A meat-free food firm could save up to £1million by reducing its carbon footprint thanks to research guided by Sheffield Hallam University.
A project team identified simple steps which could help Quorn Foods drastically cut costs over the medium term.
It also helped the company achieve certification by the Carbon Trust, a not-for-dividend company that helps organisations reduce carbon emissions and become more efficient.
All Quorn foods are made with mycoprotein, a type of fungus. The company is based at Stokesley in North Yorkshire. Quorn and Hallam worked together under a Knowledge Transfer Partnership which included Dr Wayne Martindale and Quorn employee Louise Needham.
Louise, the firm’s sustainability officer, said: “Carrying out this level of carbon footprint analysis required the collection of high quality data, covering all stages of the life cycle supply chain, including raw material input, product output, energy, waste and water use.
“This work paid off. Quorn is the first meat-alternative brand, and one of only a few food products in the world, to achieve this standard of Carbon Trust certification.”
The team also found producing mycoprotein uses less than half the carbon of producing beef.
The analysis focused on two products – Quorn mince and chicken-style pieces – sold in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.
Dr Martindale said: “Quorn was developed in the 1960s as a more sustainable alternative to meat, and as food security becomes more of an issue, the company was keen to take an even stronger stance on its planetary impact.”
Sarah Durkin, KTP manager at Sheffield Hallam’s Research and Innovation Office, added: “Through working together, savings of more than £1million have been identified – a successful piece of work.”