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Serving plant-based food can reduce a meal’s carbon footprint by 92%, says research

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Moving Mountains

Adding plant-based options to the menu could reduce a meal’s carbon footprint by as much as 92%, according to the latest research by Moving Mountains. 

The plant-based meat alternatives company has teamed up with food emissions experts Klimato to analyse its full product range, revealing that even small swaps at scale can make a huge difference. 

For example, when a restaurant serves 1,000 Moving Mountains burgers to customers, instead of beef burgers, a total of 4244 kg CO2e is saved from being emitted into the atmosphere, and each meal’s carbon footprint is reduced by 92%. This is the same as driving for 3470km in a passenger car to Cairo in Egypt from London, or using a smartphone for 180.7 years.

A bowl of its meatballs reduce a meal’s carbon footprint by 82% compared to its meat counterpart, while a serving of mince slashes it by 93%. Its hot dogs result in an 85% reduction and its No Fish Fillets a 51% fall.

Klimato’s Life Cycle assessment methodology takes into consideration all aspects of the supply chain from raw materials sourcing to manufacturing, transport, storage, and packaging. The new data now makes it possible to see the everyday comparisons between Moving Mountains’ plant-based range and its meat alternatives, helping customers and restaurant owners easily understand the difference they can make through simple swaps.

In addition, Moving Mountains has added an impact calculator tool to its website to help hospitality operators compare the impact plant-based and meat products have on the environment.

According to Klimato, the food industry accounts for up to a third of all global emissions, which means that consumers’ current eating habits have a bigger impact on the climate than all global transport combined.

Eloise Bristow, head of marketing at Moving Mountains, said: “We want to show people that we are still in the driving seat shaping our own future, and that something as seemingly insignificant as what we put on our plates can genuinely make a huge difference to our planet.”

Ollie Judge, head of marketing at Klimato, added: “Carbon literacy on food is still far from adequate, which is why we believe raising awareness and educating customers and stakeholders on food-related emissions is key in this industry. We are proud to have partnered with Moving Mountains on this journey and impressed by their commitment and results. Small choices really can move mountains!”

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