The Urgent Company’s Brave Robot Ice Cream brand will be the first dairy ice cream sold in USA grocery stores to publish carbon footprint information on product packaging, as pints make their way into freezer cases across the nation this summer.
The brand is conducting an independent Life Cycle Assessment, and initial findings of the study show that the absolute carbon footprint for its ice cream pint is 0.76 kgCO2e, or the equivalent of driving 1.9 miles in a passenger car. The product’s low carbon footprint (approximately 34% lower when compared to traditional dairy ice cream) is, in part, made possible by its use of animal-free whey protein from Perfect Day, which created the independently-run Brave Robot Ice Cream enterprise in 2020.
Founded in 2014 by Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi, Perfect Day utilizes fermentation to create proprietary “flora-made” dairy protein. The Emeryville, California-based company chose to use fungi because they have a long history of safety in making ingredients in many foods on the market today, and because microflora are particularly good at producing animal proteins. Products made with the ingredient can be labeled as vegan and lactose-free.
Perfect Day’s protein production reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 85% and up to 97%, compared to conventional production methods of bovine whey, as stated in their ISO-certified, third party-validated life cycle assessment from WSP.
“Reducing the impact of manufacturing the foods we love is at the core of what we do,” said Paul Kollesoff, founder and general manager at The Urgent Company. “In order to improve anything, you have to measure it first. We will continue to quantify our environmental impact in the months ahead, giving our customers a deeper understanding of how they benefit the planet when they choose Brave Robot over a traditional dairy pint of ice cream.”
100% Recyclable Packaging
In addition to product ingredients, sustainable packaging also contributes to a lower carbon footprint. Brave Robot ice cream is packaged in an FSC-certified paper container, with sugarcane-derived liner and petroleum-free seals that are 100% recyclable.
GHG emissions information will be spelled out on packaging this summer, along with an accompanying QR code driving to BraveRobot.co/impact where customers can learn more about the brand’s commitment to sustainability and celebrate with a free pint. The statement will be printed on the safety seal of each pint, under the lid, and will migrate to the side panel by 2022.
“Carbon labeling of consumer products is a growing trend, and we believe that greater transparency around GHG emission metrics is an important step to promote climate literacy,” said Jon Spear, vice president of marketing at The Urgent Company. “We want people to understand that the smallest of changes in diet can have an outsized impact on the climate.”
Brave Robot is priced at $5.99 per pint and will be soon found in the frozen food sections of more than 5,000 retail locations, including Kroger, Safeway/Albertsons, Sprouts, Stop & Shop and at braverobot.co.