We are on a mission to help shoppers choose the sustainable food they want

With the goal to cut 20 million tonnes of CO₂ from UK groceries

That’s equivalent to planting roughly a billion trees!

Challenge
Vision
Values
Approach
Collaborate
Team
“Our food system generates some 30% of global climate changing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is the dominant driver of deforestation and biodiversity loss and a major user and polluter of our increasingly scarce water resources.”
Food Climate Research Network, Policies and Actions to shift eating patterns, what works?

80% of UK shoppers wish to shop more sustainably (1)

The Challenge

If shoppers demand more sustainable food, why isn’t more being supplied by farmers and producers?

Over the past decade of working with retailers, food producers, farmers and other groups in the food chain, we see two major themes that reinforce the status quo:

  1. Shopping sustainably can be complex, inconvenient and expensive
  • Navigating the meaning of the various food certifications can be confusing and time consuming. These certifications play a critical role in identifying the more sustainable products, and there are quite a few to get your head around given the different supply chains.  
  • Consumers have rewarded retailers who make shopping more convenient (think Amazon). Spending time reading through all the detail behind the labels is anything but convenient, and many products have no certifications at all.
  • More sustainable options are often perceived to be more expensive. This may be true for some products, but there are many examples where the more sustainable option is actually cheaper. For example, in UK supermarkets wild prawns are usually less expensive than farmed prawns AND wild prawns are more sustainable due to the amount of water pollution (known as eutrophication) caused by industrial prawn farming. 
  1. We tend to prioritise the short term over the long term

For individuals working in large organisations, careers are made (or broken) by the results they drive in their role. This can lead to greater focus on the short term at the expense of long term solutions that can be more beneficial to the planet. When it comes to small farmers who own their own land, the same is often true. For example, in a recent visit, a Peruvian smallholder farmer told us that although he knew legumes (like beans) offer greater soil health and fertility benefits, he chose to grow corn in his rotation, because corn would deliver more than twice the income.

 

Our Vision

By helping shoppers easily identify more sustainable options and the difference they could make, we make shopping sustainably an easy and rewarding experience. 

Through identifying sustainable swaps, we can be empowered and enabled to make our food choices consistent with our values. In turn, food producers and farmers will be rewarded for producing more sustainably, catalysing the necessary changes in government policy to speed up our arrival of a more sustainable future.

If we are to succeed in shifting our food and agriculture system to one that is largely sustainable, governments, food producers, retailers, farmers, researchers, non-profit and community groups all need to be part of the solution.   

We are working with actors across the food system in order to provide robust guidance in a pragmatic way.  We believe there’s an opportunity to better align incentives to change the system for the better.

What We Value

Simplicity

We make the complex simple by focussing on what matters

Transparency

We work openly and collaboratively to enable a better tomorrow

Empowerment

We empower people to make the change they want

Care

We care deeply for our planet and everyone we share it with

Courage

We aren’t afraid to make progress before we have the perfect solution

Our Approach

We determine our guidance through our Sustainability Measurement System

Objectives:

  1. Include relevant, available Environmental, Social, and Governance data
  2. Indicate variation in sustainability between products
  3. Is transparent, to build trust and identify areas to improve
  4. Strike the right balance between pragmatism and accuracy
  5. Continually evolve over time to incorporate latest research

The Process follows 3 core stages:

1

Quantify Impact of Ingredients and Production Methods

Leveraging leading research such as data from Joseph Poore and Thomas Nemecek

Accounting for:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Land use 
  • Water use and pollution
  • Health
  • Packaging
  • Producer policies & actions
  • Production methods
  • Feedback from sustainability community
2

Combine impacts to produce a single sustainable impact score to compare products within a grocery store

3

Provide a more sustainable swap which is acceptable to the shopper

33% lower impact

Less emissions

70% lower impact

Less waste

46% lower impact

Less water pollution

Who we work with

To realise our vision, we are working together with stakeholders across the food community:

Food retailers

to help shoppers shop more sustainably

Food producers

to improve sales of sustainably produced food and drinks

Food researchers, sustainability policy groups, and third party certifications

to support efforts to increase the demand and supply of sustainable food

Everybody who buys groceries

and wants to shop more sustainably, with an app from early 2021  

Our Team

Peter Wortsman

Peter Wortsman

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Josh Ford

Josh Ford

Co-Founder & Propositions Director

Karan Sood

Karan Sood

Software Developer

Laura Beresford

Laura Beresford

Marketing Manager

Our Advisory Team

Honor Eldridge

Honor Eldridge

Policy Advisor

Dr. Rosie Green

Dr. Rosie Green

Science Advisor

Chloe Hill

Chloe Hill

Strategic Communications Advisor

Justin Speake

Justin Speake

Business & Technology Advisor

Peter Wortsman

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Peter has worked globally with Fortune 500 companies, startups, nonprofits and academic institutions to align stakeholders around the achievement of common goals. Over the last fifteen years, he has enjoyed working across the food and agriculture value chain, including 8 years at Tesco and most recently with Cervest, an Agriculture Technology start up. Having seen the importance of creating a more sustainable food system, Peter came up with the idea around Greener Beans.

Josh Ford

Co-Founder & Propositions Director

Josh is responsible for developing the propositions that guide more sustainable behaviour for each of you. Josh has over 11 years experience in the food sector, including work with dunnhumby to help retailers and food producers better understand their shoppers. Passionate about enabling sustainable change, Josh completed studies at CISL before joining Peter to co-found Greener Beans in March 2020.

Karan Sood

Software Developer

Karan is interested in demonstrating his ethical values through tech, both hardware and software, by working on projects that align with these.  He was keen to work with Greener Beans as an exciting challenge to what he thought to be a big part of the solution in increasing environmentally sustainable consumption. Outside of tech, he has an interest in outdoor activities and growing food.

Laura Beresford

Marketing Manager

Laura’s background is in digital marketing and community engagement across B2C, B2B and non-profit audiences. Driven by social impact she volunteers her marketing expertise at Greener Beans, a concept she strongly believes in.

Honor Eldridge

Policy Advisor

Honor is the Policy Lead for Plantlife, working on legal and legislative protections for grasslands and peatlands. Her areas of focus include UK agriculture policy and international agri-trade policy. She has written briefings on WTO labelling restrictions, potential agricultural impacts from free trade agreements, and on migrant labour in UK horticulture. Previously, Honor was head of policy at the Sustainable Food Trust, worked on post-Brexit policy for the Soil Association and was the Legislative Coordinator in Washington D.C. for the Center For Food Safety. She is also chair of GM Freeze and a board member of Bristol Food Producers.

Rosemary Green

Science Advisor

Rosie Green is an Associate Professor in Sustainability, Nutrition and Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She has worked in the field of healthy and sustainable diets for nine years, modelling dietary changes that would help people meet nutritional recommendations as well as reducing the environmental footprints of food systems. She was also scientific advisor to the UK Citizens Assembly on Climate Change.

Chloe Hill

Strategic Communications Advisor

Dr. Chloe J. Hill is seasoned sustainability strategist, researcher and communications specialist. She has over 15 years of global experience providing tailored sustainability advice to a broad range of both public and private clients within the international development as well as purpose driven sectors. Her main interests lie in the creation and strategic messaging of complex ideas into a compelling narrative that can leverage action to raise awareness and instigate impactful change.

Justin Speake

Business & Technology Advisor

Justin has over 25 years experience in managing people, finances and change within Sales, Service and Operations. He has worked at general manager, and VP level for major organizations including Computer Associates, RR Donnelly, Debug Holdings plc and Centura Software Limited. He has spent the past 10 years fixing existing and building new businesses in Europe and the US.