Organic Footprint

is an applied research project that compares the climate and environmental impacts of organic foods with that of conventional foods. The aim is to develop indicators and instruments to easily optimize the environmental impact of meals. Research findings will be made publicly available and can be integrated into the work of restaurants, individuals and organizations.

A sustainability standard for restaurants

31% of greenhouse gases originate from the production and consumption of food. Currently, consensus on methodology and underlying assumptions of carbon footprint-calculations on organically produced foods is lacking.

Life cycle assessments do not necessarily capture the full environmental impact. Which additional factors other than carbon emissions should be considered in sustainability standards for meals? And how can this be easily adapted in restaurants and by individuals?

Together with scientific partners and a broad range of stakeholders we further investigate these questions. By collaborating with experts and stakeholders we target for broad consensus and easy applicability in restaurants.

Project goals

  • Identification of the most important factors and assumptions influencing the climate. Environmental impact of organic and conventional foods. Extension of our CO2-database with improved calculations for organic ingredients.
  • Identification of climate and environmentally relevant regulations of different organic standards and labels.
  • Quantification of the potential climate and environmental impacts of different organic standards and labels using the LCA method.
  • Develop practical recommendations and instruments for restaurants and the general public.
  • Adaptation and improvement of analysis, methodology and developed applications by having stakeholder reviews and organizing discussion groups and exchange workshops.

04 Oct 2017 – Impulsevent Smart Chefs

Ein kulinarischer Spielplatz für Entdecker

Am 28. September 2017 haben wir im Rahmen einer interaktiven Impuls-Veranstaltung über unsere neuesten Erkenntnisse in den Bereichen Klimaschutz, Gesundheit und umweltfreundliche Landwirtschaft informiert. Am Event konnten wir unsere 2 grössten Lieben mit euch teilen. Was uns verbindet bei Eaternity ist das gute Essen und die stichhaltigen Daten. Zwei Welten lassen wir zusammenkommen die eigentlich nicht getrennt sein sollten: die Wissenschaft und die Gastronomie.

Read the full update

12 Jun 2017 – Organic Footprint Update

The Conflicts between Organic Farming and the Environment.

Are organic food choices good for the environment? For the past two years Eaternity took a closer look and we found: It’s trickier than one might think. Here’s an update on our ongoing research.

Read the full update


This is a multi-stakeholder project. Scientific partners, experts and stakeholders are invited to come on board to secure quality, stimulate debate and fruitful exchange. Possible involvements range from active collaboration and carrying out reviews, to participation in workshops, or merely being kept up-to-date. Our long-term vision is to build a knowledge consortium on food and, its related environmental and health impacts.

Duration: 1.5.2015-31.10.2017
Project organization: Isabel O'Connor, Eaternity – | +41 76 479 62 47
Deputy: Judith Ellens, Eaternity –
Feldeggstrasse 4, 8008 Zürich
Scientific partner: Deborah Scharfy, Institut für Umwelt und Natürliche Ressourcen IUNR, ZHAW Wädenswil –
Raphaël Thierrin, Quantis, Zürich
Made possible by: Engagement Migros development fund