Climate labelling provides transparency on carbon emissions

carbon score

Happy Happy Foods is labelling the carbon score of its products on their packaging so customers can count carbon emissions as easily as they would count calories.

When making a purchase, like a new car or appliance, the efficiency of these products is often a factor in decision making. When looking to buy a new washing machine, most people can’t help but look for that five-star energy rating.

Many Australians are now focused on reducing their climate impact when it comes to food too. Cafés are answering that call with the aid of companies like Happy Happy Foods, which are producing sustainable products for conscious consumers.

Happy Happy Foods says there is a growing demand to know more about where our food comes from and the environmental impact of what we consume. Its Happy Happy Soy Boy now makes this easier by featuring its carbon score on the side of the carton. 

Co-founder Lloyd Smith says displaying this score allows Happy Happy Foods to be transparent about its product’s carbon footprint.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation, and people need to be able to make these considerations with every product we choose to buy and consume,” Lloyd says.

“This form of labelling brings that choice to the forefront of the consumer’s mind, promoting transparency from all food products.”

Happy Happy Soy Boy’s score of 0.60 for Australia and New Zealand means that 0.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide were emitted for every litre produced. For comparison, Lloyd says that while dairy milk will differ from brand to brand and farm to farm, it produces roughly twice that much carbon per litre.

carbon scoreIn the 1990s, the Australian Government made it mandatory to include nutrition information panels on food packaging so people could make informed choices about their health and consumption. Happy Happy Foods is enabling customers to make these same smart choices with their carbon footprint.

Publishing the carbon score of its products is one facet of Happy Happy Foods’ ‘Climate Happy!’ program which aims to measure, reduce, and offset its carbon emissions.

In 2020, Happy Happy Foods partnered with CarbonCloud to assess its product’s carbon emissions across the globe, from cultivating its raw ingredients through production to the soy milk arriving at the café.

“As a business that sources products from different countries and sells all over the world, we have a global footprint and complex supply chains. So, we needed to work with an organisation like CarbonCloud that has the tools to measure and assess that global supply chain,” Lloyd says.

“One of the great things about CarbonCloud is that it provides you with a dashboard that breaks down where your emissions are generated across the entire supply chain. This gives us the ability to target areas where we can reduce our emissions effectively.”

Happy Happy Foods has attained carbon neutral status for its products by offsetting the emissions that it can’t reduce. It even went a step further – measuring, reducing, and offsetting the emissions of its staff to create a team of climate neutral people.

The company purchases carbon credits through Pangolin Associates, which supports the Bundled Renewable Wind Power Project in India, replacing enough fossil fuels with renewable energy to cancel out its remaining 0.6 kilograms per litre and those of its team members.

“When you’re manufacturing and distributing a product, it’s never going to be ‘emissions free’. Before you look at offsetting, reducing your emissions as much as possible needs to be a priority,” co-founder John Cruse explains.

“That’s why we think it’s important to hold ourselves accountable and include our climate score on the packaging and not just ‘100% carbon neutral’.”

It also allows Happy Happy Foods to highlight the carbon efficiency of its products, so customers can pick up a carton and make an informed decision on their carbon emissions like they would their nutrition.

“We need to make products that are better for the environment than those of the generation before us,” John says.

“We hope that climate labelling will create a comparison against traditional products. So, for example, you can see the difference between Happy Happy Soy Boy and that of a litre of dairy milk, and make an informed choice that will contribute to shrinking your carbon footprint.” 

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This article appears in the August 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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