- Hugo Walker
What is the environmental impact of the food you buy?
What is the carbon footprint of an apple or a pack of almonds? Now — and for the first time ever — it is possible to find out thanks to Setai, a mobile app that aims to improve eating habits and inform users of the carbon footprint of their groceries.
Setai is the brainchild of two Italian friends, Andrea Longo and Edoardo Danieli, along with their scientific partner, eAmbiente group, a leading Italian environmental consulting firm.
The app was launched in the UK in February 2021 and already has thousands of users. With the Setai app, users can scan their products’ barcodes to obtain healthiness and CO2 scores. Users can also keep track of their average weekly, monthly and annual scores based on their total purchases.
How does it work?
The app provides two categories of information:
The healthiness score of a product, based on the quality and quantity of nutrients
Its carbon footprint
The latter is the real innovation introduced by Setai, which draws on over 2000 scientific studies and internationally recognised databases to assess the carbon footprint of food products. This unique methodology consists of assigning each product to a specific food category, which provides an estimate of its CO2 emissions. Then, the final CO2 score is fine-tuned based on details such as the country of origin and production method of that specific food product.
How are these two scores presented?
Both the health and CO2 scores are presented on a scale from 1 to 10, with a traffic light system from red to dark green. It is also possible to explore the details behind each score. For the health score, this entails understanding if there is an excess of a specific nutrient, such as fats or sugars. In the CO2 score details, the app provides the exact equivalence of the emissions of the specific food product, translated into the emissions from driving a car or leaving the lights on.