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How CarbonOne is enabling food and beverage companies to streamline scope 3 emission calculations, with the help of Climatiq’s API

CarbonOne is the trusted carbon intelligence platform for the Canadian food and beverage industry. They’re building a more resilient and sustainable food system by offering a simple, affordable solution for food and beverage companies to measure, improve, and communicate the climate impact of their products.

Industry:
Headquarters:
Toronto, Canada
Website:
https://www.carbon-one.ca/
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As a leading exporter of food and beverages, Canada plays a big role in feeding the world. Meanwhile, the agriculture sector represents approximately 10 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions. In light of this, Canadian food and beverage companies face growing pressure to both understand and disclose the carbon footprint of their products. This urgency is heightened with the recent release of draft standards that will require Publicly listed companies in Canada to report carbon emissions, including scope 3, annually. This will ripple through the supply chain forcing companies of all sizes to report carbon emissions annually and align with Science Based Targets.  

CarbonOne CEO and Founder, Brett Wills explains, “Food and beverage companies in Canada are a backbone of the Canadian economy, culture and spirit but are operating on razor-thin margins. They don't have the knowledge or the experience to measure emissions. On top of this, they're facing all kinds of other operational challenges and regulatory pressures eating up resources”.

The Challenge: Building an accurate and scalable carbon accounting platform, tailored to meet the needs of food and beverage companies 

Wills founded the company to help Canadian food and beverage businesses overcome a significant challenge: measuring and reporting emissions across all scopes with particular attention to the most difficult-to-calculate scope 3 emissions. His goal was to create a comprehensive carbon accounting and reporting platform that was affordable and simple to use. Specializing in scope 3, the platform has automated life cycle assessments for food and beverage products, to produce product carbon footprints with a high level of accuracy.

Wills knew that to build the most robust and effective platform in the market that would also be affordable and simple to use, he needed a data & development partner that could enable his vision with three main priorities in mind: 

  • Speed and scalability opportunities: As an early-stage company, the CarbonOne team prioritized a rapid launch, with the right technical expertise. 
  • To source the best quality data: Food and beverage companies require detailed, accurate carbon data and sector-specific emission factors from datasets like ecoinvent and several others. They were sourcing a team that had the resources to incorporate robust data into the platform. 
  • Carbon calculation complexities and proprietary data concerns: CarbonOne sought a development partner who understood the complex requirements for carbon calculations, including variances in transportation routes, multi-ingredient products, and varied packaging materials. 

“Consider a food company that uses fifteen ingredients and four types of packaging materials for a single product," Wills explains. "Take a tomato sourced from Italy, for instance. It travels from the farm to a port, but which port? And then to a port in Canada through to the food processing facility. Now, imagine replicating this process for every ingredient and packaging material. We didn't want our users to deal with that level of complexity. Instead, we knew we needed to blend our Carbon Reporting know-how with a powerful technology solution, and Climatiq is the perfect partner to work with"

Solution: Climatiq helps CarbonOne deliver a comprehensive, enterprise-ready carbon measurement solution catered to the food and beverage industry

“When we came across Climatiq it was sort of like an ‘aha moment’. We realized a partnership with them would permit us to go to market fast,” recalled Wills.

Key benefits of Climatiq’s API for CarbonOne’s Platform: 

  • Developer-friendly toolkit: Climatiq provided the team with a modular solution, delivering a robust calculation infrastructure that enabled them to develop an intuitive front-end and swiftly bring their carbon accounting platform to market.
  • Comprehensive and precise data: Climatiq's API enables CarbonOne to incorporate their own private emission factors and access an extensive, regularly updated database of over 70,000 emission factors, including specific datasets for the food and beverage industry like ecoinvent. Wills described the access to this detailed data as a "game changer," allowing CarbonOne to differentiate in the market.
  • Compliant and automated carbon calculations: The Climatiq team has deep expertise in Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs), and their technology is secured by third-party data security certifications including ISO 27001, 14067, and SOC2 Type I. The Climatiq API also simplifies the automation of routing for multi-leg transport journeys, managing details such as goods transported under ambient or refrigerated conditions, and effortlessly accounts for embedded emissions in ingredients and packaging materials. This allows users to calculate complex product carbon footprints with just a few clicks.

"The partnership with Climatiq and having access to their API is vital to our operations and simplifies everything," Wills commented. "We don't have to stress about keeping our emission factors up-to-date. We just send a request to Climatiq’s API and we can trust that the results we get back are accurate and reliable."

Results: Collaboration between these two partners resulted in $80k cost reduction to the original project plan and sped up time to market by 6-8 months 

Implementation and testing were speedier than anticipated. Wills estimates that Climatiq saved them 6-8 months of development work and upwards of $80,000 in development costs. 

“Attempting to create this from scratch and integrate into our backend ourselves, would have taken a considerable amount of time and investment on our part,” said Wills. “Since Climatiq already had a solution that matched the quality we were seeking, it was a major win. Never mind the additional cost savings on maintenance and updates to the API. With Climatiq supporting this portion of our backend, we can devote more time and resources to building our front end-to-end Carbon Reporting Platform and growing our business.”

CarbonOne not only computes scope 1 and 2 in a fast, easy and efficient manner, but their platform also facilitates best-in-market scope 3 calculations and comprehensive life cycle assessments for Canadian food and beverage products. Customers can enjoy a streamlined process by simply entering readily available product, processing and distribution information to automate carbon footprint measurement. This automation cuts customer cost and time by up to 90%. Since launching, CarbonOne has calculated 1.6M kg of carbon emissions and its impact extends globally, supporting a more sustainable food supply chain for Food & Beverage brands.

"The partnership with Climatiq and having access to their API is vital to our operations and simplifies everything. We don't have to stress about keeping our emission factors up-to-date. We just send a request to Climatiq’s API and we can trust that the results we get back are accurate and reliable."

Brett Wills

CEO and Founder @ CarbonOne

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