Food production accounts for over a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, and half of the world’s habitable (ice and desert-free) land is used for agriculture. The urgency of the climate crisis and the significant impact that food has on greenhouse gas emissions means that food services and consumers have an important role to play in their food choices, by creating demand for less carbon-intensive foods. By providing transparency on the carbon emissions of food by using menu labels, consumers will be able to make more climate-informed choices. A 2020 survey found that consumers were in support of carbon labelling on products across all countries, with two-thirds of consumers saying they think it is a good idea (The Carbon Trust, 2020).
We believe the value of carbon labelling can extend to restaurant menus too. Our vision is that the resulting shift in demand away from carbon-intensive foods will lead to food services offering more low-carbon alternatives. Other restaurants around the world are starting to put climate labels on their food, such as Chipotle and Just Salad. Now is the perfect time to get ahead!
Incorporating sustainability into your business model isn’t only great for the environment, it is also becoming widely accepted as a necessity for long-term business success. Today’s consumer wants to know where their food comes from, how it was produced, and, increasingly, what sustainability factors were included in the process (Farrelly & Mitchell, 2019). According to the Nielsen Company, 74% of Millennials and 72% of Gen-Z consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services. Moreover, as the City of Vancouver is investing in and prioritizing becoming the “greenest city”, having a sustainable business strategy will put businesses in line with where municipal investments and community sentiment are heading.
By implementing a sustainable business model, we can help your business turn sustainability into a viable brand strategy for more sustainability-minded audiences, increasing your presence in the community, and improving long-term sales. In addition, understanding changing environmental regulations will allow your business to create long term risk mitigation strategies. Regulations like the Canada-wide ban on single use plastics and the Vancouver-wide ban on single-use styrofoam containers pose additional threats to small businesses. With sufficient foresight, these can become opportunities to lead by example and become trend setters in the industry. Responding to heightened social, governmental, and consumer attention on the broader impact of the environment nowadays demonstrates how a sustainable business model is a competitive advantage. It’s a win-win for you, our community, and for the environment.
Currently, there are 508,700 small businesses in BC, representing 98% of all businesses Small Business Profile 2020). Though smaller in size, these small businesses grow at the same rate as large businesses (14.4%). In addition, small and local businesses are usually the first market players to adapt to local consumer demand. They make decisions that reflect local community priorities and are nimble enough to make immediate changes. However, they are also the most vulnerable and among the first to be impacted by economic troughs. This year, they have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. Between July 7th and July 13th, 2020, 78% of B.C. small businesses reported lower sales volumes due to COVID-19. This is higher than the 75% reported for the business sector as a whole. We want to help build a thriving local economy that reflects community concerns for the climate by providing pro-bono consulting services that provide sound strategy and sustainability advice. Reach out to see how we can help!
Lighter Foodprint is a team of individuals who believe that it is time to take ownership and responsibility for our food consumption. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, the need for lighter living through a less carbon-intensive diet is something we all strive to promote and practice everyday. Our mission is to integrate the climate into our everyday food choices.
In light of COVID-19 and current availability, we are happy to announce that we are offering our services pro-bono for small and local businesses for a limited time period. Please contact us and we can figure something out!
It depends on the scope and size of the project. Currently, we are offering our services pro bono with limited spots. Reach out to learn more!
You can request one or more of our services. Please indicate your preferences as you fill in our Contact Us form.
Yes, definitely! We enjoy working with a wide variety of food services. Some services (eg. sustainability consulting for energy efficiency) will be limited because we cannot be there physically to see and optimize in-house, but we are always open to extending our services beyond physical boundaries.
We work with all types of food services outlets, including but not limited to: restaurants, cafeterias, food stalls, food trucks, pop-ups.
After receiving your submission, our team will reach out to set up a time for a call to learn more about your organization’s needs. We will then send over a custom proposal with a timeline and cost (if applicable). Once that looks good to you, we’ll get to work! After we finish our work, we will provide a business and/or sustainability report on the impact of our work.
Foodprint [foo d-print] noun, originated from food and footprint: Refers to the environmental impact created by people’s demand for food. A foodprint can include multiple parameters, such as carbon footprint, water footprint and foodshed mapping, to quantify the overall environmental impact. A component of an individual’s ecological footprint. It is often discussed synonymously with an individual’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and subsequent climate change.
Our climate labels focus on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the whole production process, from farm to retail. These are based on results from LCAs (Life Cycle Assessments). An LCA is a systematic analysis of the environmental impacts of a product’s life cycle. In terms of food, this would include analyzing the impacts of production, distribution, retail, etc. See Our Services for more information.
It reads as “kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent”. It is the number of kilograms of CO2 emissions with the same global warming potential as one kilogram of another greenhouse gas. Since there are several types of greenhouse gases with differing intensities (eg. carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide), the term CO2e is used to describe their emissions with a common unit.