Does Huel have a CO2 stats (compared to other food)

I can see that Huel is aiming to market itself as a low-waste food product (which it certainly looks to be), but are there any stats that support a figure of how much CO2/Greenhouse Gas was generated in its production?

Huel has no animal products so that’s clearly a good start, but I would be intrigued to know how it compared to other foods.

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Hi

We’re failry new and don’t have these sort of figures available, I’m afraid.

Hello James!

Any updates on this? Or future plans?

I (and I suspect many others) would be very interested in a carbon footprint/Life cycle analysis for Huel. Obviously the vegan ingredients of themselves would give Huel a lower carbon footprint relative to a equivalent with animal ingredients. But it would it good for comparisons to have more encompassing number that included other steps such as processing/transport to allow for comparisons with existing diet options.

I have seen a broad discussion of this in the news section (http://huel.com/blogs/news/35171651-the-future-of-food-the-solutions), but haven’t yet found any values…

Thanks!

Tomas

Hi Tomas

This is a huge task and I have started working on it, but, to be honest, it’s not going to be any time soon.

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I’m also interested in this! Three years later, any update?

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agree, that 'd be quite nice to know!

This is starting to take off. Pukka Herbs (the tea people) have worked out that 49% of the CO2 emissions from a cup of tea, comes from us popping a kettle on. Their packaging partner, Infusion, uses 100% renewable electricity and sends nothing to landfill.

Oatly have not only calculated what their impact is, in the product’s “life” — from farm to shop, they’re starting to print it on every carton.

And many more companies are signing up to become B Corporations – “a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit.”

There’s seemingly no end to the number of ethical issues that modern life brings us in shiny, shiny wrappers. I don’t think any of us expect perfection, but what we’re asking for is a little bit more transparency…

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Seriously, is there anywhere we can get this information? you would assume they would have understood this by now, especially marketing themselves as the future of food.

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It must be pretty complicated to calculate with ingredients sourced from all over the world. It’d be fascinating to find out though. If Huel turns out to how a low impact they could use it in their marketing. And if it doesn’t, we can pressure them to do something about it.

I don’t have to empty my kitchen bin as often these days. That’s something at least.

Hi all, short answer is that we don’t have any data yet on CO2 emissions. Longer answer below:

We spent a long time working with a research student who conducted a life-cycle analysis of Huel for their dissertation. A life-cycle analysis is an amazing, but amazingly complex thing.

it is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product’s life from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling. Designers use this process to help critique their products.

LCAs are in many ways better than looking at carbon emissions, as just emissions is a far too narrow outlook on environmental impact.

The results indicated that Huel’s impact when compared to LCA data on other foods were very positive - Huel had much less imapct. Unfortunately though we weren’t able to release this for a number of reasons:

  • We weren’t allowed by the university to share data externally
  • The comparison wasn’t fair as it looked at a single product not a similarly ‘complete’ meal. Yes Huel had far, far less impact than a bowl of rice, but comparing 500kcal of Huel to 500kcal of rice is unfair and would have been heavily critique by yourselves
  • There’s a risk it isn’t accurate - it was years ago and based on v1.2; we were smaller then and our supply chain of ingredients has improved, so it’s not now reflective

We’re now working on something new that focuses on CO2 emissions which is still very complicated and also because getting a LCA is too complex.

  • Which product do you choose?
  • There are many different ingredients, whereas products like Oatly and Pukka have very few - which makes it easier to get CO2 and LCA data.

We’re not not sharing the information with you because we don’t want to. Apart from the fact we can’t share the LCA with you, if we get reliable data we can share we will share it.

If you have any questions, let us know. Remember that Huel is very intricate, there are around 30 ingredients in Huel Vanilla Powder and as soon as we release data on that we won’t satisfy those that want data on Bars, RTD, Flavour Boosts. So looking at products that release data on CO2 emissions - like Oatly, who by the way we absolutely hold up as gold standard for sustainability - isn’t a like for like comparison.

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Thanks your response Tim!

  • If the LCA was such a success, why not do the investment of making your own that you could use as marketing material?
  • Getting reliable data is this area is super difficult. Don’t hold back data just because it’s uncertain. If you do, we will never see any data in this field from you. Publish it as a work in progress with big notice about its uncertainty.

To me, it sounds like the numbers you have are not marketable. Prove me wrong! :slight_smile:

Great answer.

It seems like some people on these forums expect Huel to just jump through whatever hoop they’ve decided to dream up that day, regardless of the cost or complexity.

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In response.

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No disrespect intended Tim but you are missing my point.

It’s time to give tools to the consumers so we can make the right decisions in the store. If not even the companies that have a low climate footprint does it, how are going to make any progress? So no David_J, I didn’t dream this up today. We have been aware of climate change for 40 years and my dad still doesn’t understand that a ripe pineapple bought in here in cold Sweden is terrible for the climate. If it was marked with a C02 label he might.

I understand it’s super hard to get reliable data on your climate footprint! The next best thing would be some transparency in your work towards it I guess?

Right now it’s just excuses on how difficult and unreliable it is. No progress or info, except that of a dissertation that we can’t read. Why can you not share the data of the dissertation by the way? In my country dissertations are published by the universities. If you can’t share the data externally, can you point me in the right direction of the dissertation itself? What university was it produced from?

Super grateful for this discussion guys! <3

As has already been mentioned, Huel is not just one item of food, like said pineapple, it is a complex mix of nutrients which makes things a whole lot more complicated.

That’s true! :slight_smile:

Every time this conversation comes up I can’t help but feel like it’s in vain.

Download FlightRadar app and zoom in over USA or Middle East. Zoom back out and go to UK, particularly over Heathrow, then maybe over the Atlantic.

Check out just how many flights are in the air and tell me we’re not all totally and utterly screwed.

The 0.000000000000001% saving made by all of these ethical choices isn’t enough.

We’re doomed. It’s too late…

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If you have given up, that’s your choice. Don’t try to inspire others to do the same just so you can feel better about it.

Go vegan, go childfree and stop flying.

sorted.

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Although maybe don’t attempt to do this if you already have children. Social Services get antsy about abandoned children I understand :wink:
Also don’t take the more extreme route to being childfree and dispose of them altogether, I’m fairly sure there are laws against that sort of thing and you are likely to get caught even with an extremely robust disposal plan for bodies…

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