Great news! Gousto meals produce 23% less carbon emissions than physical supermarkets.
Here’s some official info from our team about how we worked that out:
This figure was calculated as part of a Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the food waste and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions arising from consuming meals a) purchased from Gousto and b) purchased from an average UK supermarket.
The LCA was carried out by environmental services company Foodsteps, and independently verified via an independent critical review and a GHG Protocol Standard reasonable assurance statement.
The 23% emissions savings calculation is based on 50 of Gousto's most popular recipes in 5 categories (red meat, pork and poultry, fish, vegan, vegetarian), whose ingredient quantities were standardised to kilograms. Gousto provided information to Foodsteps on the proportion of food lost at the warehouse and wasted at the household, and details of its energy, delivery and logistics providers. Gousto provided a GHG emissions value for the delivery of their meals, calculated by Gousto’s delivery partners.
For supermarket meals, secondary data was used to source comparable information. The same recipes and their ingredients were modelled from the supermarket system as the Gousto system, in order to give the same quantity of food consumed.
Where primary data could not be obtained from Gousto and other relevant sources, secondary data was used in the analysis.
The 23% (rounded up from 22.67%) is calculated as the average of the percentage savings between the footprint of each meal, not the percentage savings between the average footprint of all the meals. We believe it makes most sense to calculate the percentage savings for each individual meal (Gousto vs Supermarket) and then average those savings (23% value). That way the percentage savings is comparing like-for-like products, and an average is then taken across 50 examples.
Carbon life cycle stages:
The carbon footprint analysis studies the impact of food across the full life cycle, within a cradle to grave system. This covers farm to distribution, warehouse and retail, packaging, delivery, cooking and end of life stages.
- Farm to distribution: Emissions arising from land use change (burning), land use
- change (carbon stock), feed, farming, pre-warehouse processing, pre-retail transport and storage
- Warehouse and retail: Emissions arising from warehouse processing and retail impacts such as storage
- Packaging: Emissions arising from raw materials and manufacturing of packaging, transport to warehouse, and end-of-life
- Delivery: Emissions arising from transport from the market system to the customer. Cooking: Emissions arising from the use of appliances in the cooking process
- End-of-life: Emissions arising from food waste disposal by anaerobic digestion,
composting, incineration, sewer disposal, and landfilling
Emissions from household refrigeration and storage were excluded from the carbon footprint assessment because data on the different storage time lengths of different ingredients was not available. It was also assumed that any difference in these impacts between supermarkets and Gousto meals would be negligible.
The time period from extraction to end of life is typically one year or less.
Unit of analysis
The unit of measurement for food waste is kilograms of raw ingredients (kg).
The functional unit of the analysis was a two-person serving of each Gousto meal, as consumed by the customer.
A 100-year global warming potential (GWP) factor was applied to GHG emissions and removals data to calculate the inventory results in units of CO2 equivalent (CO2e).
For more information or if you have any questions about the claim, please contact us here.