Gousto tackles carbon emissions with automated impact management

Founded in 2012, Gousto, is a UK recipe box provider delivering eight million meals per month. Initially set up with the idea of reducing food waste, over time the company has expanded its definition of sustainability to include areas such as packaging, carbon emissions, and healthy outcomes, with an overarching goal for every meal to leave the world better off. 

To date, it has been proven that a weekly Gousto recipe box reduces carbon emissions by 23% compared to buying the same food at a supermarket. In its own facilities, Gousto has reduced food waste to less than one percent and cut plastic packaging in its boxes byƒa 50%.  

Last year, Gousto became a Certified B Corporation, joining a global community of businesses that meet strict sustainability standards. 

Working with Altruistiq 

Gousto turned to Altruistiq to automate its data measurement, management, and exchange process.  

Measuring and managing impact is a data-driven process, and for Gousto, that involved spreadsheets and the support of ad hoc consultants. The approach required time-consuming data gathering using incomplete data sets, and a process that covered only Scope one and two of the three scopes measured by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.  

Because it took so long to gather data, it was only refreshed once a year, and the use of spreadsheets made it impossible to scale. Gousto wanted a live and holistic understanding of their impact to help make better decisions. 

The Altruistiq software is used as a solution to drive real corporate impact in carbon reduction and beyond through real-time carbon data analysis and granular measurement. Now Gousto can calculate and mitigate its impact across the entire business, from suppliers to employees to customers, and plan for future efforts.

This is where Altruistiq brings what others do not – going above carbon offsetting into abatement - generating real-world reduction insights, as a global critical approach. 

The project achieved a series of notable outcomes, including:  

DecarbonisationAltruistiq is helping Gousto tackle decarbonisation on two key fronts: suppliers’ farming methods and recipe box components. By integrating with Gousto’s suppliers, Altruistiq’s platform is able to automatically pull supplier data to inform Gousto’s baseline. The software accurately identifies emission hotspots and surfaces cost-effective reduction initiatives to drive these emissions down. 

Granular detail: The company has surfaced granular insights using Altruistiq that allows it to reduce the carbon impact of its current recipes down to the individual ingredient. For example, highlighting the role that proteins (meat, fish, plant-based) play in a recipe's footprint. 

Fueling sustainability with data: Since moving its sustainability measurement and management to the Altruistiq software, Gousto has saved money, improved efficiency, and expanded its impact understanding by measuring emissions across its value chain.   

Supply chain decarbonisation: With Scope 3 emissions representing more than 99% of Gousto’s emissions overall, the company needed a solution that could scale to handle the vast amount of primary data required to measure them, as well as other factors beyond carbon: pollution, water use, biodiversity, and health outcomes - all key areas of focus for Gousto’s future ambitions and the Altruistiq roadmap. Having a software-based solution helps it scale to move beyond averages to develop a holistic view of the entire value chain, from its suppliers to its employees to its customers 

Cost reduction: The company found that working with Altruistiq was less expensive than using consultants and employees for data input and management tasks, with the added benefit of more complete, accurate, and timely data collection. Collecting data through integrations ensures it’s both accurate and up to date, so Gousto can use it in ways that are meaningful to it as a business. With real-time data, Gousto can better identify and optimise those initiatives that will have the greatest impact and more effectively allocate precious resources. 

Commenting on the project, Hugh Lewis, Head of Sustainability at Gousto said: “Going forward, Gousto is focused on achieving its goal in which every meal leaves the world better off. Food production and distribution are responsible for a lot of negative environmental impacts, but they can also be responsible for future solutions. We know that there are direct correlations between our sustainability efforts and our business growth, and we believe that sustainability should be central to any forward-thinking business.”