Eco-score or how to measure the environmental impact of our plates

Fact Sheet

Climate, Energy & Sustainability

As part of the general trend towards greater transparency that has been fostered by the digital revolution, people have become more aware and concerned, in recent years, about the food their eat and the significant impact it can have not only on their individual wellbeing but also that of our planet. Consumers, eager to buy the most sustainable and environment-friendly products, are turning more and more to food labels with an environmental focus.

Evidence suggests that European consumers are particularly supportive of eco-labelling initiatives. According to a 2020 study from BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, nearly half of all consumers surveyed wanted to see an environmental impact label on the foods they purchase. The survey also found that consumers tended to underestimate the impact of their food choices and only about 10% agreed that what they ate had a negative effect on the environment.

The European Union has turned its attention to the sustainability of the food sector along with the rest of the economy. It is looking to transform the way Europeans produce, distribute and consume food through its Farm to Fork Strategy, which it hopes will make the European food system the global benchmark for sustainability.

As part of the strategy, the European Commission has also put forward a proposal for a harmonised food labelling scheme that takes into account both the nutritional aspects of food products and their sustainability elements. In October 2021, the European Parliament voted to support the labelling initiative while calling on the Commission to define how the scheme will work and what aspects of sustainability will be covered.

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