You’ve Got Questions? We Have Answers.

1. How much does it cost to participate?

There is a small annual fee that supports the secretariat in aggregating food GHG data, advising signatories on strategy, communicating with and convening signatories, and external outreach.

2. What happens if I hit my target and everyone else does not?

The Pledge is a shared target, so accountability is collective.

3. What happens if the collective target is hit and I don’t hit mine? Will I get named and shamed publicly?

No. All external GHG emissions reporting will be aggregated (unless you decide otherwise). If a signatory does not make progress during a given year, the Cool Food team will discuss how progress can be brought back on track.

4. What happens with the target if I am growing quickly? Is it relative or absolute? Same at a collective and individual level?

Cool Food’s collective target is a 25 percent absolute reduction in food-related GHG emissions by 2030. However, some signatories expect to grow quickly, even while they shift to serving lower-emissions foods. Individual signatories should aim for at least a 25 percent absolute reduction in food-related GHG emissions or a 38 percent relative reduction in food-related GHG emissions per calorie. The Cool Food Calculator helps you track both trends (absolute and relative) year-over-year.

5. What data do you need from me and when?

Signatories confidentially share food purchasing data on an annual basis. Data is required on all animal-based foods, as well as plant proteins (which, collectively, tend to make up 80-90 percent of an entity’s food-related GHG emissions). Additional data is optional. Data collection should be done, though, in a consistent way each year.

6. Is there a specific template or format you want this report in?

Signatories receive an easy-to-use template, but we also accept data in the format that is most convenient to your organization.

7. How will the data be protected/stored to maintain its confidentiality?

Our team enters into a simple agreement with each pledging entity, which includes a confidentiality clause stating that individual entities’ food purchasing data (and associated emissions data) will be stored securely on WRI’s server. Only aggregated data is reported externally.

8. What will you report back to me?

You will receive a report shortly after you submit your data which shows GHG emissions by food type, as well as a relative emissions measure, and trends year-over-year. You can see an example of the metrics calculated by downloading the Cool Food Calculator.  

9. What GHG emissions data are you using?

We are using life cycle assessment data from Poore and Nemecek (2018) and carbon opportunity cost data from Searchinger et al. (2018).

10. How can the Cool Food Pledge support progress toward multiple sustainability goals?

Although Cool Food’s target is to reduce food-related GHG emissions, sustainability managers deal with many other important goals related to their food purchases, including social and ethical, economic and financial, and other environmental goals. Our technical note, “Tracking Progress Toward the Cool Food Pledge,” offers advice for navigating synergies and trade-offs with multiple goals.