Harvest-ometer CO2 calculation notes
In July 2022 we extended the functionality of the Harvest-ometer to calculate CO2 savings.
What do the calculations show?
This extension estimates the amount of carbon saved per unit weight of produce compared to the carbon footprint from buying the same produce from a supermarket (supply chain emissions from farming, fertiliser, transport, retail, packaging etc.).
Carbon Footprint data of fruit and veg for UK consumption
The calculations were prepared using various sources. Priority was given to values with highest relevancy in order of:
- Produced in UK
- Imported from EU
- Imported from the rest of the world
- not imported to UK, produced outside of UK
Unit of measurement: kgCO2e/kg - kilograms of CO2-Equivalents per kilogram of food
Source and scope
The scope for carbon footpring of various produce depends on the source. The main source used was from WWF - HOW LOW CAN WE GO(2009). It measures it's findings from 'cradle to regional distribution centres (RDC)' where data from ScienceDirect measures from 'cradle to grave'. Booths GHG Report 2012 Final's data is mostly cradle to RDC minus transport to the RDC and packaging.
All of the above of these sources contain data for UK consumption. A Germany specific study was made by IFEU - Oekologische Fußabdruecke von Lebensmitte ln und Gerichten in Deutschland(2020) (Ecological footprints of food and dishes in Germany) which is the most recent of all the sources. The original document was translated in-house and used for the purposes of this work.
For any gaps we have used data from https://www.healabel.com/ which uses US Market Data for it's carbon values.
If data for UK farming or consumption was not found, data relevant to other countries was used. If data was not found after extensive research, we made an assumption based on a similar type of produce.
Some data is not UK specific so it may greatly vary. After location, time is the second limitations as some studies are over 10 years old and farming methods would have likely change. For many unusual types of fruit and veg there is still no data available, simply due to lack of farm production
The CO2 saving per crop type data was supplied by Ladislav Maluch at Sow the City.