By Marcus Schaefer, Markets Transformation, Rainforest Alliance
Sweden’s largest retailer, ICA, launched in early summer 2018 “My Climate Goal,” a digital service that allows consumers to see how much carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are caused by their food purchases. The digital tool is an example of a company finding a unique new way to leverage the consumer relationship in a manner that benefits the customer by offering a valuable service; benefits the company by driving a new opportunity for loyalty and customer value; and benefits the planet by helping reduce carbon emissions and environmental impacts of food.
ICA has a longstanding commitment to help consumers reduce their climate footprint. The launch of My Climate Goal is a continuation of the Climate Right project, that received the United Nations Momentum for Change Award in 2015, in which residents in an Uppsala apartment building were invited to use the Climate Right App for six months. By using the app, participants were able to track the climate impact of their choice of food, mode of transport and other lifestyle options, thereby gaining visibility to the impacts and encouragement to choose to live in a more climate friendly way. On average the participants cut their home, food and transportation emissions by 31% during the period of the program.
The newly launched My Climate Goal service to assess food impact is the first in the world that uses data based on actual purchases, not on self-estimates, to calculate CO2 footprints. It is free for all holders of an ICA card and, in addition to simply calculating CO2 footprints, the service suggests alternative products with a smaller CO2 footprint to have a proactive impact on preferred product and brand choice. This enables consumers to both tracking program for their emissions as well as a guide on how to reduce them by clarifying purchase options.
“We see a great thirst for knowledge among consumers. People want to learn more, do the right thing and contribute to the wellbeing of our planet but don’t always know how to. We hope that My Climate Goal can be a useful tool that creates opportunities for everyone to make climate smart choices, says Karin Amnå, Senior Sustainability Developer at ICA.
The service is easy to set up and use: the age and number of people in the household is registered, and all CO2 emissions caused by purchases made with their ICA card at ICA is calculated and reported.
ICA made a soft launch of the service at the beginning of the summer and it has been well received by users.
“We have seen a lot of activity on social media where customers compared their climate impact with each other. In order for people to reduce their CO2 emissions, they not only need clear feedback on what their consumption means today, but also tips and advice on what to change” Karin Amnå concludes.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified™ “green frog” seal is one proof point consumers can seek when they want to be confident of the positive environmental, social and economic impact of food choices and other product categories, including coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit, flowers, paper goods and so much more. ICA customers and other consumers around the world who want to reduce the impacts of their product choices can “follow the frog” and choose Rainforest Alliance Certified.
You can view ICA’s video on the program here.