Foodsteps News: Collaborating With WRAP On The Emissions Factor Database

Joe Duncan-DuggalJoe Duncan-Duggal

By Joe Duncan-Duggal

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Update: This article was updated on June 6th 2023 after Foodsteps completed an update on the WRAP database. Reporting scope 3 emissions has always been a hurdle for the food industry, consistently posing a challenge to consumers' and suppliers' ability to fully understand the environmental impact of their food. This is why we’re excited to release our latest partnership with WRAP, an NGO working around the globe to tackle the causes of the climate crisis and give the planet a sustainable future, helping to bolster their Emissions Factor Database.

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Our new collaboration with WRAP on this new resource aims to help food and drink businesses in the UK complete their scope 3 emissions reporting. It is a critical resource in helping the UK food and drinks sector achieve the Courtauld Commitment 2030 GHG target. This commitment is to deliver a 50% absolute reduction in GHG emissions associated with food and drink consumed in the UK by 2030 (against a 2015 baseline).

Foodsteps was commissioned by WRAP to provide both a critical peer review and, subsequently, several necessary updates to the database as part of a robust third-party quality assurance process.

"Releasing this freely available resource removes barriers to engagement with environmental impact data on food, making it genuinely accessible to all. I'm excited that this great resource is finally out there. Collaborating with WRAP on their emissions factor database was a pleasure."

- Joe Duncan-Duggal, Chief Scientific Officer at Foodsteps.

To review the database, we assessed a draft and drilled into the methodologies of the underlying data sources to ensure that they were incorporated consistently and robustly.

Some of our resulting updates were:

  • Adding more data to the database
  • Removing data of insufficient quality or an inconsistent underlying method
  • Adding more detail to observations already included to enhance the usability
  • Adjusting the structure of the database to better fit emissions from land-use change when reported in source data
  • Updating the data quality scores of the different data sources based on our interrogation of their methodologies and reporting

2023 updates include: 

  • Harmonising all observations so that impacts are reported per kilogram or per litre at the point of sale, making it easier to compare them.
  • Adding new data, including that released by Foodsteps in our report on the Food Footprint 100, in order to make the database more useful for UK businesses, with UK-specific data.
  • For key product groups, investigating the robustness of observations included with respect to the GHG Protocol Land Sector and Removals Guidance.

Access the newly updated Emissions Factor Database via WRAP here.

With this renewed collaboration with WRAP, we hope that our collaborative work within the industry will continue to help food and drink businesses save time and alleviate their dependency on in-house sustainability experts when it comes to Scope 3 emissions reporting.

Join the companies who already use Foodsteps@ to measure, report and reduce their environmental impact.