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2022-09-23 foodingredientsfirst



With companies setting aggressive CO2 cutting targets, reducing emissions can be a daunting task. A Rabobank report reveals how companies can cut emissions that affect the entire supply chain (Scope 3), with the bank sharing strategies for the foodservice business on how to be more green without losing customers.


One of the ways to do this is by using lower-emission ingredients on menu, flags the report. 

Scope 3 emissions include all indirect emissions along a company’s value chain: therefore including all the emissions of supply partners, transportation, employee commuting and even customers emissions related to the company’s service.

“At the restaurant level, over 50% of Scope 3 emissions come from purchased goods and services, particularly from food and beverages, followed by packaging,” says Maria Castroviejo, senior analyst – consumer foods at Rabobank. 

“Transportation and distribution come at a distant second, representing 20% of the total on average,” she notes.

Leading foodservice operators have set goals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by almost 50% on average by 2030, according to Rabobank.

More companies are deciding to face head-on the challenges of targeting both direct and indirect emissions.Six principal strategies
Rabobank flags six key ways for foodservice companies to tackle their Scope 3 emissions.

Through local sourcing, businesses can reduce the emissions related to purchased goods and services, transport and distribution. It is also important to note that having your sources close also simplifies supply lines, avoiding trouble with the supply chain. This also relates to the strategy of engaging more directly with suppliers to adopt more sustainable practices, reducing Scope 3 emissions for both parties involved.

Menu reformulation is another strategy.

“Using lower emission ingredients (e.g. plant-based chicken vs. beef) is one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions,” says the study.

“For each company, the solution very much depends on the customer being served,” says Castroviejo.

 “Menu reformulation, such as switching to more plant-based ingredients, might work very well for some restaurants, but it could drive away the demand for others. Another option is making less visible menu changes while sourcing ingredients with lower emissions. Foodservice operators must have a good understanding of their customer base. Working in alignment with the suppliers is equally important.”

Companies can also do “consumer nudging,” informing consumers of the food’s environmental impact and encouraging them to make climate-friendly choices.”

Food waste is also identified as an important contributor to emissions, and the researchers flag the need for companies to use predicting tools to assess accurate purchasing estimates in order to only buy what is going to be cooked.

Electrification of transport is the last strategy flagged.

All the strategies align with Innova Market Insights Top Trend for 2022, “Shared Planet,” focusing on how both industry and consumers can play their part in shaping a sustainable and prosperous future. 

Scope 3 targets
More companies are deciding to face head-on the challenges of targeting both direct and indirect emissions.

DSM announced this month that it is moving from a relative intensity target for reducing indirect value chain GHG emissions (Scope 3) to an absolute reduction target. 

Kirin Holding has set a 30% reduction target of Scope 3 emissions by 2030 compared to 2019, compared to its 50% reduction plan for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

Friesland’s Campinas dairy farms target a reduction of Scope 3 emissions of 33% in 2030 compared to 2015 – and a general, all scopes goal of 63% reduced emissions in the next eight years.

However, food and beverage businesses will fall short and miss the 38% by 2030 emissions goal set at the UN 2015 Paris Accords. Food companies are currently on the path to only reaching a 29% reduction by the decade’s end, according to a report by AlixPartners.


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