It's tough out there

Choosing food that has a lower negative impact on the environment and our world is a challenging endeavour indeed.

Sustained changes all that by providing environmental impact information for individual products. Based on science and data, we show an easy to use environmental score for products.. 

Choosing environmentally friendly food has never been easier!

But, how does Sustained calculate the impact for these products?

A graphic on Sustained's product footprint.

It's all in the details

Sustained currently focuses on the production stage of the food life cycle in assessing the impact of each product by considering the ingredients of each product. 

We use data to asses the estimated environmental impact of the production of food products using their ingredients. This is done using scientific studies and data (called Life Cycle Assessments or LCA) to calculate the impact across 7 categories.

These are the core inputs into our environmental impact rating calculations and algorithms.

Our assessment systems then assigns a rating (A to G) to the food products where A is great and G is bad. This rating is relative to all the other products in our system and as food production systems improve, newer products will be rated better than the older ones.

Sometimes we have for additional information about a product to help you make even more informed choices. These include "Low GHG emissions" (less climate change impact!) and "Local product" (made closer to where you live, so less travel!). These show up right next to the product rating as icons.
 
Several LCA databases are used in conjunction with a global assessment framework to provide a baseline impact assessment.  This is then used by the Sustained systems to determine a relative impact rating for each product.

Please note that the score is estimated due to the nature of the LCA data sets in use. Sustained aims to add support for verified ratings over time.

Why relative, you ask? Simply put, food production processes, including farming, pesticides, transport, and more, will continue evolving and hopefully becoming better with less environmental impact over time. Thus our assessment of product impact must adjust relative to the state of the art as this happens, rather than being based on an arbitrary starting as of today.

The Sustained system data sources in use today:

- Ecoinvent 3.7
- Agribalyse 3.01

The LCA framework used to calculate the product ingredient impact baselines:

- ReCiPe2016 - Midpoint (H)

Key impact categories currently assessed:

- Land use
- Water use
- Global warming (Climate change)
- Human carcinogenic toxicity (Human health (Cancer))
- Fossil resource scarcity (Fossil fuel use)
- Marine ecotoxicity (Ocean pollution)
- Terrestrial ecotoxicity (Soil pollution)

Currently supported UK stores:

- Sainsbury’s (www.sainsburys.co.uk)
- Ocado (www.ocado.com)
- Tesco (www.tesco.com)

Please note that the rating coverage will increase over time as Sustained adds additional databases, ingredients and LCA impacts to the system.

Known limitations:

- Product ratings are currently normalised on based on scoring 1kg of each ingredient, and do not factor in actual weight of the product.  This will be addressed in the near future to reflect the weight of the product and the proportionality of the ingredients.
- Transport and packaging is included in the impact calculations on a per ingredient basis, but not as the final product production itself.

If you have any questions on the methodology, approach, data sources, and scoring, please get in touch directly with us on hello@sustained.com.

Install Sustained today

Sustained Choice is available on Safari and Chrome browsers with in-store companion app on iOS and Android coming soon.

The Sustained Choice extension is currently only available on Chrome or Safari desktop browsers.

Visit this page on a desktop computer and install today.

A mobile app for iOS and Android is coming soon.

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