Intelligent SME.tech Issue 12 - Page 59

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UK START-UP LAUNCHES CARBON LABELS FOR RESTAURANTS AND FOOD BUSINESSES IN WORLD FIRST FOR INDUSTRY

Foodsteps , a food technology start-up that allows businesses to easily calculate , reduce and label the environmental impact of their food , has formally launched in the UK .

Founded by Cambridge University alumni , Anya Doherty , the firm was created in response to the challenges facing food businesses looking to improve their sustainability and reach net zero .
Historically , food companies have lacked access to a standard database where they can easily find out the environmental impact of their recipes and ingredients . This was one reason why Tesco ’ s ambition to introduce carbon labelling across the food sector failed in 2012 .
In response , Foodsteps has developed the world ’ s first ‘ impact database ’ based on the most up-to-date scientific data regarding food life cycle impacts which incorporates carbon footprint , pollution , water use and land use impacts from farm to fork to waste . Based on UK food consumption , the database contains impact data of over 1,000 ingredients .
Anya Doherty , CEO and Founder of Foodsteps , said : “ With our platform , consumer tools and carbon labelling capabilities , brands can differentiate themselves in the market and communicate with customers in ways they never have before . It is my belief that 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 .”
Providing the technology for food businesses to reach net zero
With the database at its core , the company promises to bring a new era of technology to the food industry , disrupting how businesses evaluate and communicate sustainability to customers . The firm is more than just a carbon labelling company , offering three technology solutions to help businesses become leaders in sustainability – a cloud-based platform , labelling capability and QR code scanning .
On the platform , food providers can upload recipes and view the sustainability impact of each ingredient . The platform can be used to monitor targets , develop new recipes and improve a menu or product ’ s sustainability .
From there , companies can choose to print their own labels to clearly communicate the environmental impact of a product . These labels provide a traffic light rating from A – F ( A meaning low environmental impact , F meaning high environmental impact ) and have been deemed the most effective in influencing consumer decision making .
Rising demand for a new way of measuring environmental impacts
Foodsteps is one of the UK ’ s first cloud-based food sustainability platforms to launch widely to the market , meaning businesses no longer need to pay expensive one-off consultancy fees traditionally required with carbon assessment and certification projects .
Prior to the company officially launching , the company has already seen rising demand across the industry – from restaurants , catering companies and food delivery services – looking to work with the firm to improve and communicate their action on sustainability . Clients include leading universities and caterers , such as UCL , recipe box delivery services , Gousto and Detox Kitchen , as well as healthcare company , BUPA . �
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