HelloFresh, the global provider of meal kits, has announced it will offset 100 per cent of its direct carbon emissions from its internal operations and offices, as well as all emissions from delivery to customers and corporate travel, as part of its long-term carbon reduction strategy.
To reach the new goal the company is to partner with carbon offset and climate projects across the globe, HelloFresh said. In Europe, it will work with Berlin-based climate tech start-up Planetly to guide investment in climate protection projects around the world in a move that is expected to see it offset over 40,000 metric tonnes of carbon for 2020. In the US, meanwhile, the firm will collaborate with the California-based social enterprise Terrapass to offset a further 50,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions.
The offsetting schemes themselves will involve working with a wide-range of partners, the firm added. In the UK, for example, it will work with the Woodland Carbon Code to deliver a forestry project planting woodland to absorb CO2.
Tilman Eichstaedt, senior vice president for sustainability at HelloFresh, said the move into carbon offsetting complements the company's previous work to create a business model which minimises environmental impacts.
"We are currently prioritising mitigating the emissions that we directly produce," he said. "Our highly optimised production facilities emit significantly less CO2 per Euro of revenue compared to traditional food retailers, which need to cool, heat and light thousands of stores. Furthermore, we deliver our boxes as efficiently as possible, for example by shipping them in batches and reducing the number of kilometers travelled through our innovative planning software. This carbon offset initiative is another important milestone towards carbon neutrality and perfectly complements our existing efforts towards becoming a more sustainable company."
Meal kits such as those sold by HelloFresh have become increasingly popular over the past five years. They have been praised for their contribution to cutting food waste, but have also fielded criticism from green groups over their reliance on packaging and transport emissions.
However, the sector has responded with a series of measures designed to curb packaging levels and reduce emissions from its fleets and supply chains.
Earlier this year, for example, HelloFresh committed to tracking and reducing its per meal carbon emissions, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13, including adopting direct carbon reduction measures such as transitioning warehouses to clean energy. Its new goal to offset 100 per cent of its carbon emissions would make it the world's first global carbon-neutral meal kit company, the firm added.
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