion on the relevance and the validity of the ‘Ecological Footprint approach’ have come together to write an article in which they challenge each other’s views. 

Photo: Rubén Moreno Montolíu, Earth, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
6 September 2016

The authors of this paper have tried to develop a framework to apply the concept of planetary boundaries to national level decision making and to discuss what a country’s ‘fair share’ of Earth’s safe operating space could be.

3 September 2015

An international research project co-led by the University of East Anglia suggests that international agencies have overestimated Chinas carbon emissions for more than 10 years. The research team re-evaluated emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and cement production from 1950-2013 and their results suggest that China produced 2.9 gigatonnes less carbon between 2000-2013 than previous estimates of its cumulative emissions.

12 June 2015

This new paper in Marine Policy suggests that eco-label improvements can be made by integrating the carbon footprints of products in sustainability assessments (eco-labels, sustainability certification, or consumer seafood sustainability guides).

29 January 2015

In this study, 483 food items (developed by the Casino Group retailer company) were grouped into 34 categories and then 5 major food groups; meat and meat products, milk and dairy products, processed fruits and vegetables, grains and other foods and sweets. The aggregated average carbon footprints of the categories and major food groups were presented per 100 gram of product, per 100 kcal of product and per two different nutrient density scores including six and 15 nutrients respectively.

3 December 2014

The booklet The susDISH analysis method – Sustainability in the catering industry, taking account of both nutritional and environmental aspects in recipe planning is published by the Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences of the Halle-Wittenberg University.

22 July 2014

The Global Calculator is an open-source interactive tool allows you to explore all the options we have to reduce emissions through changing our technologies, fuels, land use and lifestyles up to the year 2050. It is funded by the UK Government’s International Climate Fund and the EU’s Climate-KIC, and has been built by an international team.

22 July 2014

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT)  has launched a new report on sustainable diets - People, Plate and Planet, describing dietary choices that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pressures on land. The report considers nutrition, GHG emissions and land use and states that the most significant impact on these areas comes from what we eat, not where it is from or how much packaging there is around it.

25 April 2014

This study investigates specifically how camels compare to other ruminants in terms of emissions and they find that they release less methane.

14 February 2014

In collaboration with agricultural and environmental experts, E-CO2, McDonalds is launching a practical tool that aims to demonstrate to farmers what measures that can be taken to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their business efficiency.

6 February 2014

This app is a greenhouse gas calculator for farming.  It is aimed at companies who can use it to collate and manage supply chain emissions and for farmers for use as decision support.