Bristol restaurant teams up with Viva! to trial carbon footprint menu

Author: Molly Pickering

Read Time:   |  27th July 2022

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The Canteen in Bristol is encouraging diners to eat plant-based foods as part of Viva!'s new carbon footprint labelling campaign


Leading vegan charity Viva! is calling for the government to implement a carbon footprint menu as the climate crisis grows.

The Bristol-based charity has launched a first-of-its-kind petition as part of its ‘Eating the Earth’ campaign, which highlights how the UK’s diet is impacting the earth.

As the government’s latest initiative to display calories on menus rolls out, Viva! argues that allowing customers to understand their carbon footprint is ‘significantly more important to the health of the UK and the planet’.

“Encouraging people to be more aware of the impact of their choices.”

Viva! has teamed up with Bristol restaurant The Canteen and emissions calculations provider My Emissions to trial its new campaign. Interestingly, the vegan charity revealed that restaurants that serve meat refused to take part in this trial because ‘they know the carbon footprint of animal products is considerably higher’.

Based in the centre of Bristol, The Canteen offers a 100% vegetarian menu with a wide selection of vegan plates.

In a statement, Dr Matthew Harris, Head Chef at The Canteen, said: “Including carbon footprints on menus is a positive step in encouraging people to be more aware of the impact of their choices.

“We are delighted with the carbon calculations of our menu, made up of predominantly vegan dishes, showing the importance of sustainable choices.”

Harris concluded that if more restaurants across the UK included carbon labelling on their menus, both customers and restaurants would be encouraged to make better decisions about the food they consume.

Additionally, My Emissions Co-Founder Matthew Isaacs added: “Climate change is the problem of our generation, and eating more low-carbon food is one of the best ways we can reduce our impact on the planet.”

Credit: The Canteen

Credit: The Canteen


High carbon footprint foods

Unsurprisingly, meat, fish and dairy have considerably higher carbon emissions compared to vegan alternatives.

According to My Emissions, a beef burger can produce 3,050g of CO2, while a vegan burger produces just 267g of CO2.

What’s more, a steak pie is estimated to produce 7,332g, a beef lasagne can release 4,183g of carbon, and a beef roast dinner can produce a staggering 8,666g of CO2.

Laura Hellwig, Managing Director at Viva! shared: “Raising awareness of the carbon footprints from the production of meat, dairy, fish and eggs is crucial – a lot of people have no idea that eating one beef burger can be as damaging as driving the average UK petrol car for 10 miles.”

Want to do your bit to help the planet? Take a look at our low-carbon vegan meal plan

Feature image credit: Viva!


Written by

Molly Pickering

Molly is the Digital Executive and former podcast host at Anthem's Vegan Food & Living, she also works across other titles including Women's Running and Classic Pop to create affiliate content for the website. Starting out as a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Vegan Food & Living in 2021, within 14 months Molly was shortlisted for ‘Best Editorial Assistant’ at the BSME Talent Awards 2022 and won the BCS Special Recognition award for Digital Marketing Apprentice of the Year in 2022

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