Carbon footprint labelling is a growing trend in the hospitality sector and a topic that is gaining a lot of attention, but is it here to stay?
What Is Carbon Footprint Labelling?
Carbon footprint labelling is a way of measuring greenhouse gas emissions during the entire process of getting the food from farm to plate (including production, processing and transporting).
An increasing number of restaurants are adding carbon footprint labelling to their menus, which acts like a scorecard showing how environmentally responsible their dishes are.
What Is Driving This Growing Trend?
In recent years, consumers have become more conscious of the impact of climate change and are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their food choices.
BM has become one of the first contract caterers in the UK to roll out carbon labelling across its business, in partnership with Nutritics – the nutritional software.
Benefits for Hospitality Businesses and Their Customers
Carbon footprint labelling is valuable for both consumers and restaurants.
For consumers, having information about the environmental impact of their meal, enables them to make more informed sustainable choices.
For restaurants and food companies, it can be a way to differentiate from the competition and attract customers who are looking for sustainable options.
The visible labelling means restaurants and food companies can show their commitment to sustainability and can use it as a benchmark to focus and improve their practices, and effectively reduce their carbon footprint.
Will More Businesses Adopt Carbon Footprint Labelling on Their Menus?
According to research by Nutritics, 49% of people consider sustainability when purchasing food or drink and 42% would choose a venue because its signage displayed a commitment to reducing CO2 emissions. So it’s no surprise that more businesses are seriously considering implementing carbon footprint labelling on their menus.
There are no signs of the growing trend slowing down, as company’s look to their long-term sustainability goals of becoming carbon neutral. Adding carbon footprint labelling on menus is a positive step in the right direction, causing businesses to evaluate and reduce their carbon footprint.
Some critics argue that it is challenging for restaurants to accurately calculate the carbon footprint of their menu items. So before carbon footprint labelling becomes widely adopted, standardisation and guidelines would be needed, to ensure accurate and consistent information. As current forms of carbon footprint labelling vary, customers could also need additional information and support to make sense of the labelling.
It will be interesting to track this growing trend. With new regulations stipulating large businesses must include calorie labelling on menus from April 2022, could carbon footprint labelling be next?
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