Frequently asked questions
My Emissions helps companies understand, reduce and carbon label their food.
With food accounting for at least 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions, we believe clear climate data is the best way to inspire sustainable choices and reduce our impact from food.
Here’s our FAQs- get in touch if you’d like to learn more or start using our carbon label for your food.
How do we calculate the carbon footprint of food?
My Emissions follows a data-driven life cycle assessment approach to efficiently calculate the carbon footprint of a product or meal.
We collect information about each food product and meal, and rely on a mix of primary data from clients and secondary data from research to complete our calculations. All of our secondary data comes from ‘life cycle assessments’ published in peer-reviewed journals, and we are constantly adding new values as more research is completed.
What is the system boundary for My Emissions’ carbon label?
Every carbon label from My Emissions uses the same system boundary, which covers emissions from farming, up to when the food reaches a store, restaurant, or home. This system boundary covers the majority of a food’s emissions, allowing you to make an informed choice, and is standardised so different labels can be compared.
My Emissions also offers full cradle-to-grave analysis, which covers the entire life cycle of each product/meal. My Emissions recommends this analysis if you want a full picture of your product’s impact and/or want to go carbon neutral.
What does CO2e mean?
All values are calculated in ‘CO2e’, which means ‘carbon dioxide equivalents’. This is the standard measurement of all greenhouse gas emissions released, where each gas is given an equivalent impact compared to carbon dioxide. You can read more about this on the Eurostat website.
How does the My Emissions carbon rating work?
The My Emissions carbon label rates a product or meal from A (Very Low) to E (Very High), based on the ‘per kg’ carbon footprint of the food.
The thresholds are based on a statistical analysis of all the 3000+ foods in the My Emissions database and were audited by external consultants W2R Solutions.
We believe the thresholds for a carbon label should be set by the Government (just like nutritional thresholds), and are actively engaging with regulators about this.
Why do we use carbon intensity?
Using carbon intensity means we can show whether any item has a low or high carbon footprint, regardless of a product’s serving size or what category a meal is in (eg starter, main or dessert). Using carbon intensity also explains why some products/meals have a lower total but a higher rating.
This is also how the ‘green-amber-red’ traffic light colours are set on nutritional labels for products in the UK, where values are often displayed ‘per 100g’.
Is offsetting taken into account?
My Emissions do not take into account any offsetting when setting the carbon rating. We believe carbon labels should be based on all the emissions a food produces.
The only time we take into account offsetting is when helping a client go carbon neutral. But for us, this is entirely separate from food carbon labelling.
Has My Emissions been externally audited?
Yes we have!
Our model has been audited by external consultants W2R Solutions to verify we follow best practices and that our calculations align with the GHG Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard.
What’s the difference between carbon labelling, carbon neutral, and net zero?
Following best practices and based on leading standards (including the GHG Protocol), My Emissions uses the following definitions.
Carbon labelling: calculating and display the carbon footprint of your food, product or meal. The My Emissions carbon label covers all emissions up to when a food arrives at the store or restaurant.
Carbon neutral: calculating the carbon footprint of a product or business and offsetting these emissions through recognised schemes. Given the majority of emissions for a food company are Scope 3, My Emissions believes it’s best to offset all cradle-to-grave emissions.
Net zero: calculating your business’ entire carbon footprint (scopes 1-3), creating a roadmap to reduce these emissions as much as possible, and offsetting the remainder. Most companies are setting a target of when they hope to achieve net zero, and we often see target dates between 2030 to 2050.
The main difference between going carbon neutral and net zero policies is that a net zero policy requires you to reduce emissions as much as possible before offsetting.
Do My Emissions offer full 'life cycle assessments'?
No, My Emissions does not currently offer full life cycle assessments.
A life cycle assessment is a full analysis of the environmental impacts of a product or service during their entire life cycle. Most LCAs follow the ISO 14040 Standard, relying on significant primary data. They are usually offered by consultancies and require a lot of time and money.
My Emissions has developed a data-driven approach which builds on LCA methodologies, to offer similarly reliable carbon calculations in a more accessible way.