Carbon Transparency: HelloFresh’s contribution towards a carbon label for food

Around the world consumers need to find their way through a jungle of various food labels. Especially when it comes to sustainability aspects, there are plenty of different solutions that are supposed to help consumers understand the environmental footprint of their food choices. They take into account different aspects of the value chain like animal welfare, regionality or the type of packaging. But who actually understands what their food choices mean for the plant?

HelloFresh is part of the initiative Together for Carbon Labelling (TCL) which is working for a solution towards more CO₂e transparency for customers. The alliance was built by food companies in collaboration with scientists and is advocating for the introduction of a carbon label to offer consumers full visibility on the carbon footprint of their food choices. 

This initiative was founded in 2021 with the goals to establish a scientific advisory board and to develop comparative standards for CO₂e transparency in the food industry while pushing for a regulatory change towards a consumer label. Starting in Germany, the initiative members are working together to change the European food standard.

HelloFresh’s climate conscious recipes: First step towards full menu transparency 

After successfully launching in Germany and Austria in November 2021, HelloFresh rolled out its climate conscious recipes to sixteen further countries in the international segment almost one year ago. This label was introduced in direct response to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which showed that ingredients are by far the biggest contributor to emissions within the HelloFresh value chain. The climate conscious tag highlights recipes that cause the least amount of CO2 emissions in each weekly HelloFresh menu. It enables customers to choose dishes with at least 50% less carbon emissions than the average HelloFresh meal. This marks HelloFresh's first step towards full menu transparency. 

With this experience in its own menu, HelloFresh is actively contributing to the methodology for a unified label for the food industry. 

Local events in the German parliament and beyond

Second event in the German parliament with member of parliament Rita Hagl-Kehl (SPD)

To push the carbon label for Germany and Europe, HelloFresh and other organizations and scientists are collaborating with Rita Hagl-Kehl who is member of the German parliament for the Social Democratic Party. As part of the initiative Together for Carbon Labelling, HelloFresh co-organized two of the overall three events planned in the German parliament to discuss the potential impact and methodology of such a consumer label. The first event explored the scientific perspective for a carbon label, while the second meeting in November 2023 explored the challenges and opportunities for businesses with presentations from HelloFresh, Oatly and the The Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE).

Daniel Chorzelski, VP Strategy & Transformation at HelloFresh, who represented HelloFresh at the second event in the German parliament, emphasized the responsibility companies have and must take when it comes to tracking and reducing emissions: “An easy to understand carbon label for food products enables customers to make a climate conscious choice while driving transparency within food supply chains." 

HelloFresh’s ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions 

Educating and empowering customers towards more environmentally friendly food choices is just one pillar of HelloFresh’s carbon reduction efforts. In March 2023 the HelloFresh Group committed to set near-term company-wide CO2e emission reductions targets in line with climate science with the Science Based Targets initiative. Alongside this process, HelloFresh continues to follow its strategy of avoiding and reducing emissions by making operations more energy efficient and transitioning to renewable energy. 

Joined efforts towards regulatory change

In December 2023 the TCL initiative will host its third event in the German parliament, taking a closer look at consumers’ perspectives. In January 2024 the group will host a parliamentary evening that will also invite stakeholders from other European Member States to extend the local initiative to a Europe-wide movement.   

We at HelloFresh are proud to be part of this important milestone towards full carbon transparency for consumers and look forward to driving this topic further together with our partners.

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