CO₂-Data Updates

CO₂ data improvements for the EDB; including ecoinvent 3.2

March 5, 2017

CO₂-Data Updates image

We are happy to announce, that we have made several quality improvements on our data. On the 12th of December, we had our internal release. Now we have made public them to every user of our software. All CO₂-calculations including all recipes, as well as all values in the reports are affected.

In this first great update went the contribution of several studies, technical implementations in our software, analyses and data evaluations. To sum it up: for one person, a few decades of work. This precious contribution raises further the level on which Eaternity calculates its CO₂-balance. For the purpose of communication and information to all restaurant operations, we collectively summarize all changes.

Especially for deviations concerning single products, and not all the data at once, we expect that a few recipes, which had been previously awarded climate-friendly, will now not be anymore. Most changes in the product-assessments will not make any noticeable difference in the operations and recipe-planning.

Where possible we have updated our values to ecoinvent v3.2 (from v3.0, http://www.ecoinvent.org]). On the basis of unit process datasets, thousands of different food products are calculated. According to the standard of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2013), now the factor 28 for methane gas (previously 25) is used for the CO₂-equivalent calculation. The ecoinvent 3.2 update affects 183 of our current 487 unit process datasets. Overall the CO₂-emissions of these datasets have gone up by 11%. For the average CO₂-value of a meal, we expect it to be 60 g CO₂eq higher.

For meat products from pigs, we have improved the model for the butchering process. The meat products are now accounted without the slaughter residues and are therefore 70 – 90% higher, than before.

We have remodeled baked rolls and bread. Their CO₂ value went from 52 – 84 g CO₂eq to 73 - 87 CO₂eq (for 100 g of product).

No more faulty inputs are possible for the cultivation of animals and mushrooms. Without this directive, the CO₂-value will improve on a small set ( < 50) of food products.

We have improved our greenhouse model – which calculates the emissions of different vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, paprika, etc.) according to the respective solar radiation of the country of origin compared to the necessary energy until ripeness, to determine the appropriate amount of CO₂-emissions for the daily precise heating of the greenhouse – by being more detailed on the infrastructure. Small improvements were made on organic produce in the winter season. Overall reducing the CO₂eq contribution in particular for several products in the winter.

For missing declarations for the origin of the food, we now calculate with the help of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) statistics on global trade of goods, an annual average as a guiding value for each of our product. This increases overall the CO₂-values, as fewer transport distances will be classified as regional.

The transport is in collaboration with EcoTransitWorld (www.ecotransit.com) now broken down in more detail. Combined transport routes (Truck - Ship - Truck) are determined in more precision through global statistics. Newly, we also classify refrigerated transports. Perishable products above a certain distance are assumed to be transported by air, in case no means of transport are given.

For the improvements on our origin and transport model, we expect in general the CO₂-values for a meal to increase by 25g CO₂eq.

The calculations-basis for our Eaternity Award, and correspondingly the A-E rating for the recipes, will be adjusted with this data-update accordingly. This means for the process of planning and writing the recipes for climate-friendly meals, we expect for the overall higher CO₂-values of the meals no noticeable difference for the operations of your restaurant.

Previously menus that scored under 666 g CO₂eq were awarded as climate-friendly – now the higher threshold value of 700 g CO₂eq is used. This value is derived from the best CO₂-values of all recipes, as it was before. The changes will result in about 2% of the previous meals not being awarded climate-friendly anymore. A climate-friendly meal has, as before, at least 50% less CO₂-emissions as the average meal.

Difference average meal CO₂-value

Ecoinvent update : + 60 g CO₂eq
Transport and origin model : + 25 g CO₂eq

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Average meal

1583 g CO₂eq / meal

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Climate-friendly meal

Before: below 666 g CO₂eq / meal
After: below 700 g CO₂eq / meal