All the Facts on the Table – The Eco-Balance of our Products

Together with the Eaternity Institute from Switzerland, we’ve made it our mission to set a new future standard for transparency in food production. Using a sustainability score made visible on our product packaging, we provide an ecological balance sheet for each individual article. You can find out how, where, what and why we do this in the following sections:

The eco-balance in Europe

In 2016 alone, 4,3 billion tons of CO2 have been generated by the countries of the European Union. An incredible amount, and it’s still too much. However, imagine being able to contribute to using less CO2 on a daily basis.

With your help, and the good eco-balance of our Veganz products, we can reach European climate goals. By the year 2030, we want to discharge 40% less CO2 than we did in 1990. That way, we would be contributing to a better and more sustainable world. So what can you do as an individual? What you eat in a day already makes a profound contribution since 24% of the most harmful environmental effects are caused through consuming meat and dairy. When you eat beef for three days, you are creating as much CO2 as if you were to eat only fruit and vegetable for an entire year.

“Neither plastic straws, apples from New Zealand, avocados from South America or long freighter distances contribute very much to the problem. Which means, they can’t be a deciding factor in the solution.”

Eaternity Founder Manuel Klarmann

This makes it clear: No progress or changes in the transportation sector or energy systems can fundamentally slow down climate change as much as a conscientious diet and sustainable food production. If every German ate a climate-friendly diet 3 times a week, according to Eaternity, the climate impact would be equivalent to the loss of 3,700,000 cars. At the moment, however, the food industry is making it difficult for us to reach intelligently for food on the shelves. In addition, that food is highly non-transparent, even though every 2nd German citizen would like to be able to clearly see the carbon footprint of products at first glance. (1)

But what does this mean specifically? We are already able to see the impact that houses, cars and electrical items have on the environment, but our food? Non-existent until now.

Veganz Makes
Sustainability Visible

We at Veganz are changing that and, together with the Swiss institute Eaternity, are putting “All the Facts on the Table”.

Eaternity supports organizations worldwide in calculating the exact environmental footprint of their food products with the goal of finding a nutritional system within the earth’s maximum carrying capacity. Eaternity was started in 2008 by its founders Judith Ellens and Manuel Klarmann at the ETH in Zurich out of the absolute necessity to find solutions.

Together we are developing the future standard for transparency in the food producing sector. Through modern methods and extensive raw material, delivery and production data, we will be able to calculate the carbon footprint and water consumption, for example, of each product.

The Eco-Balance of the
“Gourmet Classic”

So how do we calculate the eco-balance of our Veganz products? How does the product’s sustainability score make its way onto the packaging? We will gladly explain this to you by way of our delicious cheese alternative – the Veganz Gourmet Classic.

Step 1: The plant-based ingredients in our Organic Gourmet are grown in India. Their cultivation uses water and CO2. The raw materials are then transported to our producers in Europe.

Step 2: CO2 is also created in its transportation.

Step 3: From the raw materials, our producers make our delicious vegan cheese alternative.

Step 4: After that, the Organic Gourmet is packaged and transported to our warehouse in Germany. Water and CO2 are also consumed during these procedures.

Step 5: Veganz then gives Eaternity all the information necessary in order for them to calculate a concrete and exact life cycle analysis. From this information, the institute calculates a quantitative analysis of the environmental impact of the product and its entire life cycle, thus resulting in the eco-balance of our purely plant-based alternative to cheese.

Step 6: But there’s more: Eaternity compared over 100,000 food products with each other to calculate an average, which in turn formed the foundation for the comparison across the star scale. In future, our customers will find this on Veganz packaging. By means of special pictograms, all the important information will be transparent and visible using the CodeCheck App. In order for Eaternity to be able to compare the products fairly, they are judged independently of portion size. The energy density is therefore taken into account.

If a product receives 2 stars, it’s better than average. 3 stars means the product is within the goal of a climate-friendly food. If everyone ate those kinds of products, we could save the world. On the other hand, a product with one star worsens our eco-balance.

How did our product Gourmet Classic fare?

The Four Sustainability Score Categories

There are four categories: CO2 Emissions, Water Use, Animal Welfare and Protection of the Rainforest.

Eco-Balance: Our Organic Gourmet is climate friendly because it received 3 stars, using exactly 576g of CO2. By the way, in the carbon footprint assessment, we specify the emissions in CO2 equivalents for the entire product. For our product, this means that the Organic Gourmet is 40% better than the average in terms of a climate-friendly diet. If the Organic Gourmet were to receive only 1 star here, it would worsen our eco-balance.

Animal Welfare: Being a vegan product, our purely plant-based, cashew nut cheese alternative protects the animals and so received 3 stars. This score shows which certification the product has or if it’s vegan. If it’s only awarded 1 star, it contains animal products and no certificate for animal welfare.

Rainforest: Likewise, the rainforest was not damaged during production therefore it received 3 stars. This rating indicates which certification the product has or whether it is free from palm oil and soy. If a product gets only 1 star here, it contains critical components that destroy the rainforest.

Water Consumption: Indeed, Organic Gourmet uses 920 liters of water and, unfortunately, puts a strain on the eco-balance. Constructing a sewage treatment plant where the cashews are grown would be a possible solution.

For us, introducing the sustainability score, and full disclosure of the life cycle assessment of all Veganz products, is only the beginning for more transparency in the food sector and for an even stronger focus on environmental protection and sustainability in the production of all articles within the Veganz brand. Equipped with the Eaternity label, a real added value is created for you as a consumer as well as for the goods on the shelf and gives a unique insight into sustainability and trend-setting transparency in food production.

Good for you, better for everyone.

Sources

(1) Civery PRO Nutrition Report 2019
(2) Federal Environment Agency: Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the European Union (Status: 25.04.2019 at 11 a)
(3) European Environment Agency: Food consumption – animal based protein

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