Sysco Subsidiary Menigo Applies CarbonCloud Machine Learning to 23,000 products

Menigo launches its largest climate data initiative ever in a new partnership with CarbonCloud. The startup’s climate intelligence platform calculates the footprint of the entire product portfolio with machine learning technology and provides Menigo and its clients with better climate insights.

The sustainability landscape is filled with pitfalls and hazards for food companies. Dozens of labels, embryonic standards, regulations and policies makes it difficult to navigate. The aspect that truly matters, however, is the number behind it all, or how much emissions are related to production and consumption.

Menigo, the Swedish subsidiary of global foodservice leader Sysco, has entered a partnership with CarbonCloud to answer the climate footprint question for 23,000 products in one go. Menigo plans to label all its products with the actual footprint number, rather than an arbitrary scale of good and bad. This enables simple comparisons of every product in stock and enables Menigo’s clients make more climate-friendly purchasing decisions.

Menigo aims to integrate CarbonCloud directly with its ERP and e-commerce later in 2023, adding the possibility of emissions-based recommendations for its clients at the checkout stage.

Climate footprints have previously been done with conventional life cycle assessments that take months or even years for individual products. The CarbonCloud platform can handle thousands of products in mere weeks because it uses machine learning and algorithm-based calculations. Speed is of the essence for the constantly changing inventory of a retailer or foodservice company.

”The scalability of this solution is a complete game changer. We are moving from a top-down estimate for the entire business to detailed data for every product. With CarbonCloud, we are now the fastest climate footprint producer in Sweden”, says Jonas Köhler, CEO at Menigo.

Menigo has set an ambitious target of reaching net zero in 2030. This means that emissions need to start shrinking – fast. The vast majority of the company’s emissions comes from scope 3, upstream or downstream in the supply chain. The ability to work effectively in the procurement process and with supplier optimization is a deciding factor for whether the company reaches its target.

A critical aspect of CarbonCloud’s solution is the ability to connect the entire supply chain network. The system maps out the entire value chain of creating each product, from farm to store shelf. If an actor in the network changes its recipes, sourcing or processes, it is immediately reflected for every connected company. This network effect allows all food industry actors to measure and share their climate footprint and compare every supplier on a like-for-like basis.

“The network is necessary for everyone to collaborate around climate performance. The Menigo partnership is a huge milestone in our vision of connecting the entire food industry on a single platform. Menigo is a trailblazer as the first foodservice company in Sweden and we could not have envisioned a better partner in this”, says David Bryngelsson, CEO of CarbonCloud.

A further unique feature of CarbonCloud is that the company calculates the footprints itself. The company uses raw production data and calculation standards instead of relying on external databases to match footprints to products. The methodology is compliant with global frameworks and aligns with the scientific development. The calculation of a single crop at a single farm includes 45 different parameters such as yield per hectare, fuel use and fertilizer use. The system allows everything within the model to be compared fairly since every footprint uses the same calculation model. This is impossible in the case of two footprints calculated with different models.

“Our solution enables comparison of literal apples and oranges, or anything else for that matter”, says David Bryngelsson.