HelloFresh to offset entire carbon footprint

Meal kit provider HelloFresh has announced its intention to offset 100% of carbon emissions from internal operations and offices, corporate travel and deliveries.

HelloFresh to offset entire carbon footprint

The company’s 17 production sites generate

HelloFresh will partner with a range of organisations to offset its carbon impact, working with German firm Planetly to support European conversation projects, Terrapass in the US and the Woodland Carbon Code in the UK.

The company estimates that 40,000 metric tonnes of carbon will be offset in Europe in 2020, with a further 50,000 tonnes offset in the US. Offsets will be sourced through CCBS or Gold Standard and partner organisations include the Yarra Yarra Reforestation in Australia and the Farm Biomass Project in Canada.

“Whilst we continuously expand our category leadership, further grow our business and advance our role as an important player in the food industry, we need to step up our sustainability actions and commitments,” HelloFresh’s chief executive Dominik Richter said.

“We have made it a priority to continuously evaluate, measure and reduce our carbon emissions. Our carbon offset programme is another step in amplifying our sustainability efforts as we grow. I am very happy about our progress throughout the past months and years and our effort to offer people a more sustainable way to enjoy food.”

The decision to offset could cause some controversy, with many green groups claiming that it enables a “business as usual”.

HelloFresh has taken steps to reduce its global carbon footprint, however. The company states that its short supply chain and deliveries mean that its meal kit delivery was already halfway to becoming carbon-neutral before the new announcement.

The company’s 17 production sites generate, on average, 7g of carbon per dollar of sales – predominantly for lighting and cooling. HelloFresh claims this is 71% lower than the average carbon impact of supermarkets.

Last year, the company reduced the number of kilometres travelled weekly by 15% through route optimisation software used in Belgium and the Netherlands, where it operates an owned fleet.

HelloFresh also claims that its meal kit methods assist in the overall effort to reduce food waste.

Between 25% to 33% of all food produced for human consumption globally is wasted across the value chain. Reports suggest that food waste accounts for 11% of total greenhouse gas emissions and scope 3 emissions account for an estimated 44% of total food waste emissions produced in Europe every year, while the global economic FLW cost stands at $940bn annually, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

A HelloFresh Global Food Waste Study, which the company developed together with the Wuppertal Institute, TU Berlin, FH Muenster, the University of Cambridge, Wageningen University and US non-profit ReFED found that meal kits helped reduce food waste by 21% compared to buying ingredients in-store.

Matt Mace

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