Carbon Footprint Calculator

Leeds City Council and the Consumer Data Research Centre (CRDC) at the University of Leeds have co-developed an interactive tool that calculates the carbon footprint of school meals.

Catering Leeds, the council’s school caterer, can use the tool to assess the carbon footprint of their meals and promote lower carbon options to schools. They are also using the tool to plan future menus in line with their low carbon aims. The tool has been further developed to also include associated water and land usage of menus as well as calorie content. Current developments to include a more extensive ingredients list will make it usable across other council venues such as cafes.

With support from Rethink Food, CRDC has created a resource pack and workshop to be delivered in schools. This includes a digital ‘top trumps’ game and a video on the ‘Carbon Footprints of Your Food’. These sessions communicate CRDC’s research in a fun and accessible way which encourages children to look after the planet through dietary choices. An example of the dashboard is on the right.

Engagement work: Kids designing their own low-carbon meals – used to design next year’s climate-friendly school menus.