10. May 2022

CO2 Labels at the “Mensa im Hofgarten” CO2 Labels at the “Mensa im Hofgarten”

“How big an environmental footprint does our food actually have?"

In May, the Studierendenwerk is introducing labels to identify the amount of CO2 in its offerings.
In May, the Studierendenwerk is introducing labels to identify the amount of CO2 in its offerings. © Studierendenwerk Bonn
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In May, the Studierendenwerk will be launching a pilot project in the “Mensa im Hofgarten” canteen. Each main item will be given a label showing the amount of CO2 that was emitted in making its ingredients.
The calculation adds up all the emissions generated on average in the conventional production of the ingredients and converts the total into CO2 equivalents. The emissions for each ingredient are calculated “from farm to gate,” i.e. including all the emissions caused by agricultural production as well as further processing, packaging, preserving and transportation, right up to when the ingredient arrives on the shop shelf.
Any emissions that might be generated by additional cooling or processing steps in the canteen itself are excluded. The values used are averages. This means that, for instance, rather than tracing the exact journey of the very chicken breast used in the canteen, the calculation is based on the average emissions generated to produce a chicken breast in the conventional way.
The calculations take their information from the Eaternity database, which is currently the biggest and most comprehensive database for determining the climate-related emissions attributable to meals and food products.

At present, it contains over 550 ingredients and additional parameters on organic farming and greenhouse cultivation as well as on production, processing, packaging and preserving.
The Eaternity database is maintained by researchers from Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), the University of Zurich (UZH), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Quantis and a number of other institutions.


You can find more information on the Studierendenwerk web pages.

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