At the beginning of 2021, we received support from the EU project Green Circular Transformation, which is supported by Food and Bio Cluster Denmark.
The purpose of the ongoing project is to measure the CO2 footprint of REDUCED’s four stocks, made from surplus raw materials.
Consultants from Naboskab have provided an analysis and calculation of REDUCED’s resource consumption. The analysis includes the following phases: agriculture, transport, production, and packaging of the four stocks. Subsequently, REDUCED has been able to compare the CO2 footprint of own stocks with similar traditional produced stocks.
And, it was very interesting!
In this report, we will explain our choices behind the raw materials and the packaging.
1. REDUCED’s stocks have a lower CO2 footprint
We reduce food waste from the industry by using surplus raw materials. Our stocks also have a lower impact on the environment compared to traditionally produced stocks.
Let’s take a look at the chicken stock.
The chart below illustrates the comparison between REDUCEDs chicken stock and a traditionally produced chicken stock.
Based on the analysis, the REDUCED stock differs from the traditional produce stock in particular in the agricultural phase, whereas the transport, the production itself, and the packaging more or less have the same CO2 footprint.
Why the big difference in the agricultural phase?
REDUCEDs chicken stocks CO2 footprint are based on the assumption using egg-laying hens that already have had a function in their lifetime. It is assumed that egg-laying hens are equal to zero in the CO2 calculation because the hens already have had a function before they became a part of REDUCEDs value chain. Here, however, the utilization that comes from disposing of egg-laying hens for biogas is included as an emission of the surplus raw materials.
Traditional stocks CO2 footprints are calculated on the assumption that normal chickens (meat and bones) are used.
2. Oarweed is CO2 neutral
We buy our oarweed from Nordisk Tang. Nordisk Tang gently harvests the oarweed under controlled conditions. REDUCED uses the weed in the vegetable stock, due to the oarweeds’ delicious umami taste.
Oarweed is particularly sustainable, as it absorbs CO2 during its growth phase. Oarweed absorbs nutrients and sunlight through the plant’s cells, and the process is extremely fast - much faster than trees on land.
Together, these factors are the reason why our vegetable stock is the product with the lowest CO2 footprint. It emits only 0.18 kg CO2e per stock!
3. The shore crabs have a negative impact on the fjord
Our seafood stock has a positive effect on the fjord's edible fishes, and it has a lower CO2 footprint.
The shellfish stock emits 3 times less CO2 than a traditionally produced shellfish stock. This result considers indirect changes in the use of land and the processing of raw materials (ILUC). In 2005, The Technical University of Denmark launched a pilot project with the purpose of investigating shore crabs as raw materials for stock production.
The project defined the use of shore crabs to stock production as a sustainable choice, since the number of crabs can be maintained at the desired level. In other words, the crabs are still able to reproduce regardless of contemporary fishing exploitation.
This product is different from our other stocks, as the ingredients in the other stocks are surplus material from the industry, whereas shore crabs are seen as a hindrance for fishers and the fishing industry. According to Bælternes Fiskeriforening and AqueaMind (2019), the shore crabs are in serious competition for valuable species such as eels, tongues, plaice, and flounder, and they also cause problems for fishing because they damage the fishing nets.
These problems together with the decrease in fishing in the past 7 years, could indicate that the shore crabs have a negative impact on the fjord's production of edible fish.
4. The packaging can be more sustainable
By analyzing our resource consumption, we discovered packaging to be the parameter that has the largest CO2 footprint in our stocks.
At the moment we use glass containers and aluminium lids, which is arguably one of the most sustainable packaging choices. In particular, if the end-user sorts the packaging correctly.
It is very easy to recycle glass, but without a deposit system, we can not control whether the glass will be recycled. If all glasses are recycled we would save 6,8 tons of CO2e.
We are investigating changes in our label design, in order to guide consumers on how to deposit the glass correctly after use.
We are also trying to incorporate the importance of recycling the glasses into our marketing strategy.
Our vision is to produce stocks with the lowest CO2 footprint possible.
Explanation & background
Green Circular Transformation: The CO2 footprint of Reduced stocks'
The surplus raw materials such as egg-laying hens, vegetables, and veal calf bones are calculated on the basis of an alternative utilization process. The shore crabs in the shellfish stocks are seen as bycatch fishing, and these are traditional, not used for anything in Denmark.
Each type of stock has been compared with a traditional stock production, where the climate footprints consider factors such as agriculture, indirect change in the use of land (ILUC) and processing of raw material.
Pilot project for the development of shore crab fisheries for food and feed production (2005)
Since 2002, the Technical University of Denmark has carried out a number of research and development projects with the purpose of utilizing shore crabs, partly for human consumption and partly for animal feed.
The conclusions presented in this report are based on DTU’s Pilot Project from 2005. Prepared by Knud Fischer, Ole S. Rasmussen, Niels F. Johansen, Ulrik Cold and Bo M. Jørgensen.
The project was funded by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and the European Fisheries Fund: "Denmark and Europe invest in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture"
Report about beach crabs: Profitable use of by-products - Beach crabs, (2019).
Shore crabs are a major and growing problem for fishing in inland Danish waters, and Allan Buch, chairman of the Belt Fisheries Association of the University of Copenhagen, has investigated this problem in collaboration with AquaMind. The report examines the possibility of a profitable sorting and handling of shore crabs and other unwanted catches.
Information about seaweed
The information about the seaweeds growth phase and its CO2 footprint comes from Dansk Tang and Nordisk Tang.