Root Global wants to be the operating system for food carbon neutrality – TechCrunch

Our food chains are known to be not exactly amazing for the amount of carbon they release into the atmosphere. Root Global has just raised a round of funding with the goal of becoming what it calls the “carbon mining system” for the food industry. He creates software to help companies along the food value chain achieve zero emissions.

Food production is notoriously complex when it comes to climate change; waste is commonplace and greenhouse gas emissions from food production are significant. Estimates in this sector vary wildly, from 11% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to the EPA. Other estimates range from around 19% globally to 30%, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Root’s software platform enables manufacturers, food processors and food and beverage retailers to calculate carbon scores and guide business decisions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in the future.

“The climate effort is a value chain effort. We help everyone in the food industry speak the same carbon language, share activity data in the same format, and calculate carbon scores using the same methodology,” said Eric Oancea, co-founder of Root, in an interview with TechCrunch. “Today, our food system emits 16.5 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent, or nearly one in three tonnes that escapes into the atmosphere. With Root, we build the decision-making infrastructure to get to Zero.

Much of the problem lies with large food conglomerates, says Oancea.

“[Food producers] struggle to understand how to manage emissions. They may know how to source cocoa beans and they know how to produce chocolate, but they have no idea how to track their emissions and they don’t know how to then make decisions in a way that actually reduce [carbon emissions]says Oancea, explaining how excited he is that consumers are putting pressure on the companies they buy from. “Work is underway on product labeling so that consumers can understand what they are consuming. It will come, and it will probably be mandatory at the end of 2024.”

For product labeling to even be possible, producers need to know what the full life cycle carbon emissions of a product are. This is the void that Root hopes to fill.

“I think companies are going much faster than regulations at this point. EU regulations are basically just following the forerunners. The other thing that has happened is that companies are setting themselves goals made public, usually on science-based initiatives,” says Oancea. “For example, if you look at the adoption curve of these goals, they have tripled in the last two years. Suddenly you have an exponential increase in companies But now we see SMBs and B2C brands setting goals like “by 2030, I need to reduce my scope three emissions by 45%” Knowing how they do that is something with which they’re just struggling. They’ve released billion dollar budgets. Now they have to figure out where to invest that money in their supply chains, where 95% of their footprint comes from, and then redefine it. uire their carbon footprint.

Project A led the $2.6 million pre-seed funding round, with participation from Nucleus and several angel investors with experience in business development and the food and beverage industry.