Where do we get our data from?
The animal welfare and biodiversity impact of food and beverage products within inoqo are currently covered through qualitative information originating from a broad set of reliable data sources.
We use databases such as GS1, as well as product data provided by individual retailers and food brands to get access to data about the ingredients, allergens, packaging, etc. of food products. This data is consequently mapped with other data sources to estimate the environmental and social impact of products. Next to using publicly available data as a basis, we will soon give food producers the opportunity to provide us with additional data about their products. They will be able to share with us where the ingredients they are using originate from, under which standards (e.g. organic, free-ranged, etc.) they have been produced as well as information about production, transportation and packaging. If a producer decides to not share data with us we will calculate the impact based on “worst-case” scenarios (e.g. non-certified palm oil, caged eggs, etc.) and inform our users that the given brand has not provided data to us, but that the respective product may worst-case contain ingredients that are not aligned with your personal preferences. This way, brands that are transparent with regards to the ingredients used in their products have a higher chance to be in line with the values of our users and consequently are more likely to be purchased. This way we provide a positive incentive for brands to be more transparent and can make sure that we recommend the most sustainable products out there. By doing so we ultimately would like to create a culture of transparency within the food industry.
Independent organizations and research institutes
inoqo relies on data and information provided by renowned organizations (e.g. WWF, Albert Schweitzer Stiftung,...) and research institutes (e.g. IFEU).
Our team is constantly researching and enriching our databases based on the latest scientific publications and reports. Studies and data often vary in the scope and system boundaries of their methodology and are used by us as input very cautiously.Inoqo pays attention to the credibility of experts and databases and ensures that they come from independent and governmental institutions. For example, inoqo uses information from European environmental ministries (e.g. Bilans GES), the database Our World in Data, the Albert Schweitzer Institute as well as from several environmental NGOs (e.g. Greenpeace and WWF).
LabelsLabels demand for certain minimum standards in food production. We are therefore analyzing trustworthy and certified labels and standards and extract the specific information that is relevant for you as a user. To give an example, a pork product that’s certified with the Austrian AMA organic seal originates from a pork that has not been fed with soy from the Amazon.However, as there are now several hundred different eco-labels, private labels and quality seals, it is often difficult for consumers to know which labels and actors they can trust. Inoqo has therefore worked its way through the seal jungle and extracts the standards that a label stands for in detail. Here and here you can find more information about the credibility of quality seals, the criteria by which a product is judged and whether this assessment has been verified by independent experts.
Quality labels that inoqo refers to include:DemeterNaturland Fair AMA Organic Seal EU Organic ASCMSC
To give an example: If you care about animal welfare and you buy an organic chicken, you will receive following message: “Dieses Bioprodukt garantiert Hühnern etwa doppelt so viel Platz in der Haltung als konventionellen Masthühnern.”
Disclaimer: We are humans, so mistakes can happen. If you come across information that seems implausible to you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our feedback form in the app.
How is the CO2 impact of my grocery purchases calculated ?
We currently calculate the CO2e impact of food and beverage products based on product category specific CO2e data, which means, individual products are assigned to the product category which is describing them best with regards to their CO2 impact. The CO2e values are consequently multiplied by the weight of the respective product and displayed in the app. In practice this means that currently we for example show the same CO2 estimate for every 3,6% milk product within inoqo, irrespective of its origin, packaging, way of production, etc. However as a user you are able to specify that you prefere e.g. local milk, organic milk, etc and consequently will be notified in case a product you purchased is not in line with your preferences. At the current state of technology providing CO2 data on a category specific level is the only scalable approach available that allows us to cover the hundreds of thousands of food products available and in practice in most of the product categories the CO2 values within one and the same category are comparable. In other words, it makes a huge difference whether you purchase oat milk or cow milk, while there is little difference in terms of CO2e between a liter of organic milk from Austria in comparison to a liter of conventional milk from Ireland. However this is just the starting point for us. By using inoqo on a regular basis you support our efforts to make our data more and more reliable and accurate over time and to move towards product specific CO2e estimates in the mid-term.
Are your CO2 values always going to be right?
No, assessing the sustainability of food products is a highly complex and challenging endeavor. Variability in the data sets amongst various research institutes and publications differ considerably. Sustainability is a multidimensional concept and there is not always one right answer, but we are giving our best with providing impact data of products based on the latest scientific findings available. Even though we can not guarantee that each individual value will always be right, we can guarantee our users that the overall impact of their consumption decisions will be significantly improved when following inoqo’s recommendations. At inoqo we have the opinion that it’s much more important to incrementally start bringing transparency into the food industry. Even if this means sometimes accepting imperfect results, rather than risking another lost decade of personal climate action, while searching for the perfect solution of the problem that we are aiming to solve.