COVERE² -kickoff: toward a net zero agri-food sector

The COVERE²-project kicked off in the fall 2023. The project aims at developing a solution which enable agri-food producers to collect, verify, report and ultimately reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It is funded by EIT Food and will run for two years.

COVERE2 -kickoff meeting at the Viikki Research Farm

The focus of COVERE² is on milk and dairy production, because of its high impact on the environment. However, agricultural companies face several challenges in reaching their net zero goals, such as a lack of fast, simple, and comprehensive traceability of the environmental footprint and low quality of available data. 

Marie-Lou Manca  Sustainability Consultant at Eleks stresses that the demand for the solution is driven by new regulations, such as the EU Directive on Green Claims and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), and by stakeholders’ and customers’ willingness to buy more sustainable products.

The unique value proposition of COVERE² solution for agri-food companies lies in the granularity and verification of GHG emissions data. In addition, the solution offers a unique and comprehensive analysis of electricity consumption and related GHG emissions. Thanks to the technology of ELEKS’ product DAKAR, agri-food producers are able to map the source of the energy they consume. Hence, they are well-informed and equipped to define GhG emissions reduction scenarios and implement plans to reduce their environmental footprint.

One of the project's key objectives is to calculate the carbon footprint of milk at the farm level. Professor Hanna Tuomisto from the University of Helsinki brought up that the life cycle assessment method is an effective tool for evaluating the environmental impacts of a given product. European commission’s product environmental footprint aims to provide standardised guidelines for companies to assess and report the environmental impacts of their products. Overall, the project is composed of four phases, from product development, market research, to the testing phase and market launch, including sales, marketing, and business development.

Lyubomyr Matsekh, Sustainability Consultancy Practice Lead at Eleks, highlighted that the solution is easily scalable to other agri-food sectors, beyond milk and dairy production, and even to other industries. Throughout the course of the project, the consortium will keep working on developing the COVERE² solution to enable further applications.  

The COVERE²- kick-off meeting took place on November 22nd 2023 in Helsinki and was held as a hybrid event. Representatives from all consortium partners University of Helsinki, Eleks, MCAST and Vitagora attended the event onsite or online. The agenda consisted in validating the work plan, the communication strategy, the commercialization objectives, the partners collaboration platforms and included a visit of Viikki’s research farm.   

COVERE² partner Eleks' news