SUSTAINABILITY + IMPACT

Lessons from Planet Earth

And Ways to Decrease Your Carbon Footprint

As the climate changes, our efforts to combat it grow increasingly important every day. Our carbon footprint and in turn, our food choices, are areas where we can make a significant impression. With meal delivery services present in our current market, we’ll compare and explore the environmental impact of home-cooked meals vs meal delivery services and the sustainable practices that come with each. 

Carbon Footprint: Understanding What It Really Is: 

What really is a “Carbon Footprint”? Well usually, it refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases (in emissions), including carbon dioxide and methane, that are directly or indirectly produced commonly by individuals, an organization, or a product.‎1   

It’s really about measuring the impact our daily activities have on the environment. The higher our carbon footprint is, the higher waste and greenhouse gases produced and the more harm we bring to the environment.‎2 

But how do we get the numbers to determine what our carbon footprint is? Several factors are considered--for us, it’s measured in tons or kgs of carbon dioxide, things like energy consumption, transport, generation of waste and resource usage are considered under the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard and ISO 14064. These emissions are under three categories dubbed as Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3.‎3 

Based on these parameters, and a comprehensive analysis, from our ESG 2022 Impact Report‎ 4, we produced 257,685.1 kgCO2e—including but not limited to upstream and downstream transportation, electricity, employee commute, internet usage and company vehicles. An offset of 78,766.94 kgCO2e was also reported, in addition to avoiding 8,252.04 kgCO2e of greenhouse gases reaching the atmosphere, made possible through V&B’s compost program. 

In our commitment to sustainability V+B signed The Climate Pledge, where we report regularly and measure the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon elimination we do and our credible offsets.‎4 

Reducing our carbon footprint is vital in our fight against climate change, the less greenhouse gas emissions produced, the higher our chances are in giving the atmosphere time to heal. Meaning slowing down the rising temperature, rising sea-levels and extreme weather events happening across the globe.  

 

How do Meal Delivery Services Help: 

Other than giving you a nice dinner and more time with your family, meal delivery services offer several benefits that can contribute to your own personal journey of reducing your carbon footprint.  

    1. Efficient Use of Resources 

    Since meal delivery services often opt for efficient supply chains, they also have optimized delivery routes; because of that, fuel consumption and emissions are reduced compared to a single person’s trip to grocery store. Here’s a sample of ours: 

     

    Supply Chain

     

    The multiple orders we get everyday are consolidated in one trip per driver, reducing the number of vehicles on the road. The “last mile” is streamlined from the warehouse to the consumer, skipping the retail aspect of the process completely.‎5 Our delivery team also works hard to route the most efficient way to complete a delivery for each of our drivers, making sure that everything is delivered within a certain time frame. 

     

    2. Locally Sourced Ingredients 

    At V+B, we source our ingredients locally, supporting local farmers, which means we don’t need to cross long distances, reducing cars on the road which lowers carbon emissions associated with long-distance imports and contributing to the economy. It’s like eating two berries in one scone!

     

    3Minimized Food Waste 

    In addition to pre-portioned ingredients and already cooked meals minimizing food waste, we also offer a compost program. This reduces the overall demand for food production and prevents unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions from decomposing organic waste in landfills. 

     

    Though cooking at home can be environmentally friendly, it’s also important to consider and explore how other options can impact the environment. 

    Meal delivery services have made significant strides in adopting sustainable practices to minimize their carbon footprint. Prioritizing eco-friendly packaging, optimizing delivery routes for maximum efficiency, and promoting responsible sourcing are just some of the examples we’ve incorporated into our business models to reduce negative environmental impact and promote environmental stewardship. 

    Our containers are 100% compostable, labels recyclable and delivery bags reusable. And through the compost program, we were able to compost 169,234 containers in 2022!  

    By continuing these efforts and swearing by The Climate Pledge signed in 2022, we hope to not only reduce our carbon footprint but also make a positive impact in the industry and lead by example for both other organizations and individuals. 

    Other small ways to reduce your carbon footprint—other than supporting your local meal delivery service—is through simple things like conserving energy, opting for public transportation, or carpooling with your friends and coworkers, recycling, and composting on your own. Even adopting a plant-based diet can help! 

    Every day we strive to create a more sustainable future not only for us but for future generations as well, recognizing the roles humans and our daily activities and organizations we support play in the overall picture of fighting climate change. Supporting these services and making conscious choices are the small ways we can contribute to the global sustainability effort to protect our environment and ensure the planet we live on gets healthier day by day. 

     

    Bibliography 

    1. ​​The Nature Conservancy, n.d. What is a carbon footprint?. 
    2. ​OSMANSKI, S., 2021. How Is Your Carbon Footprint Measured?. 
    3. ​BDC, n.d. How to measure your carbon footprint?
    4. ​DeVito, J. M., 2022. V+B 2022 Impact Report 
    5. ​Bell, N., 2021. How Do Grocery and Meal Kit Deliveries Impact the Carbon Footprint of Our Food?

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