The app, called Sustained Choice, lets customers scan the barcode on their products and shows them information about how sustainable it is based on the data provided.
It uses a framework called Life Cycle Assessment that tracks and analyses the ingredients and various stages of a product’s life from end-to-end, the app’s creators explained on its website.
Each product is then rated according to its environmental impact in seven key areas, including land and water use, GHG emissions and ocean pollution.
Items are rated on a scale of A to G, with A having the least impact on the environment and G having the most.
Carl Olivier, co-founder of Sustained Choice, which launched last month, told The Grocerthat the app will empower people “to make better choices when it comes to the food they buy”, as well as encourage transparency among businesses and brands.
He said: “Sustainability is at its most valuable when visible and our app puts that visibility directly into the hands of the consumer.
“Our mission is to make the full story of food more accessible, and it’s incredibly encouraging to see that chime with so many people.”
According to The Grocer, the app now has more than 1,000 active users and can provide information on more than 194,000 products in its database.
Olivier, who co-founded the app with software developer Michael Velenko, said the app could also help customers identify brands that “greenwash” their products by making “science-based information” accessible rather than relying on marketing tactics.
Greenwashing is a marketing tactic in which a company spends more time and money on marketing itself as sustainable than on actually minimising its environmental impact.
He added that Sustained Choice is “able to match the scientific rigour of other eco-labelling initiatives”, which he said are mostly “very small-scale and focused on packaging”.
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