Measuring Sustainability, One Grocery Item at a Time

August 17, 2022

1 Min Read
Grocery Store Family
Andersen Ross/Getty Images

A new research paper focuses on “Estimating the environmental impacts of 57,000 food products.” Previously, such studies have primarily assessed commodities, but this one looks at some of the multi-ingredient items on grocery shelves.

Noted Michael Clark, a researcher in sustainable food systems at the University of Oxford and lead author, “The whole premise behind the paper is to come up with a standardized or transparent way to estimate the environmental impact” for items you can buy at the grocery store.

The analysis (based on products available in the UK and Ireland) yielded an environmental-impact score for each item “by considering several factors, like greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and water stress.” The researchers also found that “healthier foods tend to have a lower impact on the environment.”

This work has the potential to pave the way for broader use of eco-labels on foods, and companies in the food industry are taking note. Retailers are “interested in having this information to figure out how they can use it on their journey to net zero,” noted Clark.

Read the original article here.

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