UK hospitality technology company It’s Lolly has launched a new function through its app which is designed to help customers understand the carbon impact of the food and drinks they order at events.

The carbon food scoring tool is able to calculate the CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, value for each product with an at-a-glance visual scale enabling the user to understand the CO2e score and where it is on a scale of low to high.

Users are advised, as an example, that an enchilada comes in at a score of 50 CO2e (medium), whereas fish and chips are rated very high at 300. When a customer makes their food choices, adding, deselecting or amending items, they can see the ordering system adding up or subtracting the overall carbon rating.

Uniquely, It’s Lolly said operators can send encouraging messages relating to the CO2e such as ‘your CO2e is 100 CO2e against an average of 200 CO2e’. As consumers can see the score by individual product, they are knowledgeable about how environmentally sound their decisions are.

Peter Moore, CEO of It’s Lolly, said: “Just as it has become mandatory for some businesses to clearly and prominently display calorie counts, at the point of choice, it could only be a matter of time before sustainability measures are a ‘licence’ to operate. In which case, we’re helping our hospitality customers get ahead of the game.

“With the UK government’s drive to slash carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 and reach Net Zero by 2050, businesses are under increasing scrutiny and will be subject to ever-stricter regulatory requirements not only to measure and report on their energy use, but to report on how they plan to decarbonise.

“Over the last few decades, we have moved from brands that ‘look good’ to brands that ‘do good’. Ethical consumerism in the food sector is growing and now wider society expects brands to act as corporate citizens and demonstrate how they play their part in finding solutions that add care of the planet and people to their measures of success.

“Once the consumer has all of the CO2e facts they can decide how they manage their carbon scores, giving them choice. Harnessed well, this will enable hospitality providers to align with their customers’ preferences and demonstrate how they are playing their part as corporate citizens, in turn, they’ll experience greater levels of customer loyalty.”