Understanding your emissions

A deep-dive into our reasoning and methodology when it comes to calculating the life-cycle emissions of your food and drink supply

Our why

The food industry is waking up to the reality of climate change and what Net Zero really means. Reducing emissions is no longer a question of whether to do it but how, with more and more operators setting ambitious targets.

Expectations for hospitality to demonstrate their sustainability efforts are also growing. Research shows that nearly ⅔ of diners expect ethical sourcing of food and drink while a growing number of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable dining options, even in the current climate.

At Collectiv Food, we recognise that the first crucial step towards reducing harmful environmental impact lies in the data - the ability to measure what truly matters. That's why, we've partnered with the experts to calculate the full scope of emissions attributable to the food and drink products we supply. By doing so, we aim to empower you, our valued partners, to make strides in reducing your environmental impact while proudly demonstrating your commitment to achieving Net Zero.

The data

Collectiv Food has done the work to calculate the emissions attributable to your food and drink supply with carbon accounting experts, My Emissions and Greenly. All emissions data provided by Collectiv Food is compliant with GHG Report Protocol for Corporates, which is the consensual protocol on greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting globally. This means that our calculations cover all emissions, across Scope 1, 2, and 3.

Emissions due the production of ingredients as well as processing, packaging, and transportation are all included within the scope of the data provided.


Ingredients are all the individual foods contained in a product. For single-ingredient products, such as beef steak or chicken thighs, they are directly matched with an equivalent food in the My Emissions database, and the corresponding farming, processing, packaging and transport emissions values are applied. In cases where the product is of animal origin, the ingredient value includes emissions due to feed used.

For products with multiple ingredients, My Emissions refer to the specification sheets provided by Collectiv Food to gather information on ingredient proportions and weights.

In cases where information is lacking, My Emissions' expert team will in some cases engage producers for more information to model the emissions values specific to the product. Otherwise, they model the proportions based on similar products in the My Emissions database and publicly available data. All modelled products are cross-verified to ensure accuracy.


The processing stage involves all energy-intensive steps taken by producers to convert raw ingredients into finished products.

Where products contain multiple ingredients that undergo manufacturing to make the final product, My Emissions models various processing types for Collectiv Food. Emissions due to processing account for energy usage and machinery used during this phase. The modelling process draws on both primary research data and secondary research values, considering the average emissions produced during manufacturing processes.


Packaging emissions include all single-use materials used for containing, shipping, and selling food and drink products, including primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging.

My Emissions construct packaging details based on the product specification sheets provided by Collectiv Food, incorporating information on materials used, dimensions, and quantities.


Transport emissions cover the journeys taken to transport individual ingredients to reach the processing or manufacturing site, as well as the final leg between the manufacturing site, warehouse, and the products' destinations.

Our transport calculations account for the journeys products take from their country of origin or manufacture to the Collectiv Food warehouse. For individual ingredient products, My Emissions calculate transport from their sourcing countries and producer addresses. For products made up of more than one ingredient, they account for transport from each country of manufacture.

Emissions due to the journey of products from Collectiv Food's warehouse to customer locations are based on an in-depth study of Collectiv Food's last-mile delivery methods conducted by carbon accounting company, Greenly. Read more about the study and impact of Collectiv Food's deliveries here.

What the data means for you

Measuring your emissions is critical to understanding your company's carbon footprint and impact. This data will allow you to identify hotspots in your food supply, streamline operations and track and share improvements with customers and stakeholders.

The standard unit for measuring emissions is 'CO2e', which means 'carbon dioxide equivalents'. This is a measure of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) released, where each gas is given an equivalent impact relative to carbon dioxide.

Three "scopes" of emissions are used for GHG accounting and reporting purposes:

Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions

Emissions occur from sources that are owned or controlled by the company, such as from company vehicles.

Scope 2: Indirect Electricity GHG emissions

Emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, stream, heating and cooling consumed by the company. Purchased electricity is defined as electricity that is purchased or otherwise brought into the organisational boundary of the company.

Scope 3: All other indirect GHG emissions

Scope 3 emissions are a consequence of the activities of the company, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by it, such as waste disposal, employee commuting, the emissions emitted via production of products bought by a company and the end-of-life of products sold. They typically account for >90% of a food business' emissions and are the most difficult to measure.

As a Collectiv Food customer, emissions data we provide make up part of your Scope 3 emissions. That said, we recognise that CO2e numbers only go so far in helping you to understand and demonstrate your environmental impact. That's why we also offer My Emissions's carbon rating based on the carbon intensity of a given product, i.e. the amount of CO2e per kg of a given SKU:

  • A/ Very Low:

    • An A rating signifies alignment with the daily personal carbon budget recommended by the EAT-Lancet Commission. This budget establishes the maximum amount of carbon emissions per person per day that the global food system can emit while staying within planetary boundaries.

  • B/ Low:

    • A B rating means that the product has a lower carbon intensity than the average carbon intensity of food, based on the current impact of the global food sector. 

  • C/ Medium

    • A C rating means that the product has an average carbon intensity based on the current impact of the global food sector.

  • D/ High

    • A D rating means that the product a higher carbon intensity than the average based on the current impact of the global food sector.

  • E/ Very High

    • An E rating signifies that the product is well above the average based on the current impact of the global food sector.

Limitations and future improvements

Every calculation has its limits. Today, our assessments do not include emissions at the final site of consumption. Emissions excluded encompass final storage, cooking at restaurants, and final waste disposal.

To support continuous improvements aimed at an accurate estimation of your emissions, we regularly update and carefully monitor what's within our control today - our deliveries to you.

Looking ahead, our focus will be on providing additional insights, such as recommending less carbon-intensive products to support you in making more sustainable choices. Together, we can make a positive impact on the environment and lead the way in building a more transparent and sustainable food supply chain.

Interested in free, built-in emissions data for your food and drink supply? Get in touch to explore the ways Collectiv Food can support.

CF-fullscene-Illustration web 2400x500- RGB-03