Foodsteps’ labelling system helps food businesses track their carbon footprint

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

UK-based tech startup, Foodsteps, has launched a carbon tracking and impact labelling system for food businesses.

Founded by Cambridge University alumni Anya Doherty, the startup aims to help food businesses improve their sustainability and lower their carbon footprint

“Historically, food companies have lacked access to a standard database where they can easily find out the environmental impact of their recipes and ingredients,” said the company in a statement. “This was one reason why Tesco’s ambition to introduce carbon labelling across the food sector failed in 2012.”

Using the platform, food providers can upload the ingredients of their products and view the sustainability impact of each. They can also use the application to develop a new menu, monitor targets, and improve a product’s sustainability. 

In addition, companies can print labels using the app and display their carbon scores from A (very low) to F (very high). Each label contains a QR code that customers can scan to learn more about the company’s sustainability initiatives and the product’s carbon impact.

Foodsteps’ software application contains a database of carbon dioxide emissions from different sources – from fertilisers, supply chain, the cooking process, packaging up to storage. Doherty said that they used “thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies, alongside our own primary research” to gather all this data.

“Restaurants, caterers, and food providers are increasingly looking for ways to review, improve, and demonstrate their action on sustainability. Foodsteps allows them to do that, by giving them access to the latest technology and data, without the commitment and fees associated with traditional carbon assessments.

“If we can make assessing and communicating environmental information in the food industry more accessible and standardised, there is no reason why it won’t become as widespread as nutritional information,” she added.

Companies currently subscribed to Foodsteps’ labelling platform include UCL caterers, CH&Co, Gousto, Detox Kitchen, and healthcare company BUPA.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.