Foodsteps News

14th October 2022

Wrap x Foodsteps: Collaborating on the Emissions Factor Database

Reporting scope 3 emissions has always been a hurdle for hospitality, consistently posing a challenge to consumers' and suppliers' ability to fully understand the environmental impact of their food.

This is why we’re excited to release our latest partnership with WRAP, an NGO working around the globe to tackle the causes of the climate crisis and give the planet a sustainable future, helping to bolster their Emissions Factor Database. This new resource aims to help food and drink businesses in the UK complete their scope 3 emissions reporting. It is a critical resource in helping the UK food and drinks sector achieve the Courtauld Commitment 2030 GHG target. This commitment is to deliver a 50% absolute reduction in GHG emissions associated with food and drink consumed in the UK by 2030 (against a 2015 baseline).

Foodsteps was commissioned by WRAP to provide both a critical peer review and, subsequently, several necessary updates to the database as part of a robust third-party quality assurance process.

"Releasing this freely available resource removes barriers to engagement with environmental impact data on food, making it genuinely accessible to all. I'm excited that this great resource is finally out there. Collaborating with WRAP on their emissions factor database was a pleasure." - Joe Duncan-Duggal, Chief Scientific Officer at Foodsteps.

To review the database, we assessed a draft and drilled into the methodologies of the underlying data sources to ensure that they were incorporated consistently and robustly. Some of our resulting updates were:

  • Adding more data to the database
  • Removing data of insufficient quality or an inconsistent underlying method
  • Adding more detail to observations already included to enhance the usability 
  • Adjusting the structure of the database to better fit emissions from land-use change when reported in source data
  • Updating the data quality scores of the different data sources based on our interrogation of their methodologies and reporting

Through this process, we are delighted to have supported WRAP in releasing what is sure to be a widely-used resource for food and drink businesses to play their part in combatting  climate change. Better centralisation of available data will drive consistent emissions reporting across and within companies. It will also allow emissions data to be shared more widely and easily, supporting better sustainability literacy in the food and drink industry. 

At Foodsteps, we look forward to helping businesses to understand and use this resource to do their emissions reporting. We will be able to advise on the use of the database as a first step on the road to measuring the impacts of food and drink. After this first step, users can use the Foodsteps platform to enhance their impact estimates and explore their underlying sources in detail. Users can then work with us to reduce those impacts. 

We are excited to continue our collaboration with WRAP to improve the availability and consistency of environmental impact data on food and drink.