Vegetarian Express launches ‘industry first’ emissions tracker

Vegetarian Express will start providing customers with greenhouse gas emissions data as it seeks to promote the benefits of choosing plant-based meal options.

The vegetarian and vegan food distributor said the move to provide its customers with a detailed quarterly report detailing the environmental savings gained from putting plant-based meals on their menus versus meat equivalents represented an industry first.

Lifecycle analysis data shows that plant-based foods on average generate lower greenhouse gas emissions than meat-based dishes.

Farming groups and other advocates of meat-based diets, however, argue that certain livestock production systems can have positive ecological effects such as increasing soil fertility, while LCA data often excludes the potential to sequester carbon which they claim can offset a significant proportion of the emissions from cattle and sheep.

The IPCC recently stated that analysing ruminant meat production is highly complex because of the extreme heterogeneity of production systems.

Vegetarian Express said its calculations had been reviewed by industry experts. It added that “whilst all environmental savings data comes with some degree of estimation our figures are in line with available research and we therefore believe they are a valid interpretation that will help customers to understand the positive impact they are making”.

Announcing the initiative, Vegetarian Express managing director David Webster said: “As a certified B-Corp, and one of a growing number of companies who believe in the power of business to help solve social and environmental challenges, it is only right that Vegetarian Express should be leading the way when it comes to helping businesses make sustainable purchasing choices.”

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