Sector News

Food players roll out smart carbon management tools and guidance to help hit net-zero emissions

November 14, 2021
Food & Drink

As the climate race reaches a critical apex, knowledge sharing between industry stakeholders offers significant leverage along the roadmap to decarbonization.

To this end, agri-food commodities player Olam International has launched GreenPass, an end-to-end smart carbon management platform to help companies develop their climate action strategies in their decarbonization journey toward net-zero emissions.

In other moves, the UK’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has released its handbook to help food and drink manufacturers achieve climate neutrality.

These efforts are in conjunction with the ongoing 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK.

Just a few weeks after Innova Market Insights crowned “Shared Planet” as its Top Trend for 2022, world leaders at COP26 are stressing how failure to tackle global warming – keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees – will inevitably lead to increased global competition for resources such as food and water.

Digitized smart carbon management
Olam will be launching a new venture, GreenPass1, to enable companies to better measure and manage their carbon emissions across their operations and their supply chains, including Scope 3 emissions.

The digital information and smart carbon management platform lets users complete the entire GHG “footprinting” process within an average of six weeks, five times faster than a typical exercise.

GreenPass1 leverages Olam’s existing carbon accounting expertise and both internal and external databases to empower companies to better measure, manage/abate, verify and collaborate on carbon emissions by:

Providing an easy-to-use, end-to-end emissions measurement tool that can apply across industries to help establish clear baselines and identify potential hotspots.

Offering guided digital workflows building on the measurement tool to provide granular emissions management, including modeling a carbon reduction roadmap, simulating scenarios and tracking progress to net-zero.

Providing verifiable reporting back to the specific data source, allowing the information to be customized for various use cases and stakeholder needs.

This platform was developed and tested internally by Olam, leveraging its expertise and capabilities in sustainability, digitalization and incubation of businesses built over several years.

As a next step, the supplier is exploring opportunities to pilot this approach across different sectors.

Guidebook to achieving neutrality
The FDF’s newly released “Achieving Net Zero” handbook offers practical guidance for F&B manufacturers, particularly those at the early stages of developing their climate strategy.

The handbook breaks down emissions across the food value chain. Manufacturers in this sector are directly responsible for only a small proportion of emissions – primarily those from manufacturing.

Most F&B emissions relate to activities upstream and downstream of manufacturing, such as ingredient procurement, retail and catering, and consumer use, outlines FDF.

The largest source of the sector’s emissions is the production of raw ingredients. The emissions associated with individual ingredients vary widely, but those with higher emissions tend to be animal products and imported ingredients linked to deforestation.

The Achieving Net Zero handbook advocates that suppliers should measure their emissions specific to each ingredient, procuring lower carbon ingredients and incorporating carbon targets into product reformulations.

“The publication of this excellent handbook for food and drink manufacturers is a significant moment in our sector’s journey to net-zero. The handbook will be an important tool for food and drink manufacturers – and others across the supply chain – striving to achieve net-zero by 2040,” remarks Ian Wright, chief executive, FDF.

“This work demonstrates the huge value of ever stronger collaboration with all stakeholders across the farm-to-fork supply chain. Created and published in the slipstream of COP26, the ideas and actions outlined here provide an indispensable blueprint for food and drink businesses to deliver their net-zero ambitions.”

Overall, total emissions associated with food and drink consumed in the UK is 165 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), accounting for around 21% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, according to FDF statistics.

By Benjamin Ferrer


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