TORONTO — Open Farm launched its new online carbon footprint tool, providing consumers with the carbon footprint of all its products. Called Know Your Footprint, the tool is the first of its kind in the pet industry, according to Open Farm, and furthers the company’s commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and providing transparency to consumers.

According to “Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats” by Gregory Okin, pets account for 25% to 30% of the environmental impacts of meat consumption. To reduce this statistic, many pet food companies are focusing more on their sustainability efforts.

“The reality is that feeding our pets is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jacqueline Prehogan, founder and chief brand officer, Open Farm. “It's our responsibility to minimize that impact. Open Farm believes that by giving consumers the tools to make informed carbon decisions, pet parents can incorporate reduction of carbon footprint into their decision making when it comes to selecting pet food.

"We believe that it's our job to provide full transparency when it comes to the carbon footprint of our products; pet parents can then feel empowered to make whatever choices feel right for their pets and their families,” Prehogan added.

To create its Know Your Footprint tool, Open Farm partnered with an independent third-party consultant, which completed a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on all of the company’s products. The LCAs analyze each stage in a product’s life cycle, from ingredient production and product manufacturing to transportation and packaging. The analyses calculated greenhouse gas emissions for more than 100 ingredients used throughout more than 50 of Open Farm’s recipes.

From this information, a final carbon footprint was calculated per pound of product. According to the Know Your Footprint tool, 17 of Open Farm’s products have been identified as “low carbon options,” as they emit less than 1 kg of CO2 per pound.

“What I love about our new site experience is that it helps pet parents identify our lowest carbon products with easy-to-use tools like product badges and collection pages,” Prehogan said.

Alongside this new carbon footprint tool, Open Farm announced plans to further reduce its environmental impact. The company expects to launch low carbon pet food options similar to its existing Kind Earth Plant-Based Kibble, which hit the market in 2021.

These carbon reduction efforts are in line with Open Farm’s other sustainability goals. In 2020, the company announced a Science Based Target goal to reduce direct emissions from its manufacturing by 42% by 2030, while also minimizing its indirect emissions for raw material sourcing.

“We're also rolling out new packaging that will allow pet parents to scan a QR code on any Open Farm product to view its carbon footprint in real time,” Prehogan said. “We're all-in on complete transparency, and that means sharing the emissions data for everything we make.”

Read more about sustainability efforts in the pet food and treat industry