01 Mar 2023

Better than meat from animals: Planted plant-based meat saves up to 87% greenhouse gas emissions and up to 90% water

6 min reading time

Kemptthal, Switzerland, March 1, 2023 - The Swiss foodtech startup Planted, known for its plant-based meat made from purely natural ingredients, publishes updated product life cycle assessment calculations. These prove: Planted meat has a significantly better footprint in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption than animal counterparts. The numbers were calculated by the independent expert Eaternity. 


The current food system is based on the exploitation of resources and commercial livestock farming. It is unsustainable, destroying our environment and accelerating climate change – threatening the food security of 8 billion people. The Swiss foodtech startup Planted wants to change the market and says: Time for a change towards healthy plant-based eating habits. In order to underpin this initiative and to monitor and document the environmental impact of its own products, the company prepared a life cycle assessment for its four core products for the first time in 2019/2020. Planted is now releasing an update to its carbon and water footprint at the end of 2022 . The analysis once again confirms that Planted's plant-based meat product portfolio has enormous savings potential compared to similar animal meat products: 77-87% less CO 2 equivalent emissions are generated and 75-90% of water is saved. The calculations were carried out with the help of Eaternity, an independent expert specializing in the ecological balance of food. 


Additionally, all Planted plant-based meats have been re-certified with the Eaternity Score. As in 2021, the products received the highest score in all categories: CO 2 , water scarcity, rainforest and animal welfare. 


Food production has a major impact on global greenhouse gas emissions 

Although they only provide 37% of our proteins and 18% of our calories, the negative environmental impact of animal products far exceeds that of plant-based alternatives. About a quarter (26%) of global emissions come from food, and more than half (58%) of food emissions come from animal products. In addition, agriculture takes up half of the planet's habitable land and animal agriculture contributes to biodiversity loss as forests and wildlands are converted into fields to grow animal feed. This in turn results in the loss of the natural carbon sink that contributes to cooling global temperatures. Water resources are also polluted by wastewater from animal husbandry and are further burdened for the irrigation of fodder crops. 


Better than animal meat – big taste, small footprint 

In the Planted life cycle assessment, the greenhouse gas emissions (CO 2 -eq) and the water footprint (fresh and scarce water) were analyzed on a cradle-to-gate basis and compared with the most similar animal counterparts (e.g. plant-based chicken from Planted was compared to the compared to animal chicken breast). 


Savings of planted products compared to animal counterparts in percent 


CO2 _ 















Greenhouse gas emissions 

The comparison with animal meat products was calculated based on the cradle-to-gate approach. This determined how many CO 2 equivalent emissions are emitted during the life cycle of a product until it leaves the production center (including agricultural production of raw materials and their processing). Steps such as transport to the store were not taken into account as this is similar for both meat products. 

The evaluation found that all of Planted's retail plant-based meats produce 77-87% less CO 2 -eq compared to their animal counterparts . expel. The most significant reductions come from avoiding emissions from animal husbandry. 

Example planted.chicken: planted.chicken is responsible for 1.62 kg CO 2 -eq/kg, animal chicken breast for 7.01 kg CO 2 -eq/kg. This means that planted.chicken produces 77% less CO 2 -eq emissions per weight of product. 


Fresh water and scarce water resources 

This comparison was calculated to determine how much water is used for crop irrigation as well as drinking water, animal housing, slaughter and production. 

The evaluation found that all of Planted's retail plant-based meats use 75-90% less fresh water compared to their animal counterparts. Because large amounts of water are required to irrigate fodder plants, and additional resources are also used up during the life of the animal. Additionally, all Planted plant-based meats have a very low water scarcity footprint. This means that the ingredients come from regions where there is little or no water scarcity. 

Example planted.chicken: 1 kg of chicken breast uses 755 l of fresh water and 204 l of scarce water. If you compare planted.chicken to animal chicken breast, Planted uses 85% less fresh water and 80% less scarce water per weight of product. 



Savings with Planted products 

For Planted consumers, this means that choosing a planted.schnitzel instead of a pork schnitzel can reduce the climate footprint by 87% CO 2 -eq per kilogram. While the production of one kilogram of pork schnitzel emits as many greenhouse gas emissions as a 54 km car journey, the production of planted.schnitzel only produces the equivalent of 7 km. 


To produce one kilogram of pork schnitzel, an amount of water is required that is equivalent to 67 times the amount of water used in a normal dishwasher. planted.schnitzel requires water from just seven dishwasher cycles, saving 90% of water. 


For Christoph Jenny, co-founder of Planted, these values ​​underline that the company is on the right path. “Our goal is to offer products that are better than animal meat – and without the negative environmental consequences associated with animal farming. We want to offer future generations more choice and produce natural products that are good for our planet, healthy and taste great at the same time. The updated assessment shows that our improved formulations, better packaging and changed distribution systems are having an even greater impact on carbon and water footprints than previously thought,” said Jenny. And further: “We are proud of every step we take and will not stand still. Reducing plastics and energy in our supply chain is another important focus.” 

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