The Crucial Role of Data in the Cocoa Industry for Sustainable Progress

February 6, 2024

Assessing food product environmental impact is complex, especially when you don’t know what you need to look for and where to start.

A cacao drink, for example, contains a surprising array of ingredients, each contributing differently to the product's overall environmental footprint. Relying on commercial databases can be problematic due to limitations such as incomplete data on specific ingredients, inaccurate geographical information and misleading averages.

At inoqo, we understand the importance of having accurate and comprehensive data to make informed choices throughout your supply chain. That's why we've calculated thousands of thousands of datasets, covering all possible plant and animal-based products for countries around the world, in line with IPCC and EU PEF guidelines. With our database, we have the information needed to assess the impact of food products and ingredients, empowering retailers and F&B brands to assess and manage the emissions coming from their supply chain in a granular and scalable way.

Why does it matter ?

To illustrate the significance of our approach, consider the case of cocoa beans. 

inoqo’s proprietary Impact Database has in total 53 country-specific values when it comes to cocoa beans. We've analyzed the global warming potential associated with producing 1 kg of cacao beans in three different countries: Brazil, Bolivia, and Côte d'Ivoire. Our calculation takes into account differences in fertilizer consumption, yield, climate and soil and, particularly, land use change (LUC) between countries, which by itself can have drastic effects on the climate impact.

So, let’s summarize: 

Brazil: Approximately 2.1  kg of CO2e

Bolivia: Approximately 6.7  kg of CO2e

Côte d'Ivoire: Approximately 38.4 kg of CO2e

Standing out starkly is Côte d'Ivoire’s cocoa production, which has a carbon footprint of approximately 38.4 kg of CO2e. This significant difference is primarily due to extensive deforestation and land use change for cocoa bean cultivation, and it has led to the loss of 90% of its rainforests since the 1960s. This example illustrates the importance of considering the country of origin when assessing Scope 3 emissions throughout the supply chain. By integrating these considerations, businesses can make more informed sourcing choices that not only reduce their environmental footprint but also contribute to their overall sustainability efforts.

🌍 Do you want to understand how to calculate the environmental impact of a cacao drink following all LCA stages? Join our webinar with Bernhard Wohner, our Head of Research, as we simplify the process in "Assessing the Environmental Impact of a Cacao Drink through all LCA Stages"

🔗 Register Now:

Let's Collaborate on Your Scope 3 Emission Reduction!

Every choice made by individuals in the food chain, whether big or small, has an impact on the climate. These collective choices contribute to achieving zero emissions in the agriculture, food, and land use sectors. At inoqo, we conduct product impact assessments for grocery retailers, F&B brands and other food companies, calculating the climate, biodiversity, and social impact of all your food and beverage products. Reach out to us at to explore how we can guide your business towards a low-impact future.

February 6, 2024

by Laura

from inoqo

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