FoodThis section covers the food and drink that you serve in your church. It is broken into two parts:
- Drinks and snacks
Unless you keep meticulous records of the number of cups of tea served, the amounts you enter here should be “best guess” amounts for an average month in the church's life.
Drinks and SnacksThe carbon emissions factors for estimating the footprint of drinks and snacks served at church services, events and activities have been developed using data from Defra about consumption emissions and consumer price index data from the Office for National Statistics.
Consumption emissions relate amount spent on a product to the carbon emissions from using that product. The categories in the consumption emission data closely match those in the CPI data which gives average costs for products from a standardised “basket of goods”. The ONS gather this data on a monthly basis from supermarkets, and through telephone calls to suppliers.
We have averaged the published average prices for 2018 and 2019 for the six drinks and snacks of interest. Combined with an estimate of typical serving or portion sizes we have arrived at six emissions factors. The factors are quite broad – for example “coffee” covers any brand of coffee from any source, at any (real) price. So, we can only estimate the emissions for snacks and drinks.
The emissions factors we have used:
|Coffee||0.0547||1 cup||Filter coffee – 250g packet used to make approx 30 cups|
|Squash||0.0042||200ml glass||Diluted 4:1 (water:squash)|
|Fruit juice||0.0574||200ml glass|
|Biscuits||1.1294||1 packet||300-400g packet of chocolate biscuits|
|Pastries/cake||0.2001||1 pastry or slice of a cake||1 slice = 1/8th of a cake|
MealsThe emissions estimate given for meals is from “farm to fork” and includes packaging and transport to the supermarket.
The data we use for estimating the carbon footprint of your church's food comes from a study conducted by Dr Peter Scarborough of Oxford University called “Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK” (available here).
The study was based on data from the UK and each factor covers a day's food – 2,000 kcal diet. Churches don't tend to serve three meals a day so for the purposes of estimating emissions for churches we have taken a proportion of Dr Scarborough's figure in line with NHS guidance about how we should split our calories across meals in a day (excluding drinks). The NHS suggests a 400-600-600 split between breakfast, lunch and dinner. This gives a “weighting” for a single meal – lunch or dinner – of 0.375, which we have used for the six meal factors.
The emissions factors we have used are:
|Meal type||Factor (kgCO₂/meal)||Notes|
|High meat-eater||2.696||More than 100g per day|
|Medium meat-eater||2.111||Between 50g and 100g per day|
|Low meat-eater||1.751||Less than 50g per day|
Some average weights for meat products:
- Quarter pounder burger – 227g
- Rump steak – 200g
- Lamb chop – 150g
- Chicken drumstick – 85g
- Pork sausage – 60g
Even within the UK there are many factors that can affect your food carbon footprint. For example:
- Food that is bought locally will typically (but not always) have a smaller footprint than food that comes from abroad.
- Produce that is “in season” will have a smaller footprint than “out of season” produce because it will usually have been produced in the country where it will be consumed – so it will travel less.
- Different supermarkets have different supply chains and those supply chains will have different carbon footprints depending on how efficient they are and where the supermarket sources goods.
- How far you travel to buy food – your carbon footprint from getting your food home isn't included here, but should come under the Travel tab.