KTP provides carbon footprint certification for Quorn(TM)

2012 Quorn Logo single colour orange halftone

Sustainability attributes have potential to provide future growth for meat-alternative business.

North Yorkshire-based QuornTM Foods is a global, market-leading food brand and manufacturer offering a wide range of meat alternative products to the vegetarian and meat-reducer markets.

QuornTM initiated a KTP in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Food Innovation that commenced early in 2011. The aim of the KTP was to produce a robust evidence base focussing on the ‘cradle to grave’ product carbon footprint of its best-selling products – QuornTM Mince and QuornTM Chicken-style pieces. The findings would therefore provide strategic direction for the business in communicating the sustainability attributes of a meat-alternative product range.  

The carbon footprint model followed the BSI PAS 2050 specification for the assessment of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services and successfully achieved Carbon Trust certification in 2012 - providing further verification of the footprint figures and the opportunity to use the Carbon Reduction Label. The Carbon Reduction Label allows QuornTM to communicate the carbon footprint measurement of its product as well as a commitment to reduce. It will be used on-pack in Nordic markets, as well as part of a new product launch into South Africa.

The carbon toolkit developed has since been used to certify additional product footprints, as well as provide insight into how resource efficiencies can further reduce the product and organisational carbon footprint. For example, energy efficiency projects have saved the business approx. £150,000 over the course of the KTP (reducing the product footprint further) whilst Quorn’s Head Office site is heading for zero waste to landfill status. 

Cost savings of approx. £1 million are expected as part of raw material and ingredient efficiencies – specifically in the reduced use of egg albumen within the finished products, reducing the carbon footprint further. 

Comparing with published ‘cradle to factory gate’ chicken and beef product carbon footprints, the figures reveal the footprints of UK retail Quorn mince and chicken-style pieces - compared using the same boundary scope - are at least 5 times less than beef and 1.5 times less than chicken.

Louise Needham, Sustainability Manager (former KTP Associate) comments – ‘Instinctively we perhaps already believe a vegetarian diet to be more environmentally benign than one more reliant on animal-based proteins, yet the KTP provided confidence and evidence behind this. With further research into the water and land use impacts of our products, we will be in a much better place to participate in debate around sustainable diets - how Quorn can provide healthier food options that are kind to the planet and that people love to eat.’

10/06/2013 - Back to news
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