Shoppers buy less red meat after Norwegian grocer adds CO2 footprint to receipts

Online supermarket Oda recently revealed that its customers have been buying less red meat since it started adding carbon labels to receipts, and that sales of plant-based products grew twice as fast as those of meat.

In winter of 2020, the Norwegian grocer started adding a weekly 'climate footprint' report to order receipts. Rather than listing CO2 emissions for individual items, Oda shows emissions per food group and quantity purchased by the customer. 

Food groups are marked on a scale from red to green, where red food groups have the highest greenhouse gas emissions, and green ones the lowest. Beef, for example, might be red, while chicken’s lower footprint lands it in the amber zone.

Consumers can also see how their climate footprint for the current week compares with that of previous weeks. The dashboard was developed in partnership with climate research institute CICERO.

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No, individuals shouldn't be tasked with solving the climate crisis — that will take comprehensive regulatory action on a much larger scale.

But consumers do play a role, and food accounts for 10-30% of a household's carbon footprintTo make better choices, they need information that's both relevant and easily accessible.

Is your brand keeping score? Whether it's carbon footprints, social justice or other ethical benchmarks, be sure to share results. Innovation is awesome — tangible results are even better ;-)

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