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Waste Not
Blue Apron, Too Good to Go Show Achieving Climate Goals Can Be a Piece of Cake

Well, maybe not exactly ... But this week, the two food-delivery services detailed how they’re eliminating their operational impacts and continuing to engage consumers in climate-friendlier food practices.

Blue Apron partners with Aspiration to reach carbon neutrality

Image credit: Blue Apron/Facebook

This week, meal kit service Blue Apron announced that it has successfully achieved its commitment to become carbon neutral by March 31, 2022.

The company achieved its goal through the purchase of carbon offsets — offsetting its Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions, based on an initial carbon footprint analysis conducted by ethical financial services provider Aspiration. The carbon credits — purchased from Aspiration — cover estimated upstream and downstream emissions that including sourcing, packaging and transporting Blue Apron’s products. Blue Apron is now working towards implementing further systematic reductions designed to achieve a longer-term goal of net zero.

“Sustainability has always been part of our DNA; and we believe it’s important to conduct our business in a way that mitigates our impact on the world around us,” said Linda Findley, Blue Apron’s President and CEO. “Achieving our carbon neutrality goal was one of our top priorities. While we are proud of this achievement, we know that there’s more work for us to do, along with others in the industry, to help ensure a better world for future generations.”

In November, Aspiration launched its Aspiration Zero credit card — which enables consumers to track the environmental impacts of their spending, and also help offset it; the company plants trees for every purchase and doubles customers’ cash-back rewards when they reach carbon zero.

In December, Blue Apron and Aspiration announced plans for a co-branded Blue Apron Aspiration Zero Card — which will also offer cardholders rewards to help fight the climate crisis. A first for the meal-kit industry, the Blue Apron Aspiration Zero Card will reward cardmembers on qualifying Blue Apron purchases. With every qualifying purchase made on the card, Aspiration will plant a tree and let users plant an additional tree by rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar.

While meal kit services were flagged early on as wasteful from a sustainability standpoint, a 2019 study found that meal kits often create fewer climate impacts per meal than grocery store-bought food. Since then, newer offerings to emerge from the US and Canada have embedded a waste-free experience into their offering.

Too Good to Go becomes 'Carbon Neutral+', celebrates 100M surprise bags saved

Image credit: Too Good to Go/Facebook

Meanwhile, speaking of mitigating waste, Too Good to Go — the world’s #1 marketplace for surplus food — has published its second annual Impact Report to provide transparency on the progress it is making in its food-saving work, on and off the app.

Founded in 2016, Too Good to Go has saved over 508 million pounds of food across 17 countries. The new report is a deep dive into the company’s progress in the US under each of its business pillars: the core marketplace of the app; schools, public affairs, businesses, and households; as well as how it is increasing sustainability of its core business practices.

Committed to maintaining these sustainable practices as the company continues to grow, TGTG has partnered with Planetly — which has conducted a complete audit and offsetting of TGTG’s carbon footprint. In 2021, Too Good to Go was designated Carbon Neutral+ by Planetly — an achievement the company aspired to in last year’s impact report.

Working with over 100,000 partners globally — including Just Salad, LPQ, JOKR, Gorillas and Morton Williams here in the US — the company also celebrated the milestone of having saved 100M meals across 17 countries since its founding in 2016. TGTG’s US operations, in their first year ever, contributed to this win — with US consumers saving over 1.2M meals by the end of 2021, and momentum building for even greater impact in 2022.

The company also launched its first recipe collection, Remix — an online resource for home cooks filled with recipes, tips & tricks to help turn commonly wasted foods and leftovers into delicious new dishes.

“It’s time for businesses to prioritize company purpose over profit,” says Gaeleen Quinn, US Head of Impact at Too Good to Go. “As a B Corp, we’re leading the way to a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy, and we take our responsibility as a social impact company very seriously.”

The company launched in Canada and Ireland in July and September 2021, respectively; and is continually measuring its carbon footprint, to keep visibility of where emissions can be cut as the business grows.

“Being able to show a breakdown of your company’s carbon emissions is an increasingly commonplace demand, and we’re talking from business partners to investors and the public,” said Planetly founder and CCO Anna Alex. “Supporting Too Good to Go through the journey from reporting to offset to Carbon Neutral+ was an example of the projects we run every day across Europe. It’s now crucial work, as companies realize more and more the potential they have to do good in the world.”

Back in Europe, the Too Good to Go date-labeling initiative — which runs in partnership with Unilever, Danone, Nestlé and dozens of other food brands — expanded to two additional European countries, for a total of 11, in 2021. The project highlights the fact that 20 percent of all food waste can be attributed to confusion over date labeling and aims to make it clearer when food is still good to eat.

In November 2021, the company was accepted onto the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste — a five-year project that brings together public and private sector players from all EU countries to tackle food-waste issues including reducing consumer food waste, removing barriers to food donation, introducing legally binding food-waste reduction targets, and addressing food waste linked to date labels.