“The climate label is the first step towards our goal to offer full menu transparency for our customers”
Interview with COO Upstream at HelloFresh International Tilman Eichstädt about how HelloFresh’s new climate label enables sustainable recipe choices
After successfully launching in Germany and Austria in November 2021, HelloFresh rolled out its climate labeling initiative to eleven further markets in the international segment. The climate label marks the recipes that cause the least amount of CO2 emissions in each weekly HelloFresh menu. The label is now also available in the UK, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Why did HelloFresh decide to implement the climate label?
Our data shows that sustainability remained an important topic for customers since the beginning of the year across all markets. An internal customer survey showed that two thirds of HelloFresh customers reported that they would like to know more about ingredient emissions.
In addition to the consumer’s feedback that they wish for more transparency on the environmental footprint of the products in our menu, the climate label initiative was introduced in direct response to the recently published Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The analysis showed that ingredients are by far the biggest contributor to emissions. This is why mapping emissions in our recipes is so important: Not only does it help us to reduce our carbon footprint as a company, it also enables our customers to make more sustainable food decisions.
HelloFresh is well on track to achieve its ambitious goal to reduce CO2e emissions from its production facilities by 60% on a per euro revenue basis, compared to a 2019 baseline.
When is a recipe labeled CO2 conscious?
Recipes tagged are those whose ingredients are responsible for the least amount of GHG emissions among all those included in the weekly HelloFresh menus. Globally there are three to ten recipes - on average a quarter of the local menu - labeled as climate conscious. The labeled recipes are causing on average 70 percent lessCO2e emissions than the average HelloFresh recipe.
How does the CO2 calculation of the recipes work?
For the calculation of the carbon emissions for the recipes we are using the globally respected databases of the independent research company HowGood. The climate impact of recipes is measured by analyzing a number of key metrics which include the amount of GHG emissions generated by the agricultural production and the food processing required to obtain the ingredients that customers find in HelloFresh recipes. The CO2e impact (kg CO2e/kg) was analyzed for each recipe ingredient according to the HelloFresh market region and the most common sourcing location. CO2e impact was assigned according to respective growing and processing practices for the specific ingredient, in the applicable geographic region.
CO2e emission factors include emissions from the on-farm and processing stages of the recipe ingredient life cycle. They do not include upstream transportation and packaging emissions. When verifiable data was available, land-use change was also incorporated.
Are there any further plans to label ingredients in the future?
Working towards more transparency in the menu is an important part of our strategy to continuously improve our environmental footprint. We are currently in the phase of updating our data systems, so we can work out further ways to track our environmental performance. By extracting more data we can provide customers with more transparency on the menu which enables them to make more sustainable choices. Introducing the climate label is the first step towards our goal to offer full menu transparency for our customers in order to empower them to eat in a more sustainable way.