Sustainability / Environment

 Green Boy’s Impact Report Sheds Light on Food Supply Chain Emissions

To enhance transparency regarding the environmental impact of the food supply chain, Green Boy, a global supplier of plant-based food ingredients, has published a comprehensive overview of the company’s CO2e emissions.

A recent article in the New York Times mentions that some analysts cannot determine whether plant-based meat and dairy alternatives have a lower impact on the environment than their animal-based counterparts, because plant-based food brands do not share their CO2e emission data transparently,” says Green Boy Co-founder and Owner Peter van Dijken.

However, to calculate the total emissions of a finished food product, CPG brands need to have access to the emissions data of each ingredient they are using. Peter van Dijken continues: “As an ingredient supplier we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to access the environmental footprint of the plant-based ingredients they purchase from us.” The company has mapped its environmental impact according to the GHG protocol.

Green Boy Impact report
© Green Boy Group

How CO2e Emissions Are Calculated
The GHG protocol is a way of measuring a company’s entire CO2e emissions. This framework splits a company’s operations into three different scopes of direct and indirect emissions. For Green Boy, this includes their company cars (Scope 1), electricity and heating usage (Scope 2), business travel (Scope 3a), transport and storage of their plant-based food ingredients (Scope 3b), and the production of the ingredients (Scope 3c).

Green Boy is a carbon neutral company thanks to its collaboration with projects like Running Tides that help offset all of its direct and indirect internal emissions (Scope 1, 2, and 3a). In 2023 the company was able to offset a total of 100mt CO2e.

To obtain a number of total emissions, the company created Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) for the plant-based food ingredients that make up 85% of their volume. This allows Green Boy to share ingredient-specific emissions data with its customers (large food brands) which can then simply use this data in their sustainability reporting.

Towards a Greener Solution
The ingredient-specific data will also facilitate Green Boy’s collaboration with producers, transporters, and warehousing partners on environmental initiatives. To reduce emissions within the food industry as a whole, numerous processes in the supply chain will need to be developed and adapted. The first step towards positive change is for every partner of the supply chain to be aware of their emissions.

“But next to awareness, we need to create a call to action, so the next step would be to find collaborative solutions that work for everyone involved up and down the supply chain.”, says Green Boy’s Sustainability Analyst Owen Smit who has been conducting the data analysis in collaboration with sustainability consultants Narrate.

Green Boy Impact report
© Green Boy Group

“Ultimately, sharing emission numbers transparently will not only give the end consumer an idea of what the impact of their plant-based food is but also allow for the industry to set benchmarks and more thoroughly track and encourage progress towards lower emissions throughout the supply chain.”, says Green Boy Co-founder and Owner Frederik Otten. “By publishing this report and openly sharing our numbers we hope to encourage collaboration on transparency within the food industry. We want to play our part in the reformation towards a global market that is losing appetite in pollutive dairy, meat, and fish consumption and is more focused on food with a plant-based origin.”

What Do The Numbers Reveal?
So far, Green Boy’s impact report reveals promising news: plant-based proteins have a notably smaller environmental footprint compared to animal-based proteins. For those eager to delve into the specifics of the CO2e emissions difference, you can find the full report here.

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