A solid scientific basis

We maintain and advance the best scientific foundation for assessing the environmental impact of food.

Largest CO₂-database worldwide

Since 2009 we built a solid, comprehensive and peer-reviewed CO₂-database on food items. It forms the firm backbone of all the calculations carried out by Eaternity.

To calculate the carbon impact of food we use life cycle assessments (LCAs). The database is currently the largest and most comprehensive database for carrying out menu CO₂-calculations. It includes more than 550 core ingredients and additional parameters for organic or greenhouse production, processing, packaging and preservation.

Calculations done with the Eaternity include all emission of the complete supply chain.

Eaternity's work on life-cycle assessments is done closely with renowned scientists in the field. To assure high data quality, comparability and comprehensiveness we:

  • regularly update our data to latest research findings
  • harmonize data from different sources (adjust assumptions and system borders)
  • carry out further research and finance research
  • assign yearly an acknowledged scientific review partner that reviews and optimizes our data
  • collaborate with scientific institutions and share detailed data with researchers

The Eaternity Database is curated by scientists from Zurich University of applied Science (ZHAW), University of Zürich (UZH), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and others.

Eaternity Database Info

We believe in the power of sharing data and knowledge. Our vision is to contribute to a scientific knowledge hub on food and its’ related impacts. We want to contribute by supporting appropriate infrastructures for data management and harmonization and setting-up a structure for data exchange. By sharing our findings and fostering exchange we can accelerate the progress in research and jointly increase our impact.

Download: 2017-08-04-Eaternity-Database.pdf

Eaternity's publications

Smart Chefs - Health, Climate and Environment. Conflicts and Synergies. J. Ellens, I. O’Connor PhD, A. Aleksandrowicz PhD, M. Klarmann. Eaternity (2017-12-19) - full version - summary - summary (DE)

Vita Score - Whitepaper. A. Aleksandrowicz PhD, I. O’Connor PhD, M. Klarmann, J. Ellens. Eaternity (2017-12-12) - download whitepaper - Swiss health recommendation based on the Vita Score

Organic Production, Climate and the Environment. I. O’Connor PhD, M. Klarmann, J. Ellens. Eaternity 2017-09-27 - download results - Eatenity Award criteria based on the results

A selection of important scientific publications

1. Jungbluth N., Nathani C., Stucki M., Leuenberger M. (2011). Environmental impacts of Swiss consumption and production. FOEN (Vol. 54, p. 173). Bern: MIT Press. Now available here - Contact the authors

2. Tukker A., Huppes G., Guinée J., Heijungs R., Koning de A., Oers van L., Suh S., Geerken T., Holderbeke van M., Jansen B., Nielsen P., Eder P., D. L. (2006). Environmental Impact of Products ( EIPRO ). Analysis of the life cycle environmental impacts related to the final consumption of the EU-25. – Food consumption attributed 31% of greenhouse gas emissions. Now available here

3. Carlsson-Kanyama, A. (1998). Climate change and dietary choices — how can emissions of greenhouse gases from food consumption be reduced? Food Policy, 23(3-4), 277–293. Now available here

4. Koerber, K. V., Kretschmer, J., & Prinz, S. (2008). Globale Ernährungsgewohnheiten und Trends (p. 35). Berlin. Now available here

5. Stehfest, E., Bouwman, L., Vuuren, D. P., Elzen, M. G. J., Eickhout, B., & Kabat, P. (2009). Climate benefits of changing diet. Climatic Change, 95(1-2), 83–102. Now available here

6. Sonja J. Vermeulen, Bruce M. Campbell, John S.I. Ingram (2012). Climate Change and Food Systems. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 2012 37:1, 195-222. – Food consumption attributed 19-29% of greenhouse gas emissions. Now available here

Life cycle assessments

A life cycle assessment is a quantitative analysis of the environmental impact of a product, measured over its total life (from farm till plate). Life cycle assessments highlight which phases of a product‘s life cycle have the greatest potential to become more CO₂ efficient.

All of Eaternity's CO₂-values exclusively use scientific accredited CO₂ equivalents (CO₂e).

Case study saddle steak:
738 g CO₂e for 125 g of meat

Farmland, artificials fertilizers, pesticides and seeds are used for agriculture.
Corn, wheat and soy are used to feed the livestock. 900 t is imported into Switzerland every single day.
Animal husbandry needs electricity, fuel, heat and farm-land. Through breathing, digestion and manure more greenhouse gases are released.
Products are processed, packaged and stocked for trading.
Shopping, cooling, cooking as well as waste disposal adds to the emissions