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Foundation Earth eco-impact label
It’s likely that your first experience of Foundation Earth was when you saw our label. We hope you liked it! Now let us explain what you’re seeing.
What’s the label for?
At Foundation Earth we want to give you environmental impact information so you can make a conscious decision about what food you buy. Right now it’s super hard for you to know the impact of your food. The Foundation Earth eco impact label gives you an honest and fair quick-glance grade, covering not just Carbon (Greenhouse Gasses) but a whole lot more.
What’s it telling me?
We’ve tried to keep things simple with our A+ to G rating. A+ has the lowest impact on the planet, a G has the highest (that we are aware of). It combines all our impact measures, so always worth taking a look at the Ecological impact table of this certificate for the full breakdown.
How do you calculate it?
We are working towards developing the best methodology to measure the environmental impact of food products and provide an understandable front-of-pack label for consumers. To do so, we are currently testing two science-based methods to see how they perform and what we can learn from each.
Both methods are based on Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), which means that for each product we study every step of its life cycle and measure what comes in and what comes out to evaluate the product impact on the environment. We believe that carbon is not the only environmental issue, so our methods are multi-criteria and include other measures such as water consumption or biodiversity loss.
Method 1: Farm to Shelf
This method, born from research published by Poore & Nemecek (2018), assesses environmental impacts through four key criteria: water usage, water pollution, biodiversity, and carbon. This method assesses a product’s environmental impact by looking at farming, processing, packaging, and transport.
Then, we convert the results into the grade you see on the pack, following these steps:
We rate the product’s Farming eco impacts against University of Oxford’s HESTIA data, rating it against global averages. We do this using nutritional categorisation so that we aren’t comparing steaks to strawberries.
We then rate Transport, Processing and Packaging impacts (scroll down to the ecological impact detail table to learn more about our stages) against our Foundation Earth Basket (a standard UK shopping basket of goods).
Finally, we combine all the stages and our 4 eco impacts into one single grade!
Method 2: Farm to Fork
The second method is a Farm to Fork assessment based on the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) European methodology developed by DG Environment (Com 2013/179/EU). This method doesn’t stop at Packaging, but includes the environmental impact of product consumption and disposal (end-of-life).
PEF takes 16 categories into account: Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, Ionising Radiation (HH), Photochemical Ozone Formation (HH), Respiratory Inorganics, Non-cancer Human Health Effects, Cancer Human Health Effects, Acidification Terrestrial and Freshwater, Eutrophication Freshwater, Eutrophication Marine, Eutrophication Terrestrial, Ecotoxicity Freshwater, Land Use, Water Scarcity, Resource Use (Energy Carries), Resource Use (Mineral and Metals).
These impact categories are then aggregated into one single score that we convert into a grade from A+ to G.
Ecological impact detail per serving
See how this product’s four ecological impacts add up over its stages.