Brits Want “Carbon Calories” on Food Labels so they Can Shop the Planet Back to Health

Natural energy drink brand TENZING and climate intelligence platform CarbonCloud join forces for the second annual Knowvember - a month-long campaign bringing climate transparency to the high street.

CarbonCloud infographics. Image Credit: CarbonCloud

First launched last year, Knowvember champions the power of carbon labelling to educate people on the environmental impact of their grocery purchases and urges brands to declare their emissions. Research shows Brits want to KNOW the footprint of their food and drink.

Just as nutritional labels help consumers to make better choices for their health, a carbon label clearly breaks down the impact of a food or drink product on the planet and shows. 

A product’s “carbon calories” are calculated based on factors such as packaging, where and how ingredients are sourced, and manufacturing and distribution systems.

A small number of brands are paving the way in the carbon labelling movement, including well-known names like Oatly, Wahaca, coffee chain Benugo and TENZING - but more needs to be done. 

In support of the campaign, TENZING and CarbonCloud commissioned a report from Marble Global, who work with governments and leading health organisations around the world, to understand consumer attitudes toward carbon labelling and where progress needs to be made.

The report found that a new generation of people are increasingly climate conscious and want to reduce their personal carbon footprint, but are often confused by the lack of information available or contrasting advice. 

Key findings from the Knowvember 2022 report include:

  • Brits want to make informed choices but a wall of myths and misinformation is preventing them from confidently shopping their favourite brands
  • A fifth of consumers who expressed support for carbon labels thought they would help to change consumer behaviour
  • People often wrongly assumed that individual shops would need to have specific labels for its stock due to differences in the distance the product had been transported
  • Consumers are distrustful of what they are being told and feel overwhelmed by “fake news” around carbon and food

TENZING and CarbonCloud urge brands to join Knowvember and be transparent about their emissions so that the public can make informed choices. 

Huib van Bockel, CEO of TENZING, said: “The UK government has committed to be net zero by 2050. The food and drink industry contributes to over 25% of emissions and yet we’re still one of the only businesses taking responsibility for our footprint. Why are there still so few businesses being transparent about their carbon impact? 

“If food labelling leads to a healthier diet, then carbon labelling can lead to a healthier planet. Knowvember is all about transparency and we need transparency on every shelf to accelerate change.

“Knowing our carbon footprint has meant that we’ve been able to gain invaluable insights which helped us to overhaul our production methods - from crop to can - to become the world's first carbon negative drinks brand. ” 

David Bryngelsson, CEO of CarbonCloud, said: “Knowvember is all about being in the know, so we can make informed decisions to reduce our impact on the planet. 

“Brands tell us what they know about their supply chain and using our automated emissions mapping software and our advanced climate footprint dataset we can quickly provide the climate footprint of each product.

“We’ve already helped over 65 food businesses to go climate-transparent with consumers and suppliers. Climate disclosures will be regulated, and if we can make transparency from end to end the norm, together, we can help the world to reach net zero. If you are already part of the push towards carbon labelling, we stand with you.

“No hiding, no boasting, clear, comparable information for everyone.”

Supporting members of Knowvember include: Little freddie, Ombar, When In Rome, Dame, Rubies in the Rubble, Oatly, Future Farm and more. 

This year, brands wanting to join the carbon labelling movement and consumers eager to learn more can visit:


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