Methodology

Introduction

Our food production is directly responsible for a large part of the massive loss of biodiversity and the climate crisis. Furthermore, with our diet, we contribute to the exploitation of animals, environmental pollution, and poor working conditions. The following figures should clarify this once again

[1]
26%
of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the food supply chain
[2]
43%
of the ice-free and desert-free area on earth is covered by agriculture
[3]
2/3
of freshwater abstraction is used for irrigation

By promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, with inoqo, you contribute to climate protection and more environmentally friendly use of our natural resources.

Background and methodology

inoqo relies on reliable data sources and statements from renowned experts to be able to offer you an overview of the ecological and social consequences of your purchase. Inoqo pays attention to the independence of experts and databases and ensures that they come from independent and renowned institutions.

Inoqo uses databases such as GS1 and other product data provided by retailers and food brands to obtain more detailed information on products. In this way, we receive information about the ingredients, allergens, packaging, etc. of food. This data is then linked to other data sources to determine the environmental and social impact of products. If manufacturers do not provide us with the necessary data, we communicate the effects based on "worst-case" scenarios (e.g. non-certified palm oil, caged eggs for processed products, etc.) and do this for our users also transparently.

CO₂ guide value

When we talk about CO₂ emissions from products, we mean all of the greenhouse gases that arise in the production of food. These are expressed as CO₂ equivalents.

To estimate the CO₂ emissions of your purchased products, we use various renowned databases, such as the Agribalyse database from Ademe, as well as individual scientific studies and publications, such as this one here (insert Hyperlink). This assessment is currently carried out at the product category level and not based on manufacturer-specific properties. This means that we can already evaluate the approximate CO₂ impact of your purchase and give you tips on how to reduce your ecological footprint. By comparing your CO₂ impact with global emissions and the emissions of an average Austrian, you get a feel for the relation of your impact.

In order to limit global warming to 1.5 °C (as intended for in the Paris Climate Agreement), we must reduce our personal carbon footprint from around 9 tons per person per year [1] to 1-2 tons per person by 2040. That means we have to reduce our emissions by approx. 85% by 2040 [2]! inoqo supports you on this path with various information and tips. You can compare yourself with other inoqo users and set yourself goals for your diet with inoqo challenges and CO₂ reduction recommendations. To limit global warming to 1.5 °C, it is not enough to just reduce the diet-related emissions, so we would like to support you step by step in other areas of life. Until these functions are available, you can calculate your personal footprint here: https://co2-rechner.at/

[1] According to the “Klimaschutzbericht” (Umweltbundesamt) Austria emits 79 Mio. tons of CO2 (2018). Divided by the Austrian population (8.858.775 people) this equals 8,9 tons of CO2 emissions per person per year.

[2]  Siehe u.a. Diese Studie: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Aalto University, and D-mat ltd. 2019. 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Targets and Options for Reducing Lifestyle Carbon Footprints. Technical Report. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Hayama, Japan.

Data sources for CO₂

inoqo uses the following sources, among others, to evaluate the sustainability effects of products:

  • Klimatarier vom IfEU Institut (September 2020)
  • ADEME Bilans GES (September 2020)
  • Agribalyse
Environment, social affairs and animal welfare

In addition to data on CO₂ emissions, we also provide you with product-specific content and information, for example on the following topics:

  • Animal welfare
  • Packaging
  • Biodiversity / extinction of species
  • Regionality and seasonality
  • Resource consumption
  • Rainforest destruction
  • Social conditions
  • And many more.

In order to be able to offer you as complete an overview as possible of the ecological and social consequences of your purchase, we dig our way through the jungle of quality labels for you and continuously add further information about your products based on reliable data sources and statements from renowned experts.
We particularly frequently use studies and publications from FiBL (Research Institute for Organic Agriculture), the “Land Creates Life” initiative, and, of course, the directives and standards of the individual quality labels.

But we also often fall back on individual scientific studies or publications - you can usually see where the respective information comes from using the direct links added to the texts in the app.

We find the following sources particularly extensive and well prepared for a large audience:

  • Land schafft leben
  • Our World in Data – Sustainability of Food
  • WWF Fisch- und Fleischratgeber
  • WWF zu Palmöl (Herstellerbewertung auf S.18)
  • WWF-Detail-Übersicht zu Fleisch-Labels
  • Einkaufsführer für Schweinefleisch von Tieranwalt.at
Labels and seals of approval

Labels or seals of approval can help consumers choose healthy and sustainable products. They provide information about the quality of the products (concerning, for example, ecological, social, or health aspects) and production methods. However, since 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 jungle of seals and extracted the standards for which a label stands in detail.

Quality labels, for which we are currently providing information on selected product groups, include:

  • EU-Bio
  • Demeter
  • Bio Austria
  • AMA-Gütesiegel
  • AMA Bio-Siege
  • RSPO
  • Tierschutz kontrolliert
  • Tierwohl kontrolliert
  • ASC
  • MSC
  • Pole & Line

If you would like to get an overview for yourself, we have linked a couple of seals of approval overviews in which different organizations have evaluated the quality and credibility of existing seals of approval:

  • Global 2000 Gütesiegel-Check
  • Label-Kompass von bewusstkaufen.at
  • NABU Siegelcheck
  • WWF zu Palmöl (Herstellerbewertung auf S.18)
  • Gütezeichen-Übersicht der Arbeiterkammer
  • Label-Info.ch
Overview

Currently, our assessment only provides a rough overview of the ecological and social effects of the products on the basis of the information available to us and therefore contains an uncertainty factor.
However, we are already working on an Impact Estimator Technology (Auto-LCA) to take product-specific information (e.g. from manufacturers) into account in the future.
An LCA (life cycle analysis) is a life cycle analysis with which the environmental impact (e.g. CO₂) of a product is measured. This systematic analysis of the ecological effects of products during their entire life cycle is also known as the life cycle assessment. With the help of life cycle assessments, the ecological impact of products can be made more transparent and comparable. With our Impact Estimator, we want to look at the various processes and phases of life such as production, transport, storage, use, and disposal to be able to estimate the ecological footprint of food even more precisely. At the same time, life cycle assessments can also serve as a decision-making aid for producers in order to support them in reducing the environmental impact of their products.

By autumn 2021, we plan to have developed a prototype, which we would like to test with scientists and food producers.

Disclaimer

We obtain our data from a variety of different sources, which are updated at different times. Sometimes incomplete databases have to be researched and completed manually. We do our work to the best of our knowledge, but it is human to make mistakes and it can happen to us at one point or another. We, therefore, hope for your understanding and ask you to contact us if you have any questionable information so that we can check the information and correct it if necessary. To report incorrect, incomplete, or questionable information or for general questions about the methodology, please send us an email to support@inoqo.com. No liability is assumed for the correctness, completeness, and topicality of the information offered or for external content to which reference is made via hyperlinks.

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