Quorn Foods commits to leading the meat-free industry as a “climate positive” alternative protein

The company’s latest sustainable development report details the achievements the brand made in 2018, and the commitments it is making to both people and the planet in 2020 and beyond

  • 2018 operations generated 8.5 times fewer CO2 emissions than the meat it replaced, helping consumers save over 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions
  • Quorn is committed to maximising its “climate positive” impact; continually extending the gap compared to meat
  • As part of this, Quorn Foods is the first food manufacturer to join the Climate Leadership Framework, driving for an economy compatible with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement

Quorn Foods has today announced the launch of its latest sustainable development report, which details how the company is committed to maximising its ‘climate positive’ impact. The report, which provides a broad picture of Quorn Foods’ various sustainability initiatives and performance in 2018, details the company’s bold long-term ambitions for both people and planet, and focuses on Quorn Foods’ commitment to pursuing a strategy of responsible, sustainable growth in the years to come.

The report reveals that in 2018, Quorn’s operations generated 8.5 times fewer CO2 emissions than the meat it replaced, helping consumers save over 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions by replacing meat. In short, 2018 saw the company help consumers reduce more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than it emitted through its operations, so already has a net positive benefit to the climate.

Kevin Brennan, CEO of Quorn Foods, commented “The world today faces two, interconnected challenges: the health of human beings and the health of the planet – both of which are fundamentally underpinned by what we eat. At Quorn, we’ve been delivering sustainable, nutritious meat alternatives for over 30 years, and we’re proud to be making these strides forward in our commitment to the planet as we continue to grow.  Quorn generates significantly less Co2 emissions than the emissions saved from not eating meat so is net positive to the climate.

Our goal now is to maximise the gap between our carbon footprint and the greenhouse gas savings we deliver by helping people to reduce their meat intake, aiming to be “climate positive” in our own right.  By doing this we can help consumers make a major contribution to climate change mitigation, and protect our planet for the future.”

Sustainable operations throughout the supply chain

The report highlights that not only does Quorn provide a nutritious, accessible and delicious way to help more people cut down on meat, (with livestock production alone contributing to a staggering 15%[1] of global human-caused GHG emissions), but the way in which Quorn products are produced also has big benefits for our shared climate. Products such as Quorn Mince produce 90% less GHG emissions, 90% less land usage and a 90% reduction in water usage than the beef mince equivalent.

The efficiency of Quorn’s production process, which involves taking glucose (a by-product from the wheat milling industry) and converting it via fermentation into mycoprotein, enables Quorn to create a variety of products rich in both protein and fibre in a much more sustainable way. Using a science-led approach to environmental research and continuous analysis of the company’s entire supply chain, Quorn continues to set ambitious targets and track ongoing improvements in its GHG reduction efforts.

Collaboration with the Carbon Trust

In 2012, Quorn began to model the carbon footprints of Quorn’s best-selling products and independently certify them with the Carbon Trust. By the end of 2018, 50% of Quorn’s UK products have now been carbon foot-printed, and the company has confirmed plans to phase carbon-footprint data onto its packaging, allowing consumers to make more informed buying decisions. Quorn remains the only meat-free brand to achieve independent and globally recognised certification for the way it analyses the carbon footprint of its products.

This allows the company to support the 67% of consumers[2] who say that a recognisable carbon label matters to them. It forms a large part of the work Quorn is doing to match the built-in sustainability of its products with concrete progress in how it creates them. Beyond this, Quorn is the first food manufacturer to act as pathfinders for the Climate Leadership Framework. This is a new initiative from the Carbon Trust that aims to align companies with a low-carbon economy, in accordance with the Paris Agreement. As one of only five companies to participate to date, the Climate Leadership Framework has helped Quorn to further develop its roadmap to becoming a climate positive business.

The report also highlights Quorn’s commitments to reducing plastic pollution. The company removed 100% of black plastic from its packaging in 2018, and as a partner of WRAP and signatory to the UK Plastics Pact[3] has pledged to making 100% of its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable and eliminating all single-use plastic from its manufacturing sites by the end of 2019.

Commitment to further research and development

Today’s report launch follows the recent announcement of Quorn Foods’ annual financial results, reporting sales growth of 7% to £220m in 2018 – and saw the company commit a further £5m to research and development initiatives. This investment is focused on finding new and sustainable ways to create innovative products that meet consumer demand for nutritious alternative protein sources.

In 2019 alone, Quorn has launched several market-first innovations with significant investment, including Fishless Fillets, Ultimate Burger and a new lunchtime pot range suitable for the shelf stable food cupboard aisle.   It is also investing in making its unique fermentation process more and more sustainable.

For more information on Quorn’s sustainability commitments, or to download the full report – please click here.

[1] http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3437e.pdf

[2] https://www.carbontrust.com/news/2019/04/footprint-labelling/

[3] http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/the-uk-plastics-pact-roadmap-2025