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HowGood launches platform for food companies to track scope 3 emissions


Dive Brief:

  • Sustainability research company HowGood launched a new measurement platform for food companies to track their scope 3 Emissions. Nearly 87% of food companies’ emissions are classified as scope 3, according to HowGood.
  • Companies’ scope 3 emissions are produced indirectly, through streams such as ingredient transportation or waste. HowGood said its platform analyzes over 33,000 ingredients, and companies can use the tool to evaluate the amount carbon foods produce in their supply chain.
  • The carbon footprint of the food industry is facing significant scrutiny at the United Nations COP27 climate conference this month. Tools like HowGood’s platform can allow manufacturers to provide more transparency.

Dive Insight:

Food companies may no longer have a choice whether to report the full extent of their carbon emissions. In March, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a rule that would require publicly traded companies to report their scope 3 emissions.

The food and beverage industry accounts for a over a third of total global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2021 UN report. In order to decrease indirect carbon emissions, CPGs must first identify the source in their supply chain. While it may be easier to track emissions they produce through manufacturing products, those stemming from third party sources require data outside one’s own organization.

The HowGood measurement platform derives its data from more than 600 sources, including environmental impact studies, government publications and commercial databases, it said in the press release. It evaluates the emissions stemming from food ingredients through eight different environmental and social impact metrics. HowGood’s Latis data platform looks at greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity impact, processing impact, water usage, labor risk, land use, soil health and animal welfare.

The measurement tool gives food companies the ability to trace where they can lower their emissions in the agricultural supply chain, HowGood CEO Alexander Gillett said in the press release.

“It’s critical for food brands to be able to quickly and easily identify their most problematic ingredients so that they can actually improve their footprint – and then communicate about those improvements downstream to retailers and consumers,” Gillett said.

Ingredion partnered with HowGood to evaluate the sustainability of several of its ingredients this fall.

As greater attention is on scope 3 emissions, several food and beverage CPGs have targeted theirs. In July, PepsiCo said in a statement that 93% of its emissions were indirect; two years earlier, the company set a goal to reduce scope 3 emissions by 40% by 2030. Cereal giant Kellogg said in July it aims to lessen its scope 3 emissions 15% by 2030.

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