What's a life cycle assessment?
How do we know what’s climate friendly and what’s not?
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is the scientific methodology used to calculate the environmental and climate impacts of a product or activity. This measures the impact at every stage of a product’s journey. At Evocco, we currently only use climate impact (greenhouse gas emissions) in our scoring, and you can read more about the difference between climate and environmental impact here. From the growing of the grain to the baking of the bread there are many different steps involved, so the first decision of any LCA is to define the scope of the analysis, of which there are three:
Emissions as a direct result of operational use from controlled sources, e.g. emissions from driving a combustion car
Indirect emissions e.g. the emissions associated with the manufacture of the car and the running of the showroom etc
Further indirect emissions both up and downstream of the product e.g. the emissions from mining the raw materials used to produce the car and the emissions from the end of life disposal of the vehicle
You can read more about LCA here.
We collaborate with Eaternity, a LCA company based in Zurich that specialises in LCA for food products, to calculate the score of food products shown in the app. Eaternity use a Scope 3 analysis to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with each food product.
This Scope 3 analysis means that our scores account for not only the emissions from growing the crops, but also from the agricultural inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides. For an animal product, this means we account for the emissions from the animal as it grows, the feed inputs, and inputs that were used to grow that animal feed in the first place. The score also accounts for transportation of the food from where it was produced to where it was sold, and the packaging of the product. You can read more about how all of this relates to the information we get when you photograph your receipt here.
LCA gives us the product's climate impact, a combination of all the main greenhouse gas emissions from a product, in tonnes of CO2e (Carbon Dioxide Equivalent). We then combine it with some nutritional factors, which you can read more about here. The end result is a five star rating to help you get the most nutritious food for the lowest climate impact.