The Beelong Indicator
Our mission is to promote transparency on the food market and communicate the impact of food on the planet, in order to help caterers and the food industry reduce this.
In 2050 there will be 10 billion mouths to feed on our planet. Consequently, we cannot continue to pollute and deplete the earth’s resources in this way. Whether due to food production, transport or transformation, the ecological impact of food is even greater than that of transport. We must therefore act by consuming more sustainably.
But to consume more sustainably, we must have access to information on the products. This is why Beelong evaluates food products and communicates their environmental impact simply, on the basis of 5 groups of criteria.
The Beelong indicator evaluates the impact of food according to the 5 main groups of criteria below. Thus a foodstuff, a dish or a restaurant’s purchases will obtain a grade of between A and G, determining their environmental performance.
The origin of the food stuffs
The nearer to us the products are cultivated, reared or fished, the lower the environmental impact. Transport is reduced, which reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases. The transport method is also taken into account, transport by plane having a major impact.
When fruit and vegetables are bought in season (or processed during high season), there is less consumption of water and energy, and the emissions of greenhouse gases are lower.
Method of production
The extent of the impact of food production on the environment, in particular on biodiversity, the soil and water, and even on rearing and fishing conditions, varies according to the production method. The Beelong indicator highlights, more particularly, products bearing a credible label, food subject to tight agricultural legislation and products respecting official guidelines on endangered species.
Impact on the climate and resources
The foodstuffs that we consume do not all have the same impact on the climate (emissions of CO2), the pollution of water, the depletion of the soil or even on water stress Products with an animal protein base (dairy products, eggs and especially meat) have a much greater impact on the environment. Ideally, we should control the consumption of animal proteins, giving preference to food produced in good conditions.
The value of food products that are raw and fresh when they arrive in the kitchen is enhanced more than the value of other food products. By working with raw products, the use of preservatives and packaging is reduced, the value of culinary knowledge is promoted and transparency is encouraged through improved product traceability.
An adapted methodology
The methodology of the indicator and the above criteria have been reviewed several times, notably by Quantis, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL – Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale), the F&B Chair of the EHL (Lausanne hotel management school), the Swiss Nutrition Society and Risteco.
This ongoing commitment to scientific rigour and operational pragmatism has allowed Beelong to position as the best tool on the market for concretely reducing the environmental impact of food in the catering sector.
Nevertheless, the beelong indicator do not aim to substitute itself to a complete life cycle assessment. The indicator promotes transparency within the food industry and simplifies the communication of the impact of food on the environment in order to help the restaurant and food industry to reduce it.