Climate Friendly

Do the greenhouse gases emitted through the production of a product fall below a reasonable threshold?

An overview of HowGood's Climate Friendly attribute methodology, for use in external communications

What does the Climate Friendly attribute measure?

HowGood’s Climate Friendly attribute recognizes food products with low greenhouse gas emissions. HowGood assesses carbon footprint for products across the food system. Products that receive the Climate Friendly attribute have GHGs emissions that are lower than 70% of all products assessed. The assessment for the Climate Friendly attribute takes into account GHG emissions at the agricultural production and ingredient processing stages of the carbon life cycle. Agricultural production (ie. cradle-to-farm gate) includes all inputs required to produce and/or harvest crops, meat, and seafood.

How long does a product qualify for the Climate Friendly attribute?

Products that qualify for Climate Friendly receive access to the attribute for public-facing communications for one year. At the end of the annual contract, products must be reassessed based on the current industry benchmark to re-qualify.

What does the Climate Friendly attribute mean for consumers?

The Climate Friendly attribute provides consumers with a clear indicator of how sustainable a product is with respect to carbon emissions. It’s easy-to-digest and guides consumers toward more sustainable purchases. The Climate Friendly attribute empowers shoppers to make decisions that are in line with their values and preferences. By purchasing Climate Friendly products, consumers can take a step toward reducing their carbon footprint.

What is HowGood’s research methodology for calculating carbon emissions?

HowGood’s methodology for calculating GHG emissions is developed in accordance with the GHG Protocol.

1. HowGood draws on a diverse collection of data sources, including peer reviewed journal articles to calculate the CO2e values for ingredients. For each data source, HowGood performs a data certainty assessment based on the age and comprehensiveness of the findings. This process is completed for every ingredient on which there is accurate and verifiable data. For GHG emissions, HowGood relies on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013 global warming potential estimates where available and crop-specific LCAs.

2. Ingredient Mapping: Once the data is collected and analyzed, HowGood conducts a proprietary process of mapping each ingredient to its source crop, animal or material. Using global import/export data and HowGood industry partnerships, HowGood then maps each source crop to its corresponding geographic location to account for the specific on-the-ground practices, impacts, and risks in each locale.

3. Data Aggregation: HowGood, to date, has mapped nearly every ingredient, chemical and material (33,000 in total) in the CPG industry, including where and how it is produced. This mapping is used to aggregate data across geographic regions or ingredient categories and develop industry-average impact profiles for CO2e across every ingredient.

Based on the ingredient mapping process, HowGood assigns a default location and corresponding industry-average profile for every ingredient in a product. If deeper levels of data granularity are available (from a specific supplier, industry partner, or publication), these specifics are applied.

What data sources does HowGood use to assess GHG emissions?

For GHG emissions, HowGood relies on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013 global warming potential estimates where available and crop-specific LCAs. For crops and locations where no current data exists, HowGood uses relevant LCAs from proxy locations where farming methods are deemed as similar (ie. places that have the same fertilizer requirements, same size farm, etc). Check out our GHG Emissions article for a full list of data sources.

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