Climate Score

Accurate and useful information on your food related CO₂ emissions.

Measuring the carbon footprint

The carbon footprint of a food is measured with a life cycle assessment (LCA). It is a systematic and quantitative analysis of the environmental impact of every single life stage of a product. LCAs account for transparency and comparability between the impacts of different life stages such as production, handling, transportation, storage and disposal. Life cycle assessments can thus support us in decision-making by showing which life stages, processes and products have a lower carbon footprint.

All greenhouse gases related to the production of food are expressed in CO₂-equivalents: converted into the amount of carbon dioxide with a similar climate impact. In general, when we talk about CO₂-emissions we actually refer to CO₂-equivalent emissions.

A Comparison of Food Products

More than 60% of all emissions related to food production and consumption come from meat and diary products. In general, animal products have a high carbon footprint. To produce meat, feed needs to be produced first. The production of meat and milk products is not efficient. On average 18 kg of plant protein is needed to raise 1 kg of animal meat protein. In addition, ruminants such as cows and sheep produce large amounts of methane that has a strong impact on climate. Also most milk products have a high carbon footprint, as cream and cheese need several liters of milk to be produced increasing it even more. Plant foods such as grains and vegetables have in general a low carbon footprint as relatively little resources are needed to produce them. However, heated greenhouses and air transportation can also significantly add to the carbon footprint of plant products. Learn more

Focus on what matters most

Educated food choices have the potential to reduce carbon emissions of the food supply chain by at least 50%. The world’s increasing population and the development of wealth combined lead to a rise in demand for food. The demand for meat and diary will increase by 75% and 65% respectively. With current trends proceeding the entire carbon budget of the world will be food related by 2050. Food therefore is at the core of meeting the goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees.Learn more about our climate goals.

Everyone understands that the world will not turn vegetarian entirely. There’s even a case to be made for animal protein raised on steep alpine hills not suitable for vegetable farming. However, the awareness for the substantial environmental cost of animal protein is important, so everyone can make their contribution with a healthy ratio between animal protein and plant protein. To reduce our climate impact the most important food decisions are:

The Climate Score Award

Menus with at least 50% less CO₂ emissions than the average menus earn the Climate Score Award. They all have a 5 out of 5 cloud rating.

Improving One Menu at a Time

We aim to provide sustainable menu choices in any restaurant. To do so, we are measuring the Climate Score of every meal, and provide transparent information on how to improve. So everyone gets access to climate-friendly meals and what it takes to make a difference together.Find out which restaurants serve climate friendly meals.

Calculations done with the Eaternity include all emission of the complete supply chain. The database to calculate the carbon impact is currently the largest and most comprehensive database for carrying out menu CO₂-calculations. It includes more than 550 core ingredients and additional parameters for organic or greenhouse production, processing, packaging and preservation.Learn more about the Eaternity Database.

Updates on the Climate Score

05 Mar 2017 – CO₂-Data Updates

CO₂ data improvements for the EDB; including ecoinvent 3.2

We are happy to announce, that we have made several quality improvements on our data. On the 12th of December, we had our internal release. Now we have made public them to every user of our software. All CO₂-calculations including all recipes, as well as all values in the reports are affected.

Read the full update.

28 Feb 2017 – Eaternity Delegate Partnership

CO₂ footprint now available in your menu-planning

Together with Delegate, we now enable every restaurant to have CO₂ transparency integrated in their existing business processes. Just worry about your menu-planning, we do the rest. Via a web service interface, Delegate receives the calculations of CO₂ values of all recipes per business unit based on the ingredients, taking into account purchase behavior based on delivery notes. Moreover, Eaternity provides a monthly report for the business units. With 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions caused by our food, we now tap into a great potential for climate protection.

Read the full update.


As a multi-stakeholder project, scientific partners, experts and stakeholders are invited to come on board to secure quality, stimulate debate and fruitful exchange. Our long-term vision is to build a knowledge consortium on food and, its related environmental and health impacts.


  1. Decision Criteria Eaternity Awards (DE)
Contributors to the project:
Project organisation: Judith Ellens, Eaternity –
Feldeggstrasse 4, 8008 Zürich
Scientific partners: