Currently, food production contributes to 26% of global carbon emissions, and therefore represents one of the greatest opportunities for us as individuals to fight climate change.
Carbon Footprint Labelling
Premium British hard seltzer brand SERVED, co-owned by musician and climate and nature champion Ellie Goulding, becomes the ‘world’s first’ carbon negative hard seltzer brand to introduce carbon footprint labelling which it will roll out across its range from next month.
SERVED has partnered with CarbonCloud to automate the Life Cycle Assessment process and analyse the climate footprints at all stages from ‘grower-to-grocer’, which covers the production of agricultural inputs, transport, processing, packaging, and distribution up until the product reaches the shelf of the grocery store.
SERVED’s co-founder Dean Ginsberg comments, “Independently certified carbon labelling provides much needed environmental transparency – it allows consumers, who are increasingly looking for more sustainable choices, to make informed decisions on the products they consume. We hope this will help drive improvement across the food industry and encourage healthy competition to ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of emissions.”
Measuring Carbon Impact
The new label displays the carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), a value which converts the varying effects of different gasses into the equivalent amount of CO2 it would take to create the same greenhouse effect. A universal CO2e measurement allows different products and activities to be compared to each other on a level playing field - whether that be a piece of clothing, a food product or even a car journey.
SERVED’s lime and raspberry hard seltzers have a footprint of 0.41kg and 0.42kg CO2e per kg of product respectively.
Ginsberg adds, “the real power in calculating and understanding your climate footprint at every stage of your production process is that it allows you to find hotspots, build future scenarios and focus on making incremental improvements over time.”
The element with the most significant climate impact of SERVED’s production process is its packaging.
“Sourcing the right packaging materials has therefore been an absolute priority. We assess both the carbon footprint of packaging materials and their level of recyclability. We use aluminium cans that are manufactured in the UK, because they are produced using high levels of recycled aluminium and are infinitely recyclable themselves, which is vital to create a circular economy. Aluminium recycling is rapidly improving in the UK, with a record 82% of all aluminium beverage cans recycled in 2020, its highest ever rate.”
Although emissions associated with SERVED’s raw ingredients are less significant, they are given just as much attention. Their drinks are infused with ‘wonky fruit’ that would have otherwise gone to waste for aesthetic reasons alone. A staggering 50 million tonnes of fruit and vegetables is thrown away in Europe each year because it does not meet aesthetic standards of retailers. By upcycling fruit that is bent, bashed, and bruised, they are able to reduce food waste and save tonnes of perfectly good fruit from becoming food waste and contributing to emissions.
Scope 3 Upstream Emissions
SERVED has also partnered with Planet Mark, an internationally recognised sustainability certification for businesses, where scope 3 upstream emissions such as waste, business travel, office emissions and homeworking are also carefully assessed. Working with Planet Mark, SERVED’s ambition is to reduce their carbon footprint by 5% year-on-year by taking direct action on the areas they control.
SERVED uses the mapped-out supply chain emissions data from CarbonCloud and Planet Mark to accurately assess their overall impact as a business and drive their ‘Carbon Offsetting Programme’.
SERVED invests in offsetting projects that are certified at the very highest level by Gold Standard, many of which reduce emissions ‘at the source of the impact’.
Ginsberg explains, “For example, we source our limes from Brazil and fund the Brazilian Amazon REDD project to offset emissions from planned deforestation on a property in Para State, preserving 27,434.9 hectares of native forest, which had previously been designated for deforestation.”
“Our offsetting programme ensures that we offset more than we emit, making SERVED a carbon negative business and the world’s first carbon negative hard seltzer.”
“We are extremely proud to have offset more than 50 tonnes CO2e and planted over 1,600 trees in the last 12-months, which is significantly greater than our business carbon footprint of 1.18 tC02e.”
SERVED is crafted in Herefordshire, where Ellie grew up, by infusing sparkling spring water with wonky fruit and pairing this with their own ServedPureTM spirit. The result is a refreshing 4% ABV plant-based, gluten-free hard seltzer with a crisp, fresh flavour, and a touch of natural sweetness. Designed for the modern health-conscious consumer, SERVED only contains 57 calories and zero sugar.
CarbonCloud SaaS is the climate impact assessment platform for mapping supply chain climate transparency and emissions hotspots in the food production and retail industries.
About Planet Mark
Planet Mark is an internationally recognised sustainability certification which recognises continuous progress, encourages action, and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals. It is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions.
 Crippa et al. (2021). Food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Nature Food, 2(3), 198-209. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-021-00225-9
 Environment Agency. (2021). https://alupro.org.uk/uk-aluminium-beverage-can-recycling-hits-record-breaking-82-in-2020/
 Porter et al. (2018). Avoidable food losses and associated production-phase greenhouse gas emissions arising from application of cosmetic standards to fresh fruit and vegetables in Europe and the UK. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.08.079
 Ecologi Served Hard Seltzer. https://ecologi.com/servedhardseltzer
 Planet Mark Business Certification. Emissions measured: Business Travel, Paper, Homeworking https://www.planetmark.com/member/served-drinks/