Measuring our impact
When starting out as a business we were conscious of not creating another product that depletes more resources from our planet. There was no point, in our opinion, of solving one issue and creating another. For us to be comfortable ploughing ahead, we believed we needed to understand the total impact of our business - from the point at which an ingredient is planted to it ending up in your hands.
All of our decisions as a business are linked to the environmental impact, regardless of whether or not their detrimental to our bottom line. To truly ascertain what the impact of our plant-based cheeses are, we’re starting out on a research project to cross-compare them to their dairy equivalent. For example, we’ll be pitting the complete impact of producing a plant-based ricotta vs a dairy ricotta. The three factors we’re focussing on comparing are CO2 emissions, land usage and water usage.
We’ve been extremely encouraged about the significantly reduced impact of producing Plant Based Cheese vs dairy by an Oxford University research paper titled “Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers” published in 2018. The paper is extremely thorough, assessing 199 nut farms (almond and cashew farms make up the bulk of this study), 1862 dairy farms and 354 tofu farms.
The paper looks at the production of 50+ food products. This includes cheese and the main base of our plant based cheeses, nuts and soy. The results from the paper are staggering, highlighting the huge strain dairy cheese places on the environment comparative to the growth of nuts and soy. In fertile landscapes, the production of nuts from a water usage standpoint can be as low as zero, with no irrigation needed. Dairy farmed cheese on the other hand still requires vast amount of water regardless of if it’s being grown in a fertile area or not. Moreover, there are also examples of some nuts sequesting (capturing carbon) and therefore having a positive impact upon the environment.
We would be the first to admit this is not concrete evidence, and can merely be used as a sign to dig a little deeper. Nuts and soy make up 70-80% of our plant based cheeses so we cannot like for like compare that data without including the full ingredients and the specific nut in question. We should also highlight that this data is a median average of results.
During the Spring of 2019, we'll begin our research and will continue to update this page and social channels with our results.
What we're measuring
CO2 EMISSIONS | WATER USAGE | LAND USAGE