Granular Impact Accounting for the Food Industry

Sustainability software for scalable impact reporting across the food system

Sustainability Reporting built for the Food Industry

For 16 years, HowGood has focused exclusively on agricultural production research for the food industry, setting us apart with our deep expertise and data-driven sustainability solutions. We are the home of best-in-class data that sets the gold standard for sustainability insights in the food and beverage industry. Our SaaS platform, Latis, delivers granular impact data for measuring, improving, and communicating company impact across teams and to the public. 

With Latis, you can set your sustainability strategy with data you can trust, due to unrivaled granularity at scale that aligns with all major reporting frameworks. Experience the difference with a comprehensive and data-driven approach to sustainability, empowering you to make informed decisions that drive positive change throughout your organization.



Impact factors for over 33,000 food ingredients


Reporting aligned with leading sustainability standards


Food & agricultural production impact focus


Carbon accounting with crop- and location-specific data 


On-demand GHG reports for strategy and communications


Holistic Impact Factors for Over 30,000 Food Ingredients

Sustainability insights for companies throughout the food system

HowGood sets itself apart with the unparalleled breadth of our database, covering over 30,000 ingredients, chemicals and materials to provide comprehensive sustainability insights for CPGs, retailers, ingredient vendors, and food service providers. Our extensive coverage includes data for raw materials and processed ingredients not commonly available in emissions databases, ensuring that we deliver accurate and relevant information for the unique needs of food companies across the supply system. 

Comprehensive approach to sustainability strategy

While the food industry has grown more aware of their impact on greenhouse gas emissions, HowGood remains committed to helping companies measure and manage their impact across a diverse and comprehensive set of metrics. This approach enables Sustainability, R&D, and Procurement teams to be working hand-in-hand to ensure comprehensive target-setting and impact communications across factors ranging from water usage to biodiversity to animal welfare, among others. 


Sustainability Reporting Aligned to Leading Industry Standards

HowGood’s platform produces data that is aligned with all major sustainability and climate reporting frameworks:

This alignment allows you to confidently navigate the complex landscape of sustainability reporting while demonstrating your commitment to a greener future.

Scaled Utilization of Life Cycle Assessments

HowGood sources impact data from thoroughly-vetted agricultural life cycle assessments (LCAs). Although LCAs were initially developed for industrial applications rather than agricultural products, they remain valuable for assessing environmental impacts. However, due to the limited number of comprehensive agricultural LCAs relevant for the food industry, relying solely on LCAs may not provide a complete picture of environmental impact across the entire sector.

Sustainability teams often leverage individual ingredient or product LCAs, which will provide an in-depth analysis, but one that is static, specific to a single source location, and cannot be applied at scale across their portfolio. Our platform uses these vetted traditional agricultural LCAs while incorporating data from a myriad of other peer-reviewed sources to create a “living” LCA that is nuanced, dynamic, and can provide like-for-like comparisons across countless ingredient alternatives.

Rigorously-Vetted Data Sources

The foundation of HowGood’s data is a diverse and continuously updated collection of data sources, including peer-reviewed journal articles, academic conference proceedings and texts, aggregated commercial databases, targeted industry studies, NGO research, government publications, and Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs). 



Impact Factors with a Food and Agricultural Production Focus

Farm-to-Farm Gate Impact

At HowGood, our primary focus lies in agricultural production, allowing us to dive deep into the intricacies of the highly specialized industry. Our carbon life cycle maps from cradle to grave, with a focus on the farm-to-farm gate level. For many food products, as much as 70 to 90% (Crippa et al., 2021)  of the product impact is determined before it leaves the farm gate, so by concentrating our efforts around on-farm impact, we ensure that our platform delivers the most relevant and accurate data for companies involved in food and beverage production.

Full Supply System Transparency

Our system boundaries encompass various aspects of the agricultural supply chain, from raw materials to processing, packaging, and transportation. This comprehensive scope enables us to provide a holistic understanding of a food company’s sustainability footprint. Our modeled analysis also allows us to make the most likely assumptions and provide the best default values for these additional stages of the carbon lifecycle, especially when companies may not have all the necessary data. As a result, HowGood delivers relevant and actionable insights, empowering businesses to make informed decisions that drive positive change throughout the entire value system.


Crop- and Location-Specific Impact Data Without Relying on Global Averages

Crop-Specific Data

In focusing our research specifically on agricultural production, HowGood follows a highly-targeted proxy selection process (when a data provider uses a similar crop in place of one for which data is not available) that prioritizes the relevance of species and geographic characteristics. While large databases commonly use very broad proxies, our selection process avoids the pitfalls of these overly-generalized analyses. 

One leading research paper found that some large databases use a value for peanuts as a proxy for all tree crops (Poore & Nemecek, 2018). One is an annual legume while the other is a long-living, perennial, tree crop each with significantly different environmental impacts.

It’s also not uncommon to see “fruit juice” as a proxy for everything from strawberries to guavas, or “sweeteners” used for both cane sugar and stevia.

Location-Specific Data

Because sourcing locations can be difficult to determine, databases often rely on “global averages” rather than producing location-specific impact factors for a given ingredient. 

In HowGood’s database, using wheat as an example, we have 21 specific geographies available – the value ranging from 0.13 to .7 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per kilogram of wheat. In other words, depending on which of the 21 geographies your wheat is sourced from, (not accounting for ingredient concentration), its carbon emissions could range anywhere from 0.13 to .7 kg of CO2 emitted for every kilogram of wheat produced. (For more on ingredient concentration, see Figure X)

Here you can see the variance from industry standard in red, and how wheat sourced from Australia shows a nearly 63% difference from the global average.

Or if we go even more granular, to the state level in the US, you can see that wheat from North Dakota shows a nearly 82% variance. ​

At HowGood, we understand the importance of crop- and location-specific data in accurately assessing the sustainability of agricultural products. That’s why we emphasize location-specific granularity, avoiding the use of global averages that could potentially lead to misplaced carbon reduction strategies, inaccurate public reporting, or incorrect spending on carbon offsets. 

No Vendor Data REquired

Our platform delivers crop- and location-specific data, utilizing predictive sourcing locations derived from documented global import/export information. Throughout the innovation and reporting process, you have the ability to use HowGood’s predicted ingredient sourcing locations or enter your own when you have it available. This means that vendor and source location data is not required for producing a highly-accurate impact report, though HowGood can ingest it when preferred.

Primary Data Integration

For customers with primary data available, we offer the ability to ingest that data and ensure that insights are tailored to your unique supply system dynamics. Users can integrate data from commissioned Life Cycle Assessments and studies, utilize HowGood’s Agricultural Practices Survey to gather vendor sourcing information, allow vendors to upload data confidentially via HowGood’s Sustainability Data Portal, and export data from third-party primary data software programs. Ingested data can also include specific manufacturing processes and  energy consumption, enabling highly-specific reporting. 

When available, primary data ingestion increases the accuracy of impact insights by getting even more granular and reflecting on-the-ground practices, allowing you to make informed decisions with confidence.


On-demand GHG reports at the ingredient, product, or portfolio-level

Real-Time Research Updates

Latis not only offers the most granular data, it also delivers a scalable solution that adapts to the ever-evolving landscape of sustainability for small, midsize, or enterprise-level companies. 

Our database is kept up to date by a team of in-house agricultural and carbon specialists, data scientists and researchers, reflecting the latest developments and research in the field. By adhering to industry-standard methodologies, our platform ensures that you are well-prepared for upcoming regulations and reporting requirements.

Cost-Effective Reporting

Sustainability reporting can become an extremely time- and resource-intensive endeavor. LCAs, for example, require a detailed level of primary and secondary research which necessitates hiring a special consultant costing in the $50,000 to $200,000 range–and that’s per product. 

HowGood brings all of this cutting-edge research and continuously-updated data to the fingertips of a single user of the Latis platform. This gives sustainability teams access to exponentially more vetted data, saving valuable working hours and financial resources.

A closer look at how HowGood accounts for ingredient concentration ...

Ingredient concentration refers to the impact that is transferred from the raw material to the ingredient. Throughout the process of harvesting a raw material and converting it into a finished ingredient for use in the food and beverage industry, low-value materials (such as waste and byproducts) are inevitably produced in order to extract high-value materials (such as fats, sugars, proteins and other materials). In order to measure the total impact of the ingredient, the ingredient concentration value of a given ingredient is multiplied by the total greenhouse gasses, land use, blue water usage and deforestation associated with growing or raising the raw material. Using the example of a single ingredient, apple juice concentrate, our methodology for calculating greenhouse gas ingredient concentration includes...
HowGood's research team conducts a global search of academic, industry, NGO and government data sets for on-farm emissions for apple production in the United States. We ensure that the study meets our data quality standards, prioritizing studies that are peer-reviewed, recent, based on direct measurements (rather than secondary data), transparent about data sources and assumptions, inclusive of multiple study sites, and have functional units and system boundaries that reflect cradle-to-farm gate emissions. For U.S. apple production, our team identified the following source: Kumar Venkat (2012) Comparison of Twelve Organic and Conventional Farming Systems: A Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Perspective, Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 36:6, 620-649.
Once we have identified a relevant source, we extract the Cradle to Farm Gate emission factor for apples as the starting point for calculating the emissions of apple juice concentrate. In this case, the Cradle to Farm Gate emission factor for apples is 0.108 kg CO2e per kilogram of apples. However, this is just the emission factor for apples – a raw ingredient – not apple juice concentrate, a processed ingredient. A key component of HowGood’s proprietary database is a catalog of allocation values for processed ingredients. We know that it takes 4.545kg of apples to produce 1kg of apple juice concentrate, so we multiply this by the Cradle to Farm Gate emission factor to arrive at a value of 0.4909 kg CO2e / kg of apple juice concentrate.
What makes HowGood's platform different is that our carbon emissions measurements are all available at scale - 4,700 ingredient concentration calculations for different crop/location combinations are available out-of-the-box, in Latis. This includes not only standard ingredients like apples but also harder-to-find ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and hydrolyzed yeast.
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The Power of HowGood's Granular Carbon Accounting

HowGood’s commitment to providing granular carbon accounting for the food industry has set a new standard for data-driven sustainability insights. With a comprehensive ingredient database, accurate metrics, and scalable solutions, our platform is uniquely designed to address the complex needs of the food and beverage industry. By offering in-depth, location-specific data and continuously evolving to stay current with industry standards and regulations, HowGood empowers you to make informed decisions that drive meaningful change in your organization. 

Don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to managing your sustainability journey. Choose HowGood, and harness the power of our best-in-class data to create a more sustainable future for your business and our planet.


  1. Crippa, M., Solazzo, E., Guizzardi, D., Monforti-Ferrario, F., Tubiello, F. N., & Leip, A. (2021). Food Systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Nature Food, 2(3), 198–209.

  2. Poore, J., & Nemecek, T. (2018). Reducing Food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science, 360(6392), 987–992.

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