The recently announced Eco-Score Traffic Light System for food retailers is an important step in the right direction. Consumers will soon expect hospitality to follow, and we’re gearing up to give our commercial customers the tools to lead the way.
Major retailers will be participating in a pilot of the new Eco Score Traffic Light system created by government-backed non-profit Foundation Earth. Sitting beside nutritional labelling, this will offer consumers a quick and easy-to-read visual guide as to how environmentally sustainable a product is. These scores, ranging from A+ to G and represented by a colour scale from green (lowest environmental impact) to red (highest environmental impact) are based on various differently weighted factors including greenhouse gas emissions, water use, water pollution and biodiversity loss.
This is particularly exciting news to us at Pale Green Dot because we’ve been working on an Emissions Scale System of our own to empower our customers to make sustainable choices by providing a transparent picture of the environmental impact of all our product lines.
Foundation Earth’s Eco Score Traffic Light System considers a total of four different factors for each food product’s grade. These are farming, processing, packaging and transport. This is typical for a Life Cycle Assessment which is the most commonly used method of analysing each stage of a product’s life, but unfortunately doesn’t take into account the end-of-life of the products concerned, meaning less accountability for potential for food waste, packaging waste management and recycling. The reason for this is often the lack of control a producer or retailer has over how a product is used or disposed of once it is purchased.
We’re proud to say that here at PGD, the Life Cycle Assessments of our products can follow their environmental impact from production, all the way through usage, waste and recycling for customers who use both our closed-loop service encompassing food supply and waste collection. It’s the whole reason we established a fresh produce business that grows, sources direct and collects our customers’ waste - we know it’s the best way to offer complete visibility of our clients environmental impact.
Because Pale Green Dot commits to supplying our customers with produce from the lowest impact sources available for each of our product lines at a given time, our Emissions Scale System will provide customers with a shade of green for every product, ranging from dark green for Avocados grown in Mexico outside of the European season, to Brassicas grown in Sussex. So you can always get what you need from us, we’ll just do the hard work of finding the best possible source with the lowest possible environmental impact. What’s more, we’re working on calculating the carbon footprint of all our product lines, starting with what we grow on our own farms.