31% of human-caused global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions originate from the world’s agri-food systems. Today, carbon increasingly has a price tag attached to it - be it in the form of carbon tax, carbon allowances, voluntary carbon offsets or even just company-internal fees.
Consumer-facing food brands struggle to see beyond their four walls and understand where and how their products’ emissions come to be. This is an issue for companies that want to lower their environmental footprint.
Enter Germany’s Root Global, which aims to decarbonise the global food system. The platform is helping companies along the food value chain make business decisions that lead to sustainable carbon reduction and climate-friendlier consumer products.
With the help of its software platform customers identify, collect, and centralise activity data across their supply chains. Root’s algorithms then model emission scores of ingredients, products and entire companies.
Root’s vision is to become the carbon OS of the food industry, guiding all decisions that might have an impact on a company’s emission score and hence bottom line. In an attempt in doing so, the Berlin-based startup has now brought in €2.5 million in funding.
The pre-seed financing round was led by Project A with the participation of Nucleus and a large group of angel investors, including food industry veterans Andreas Berger (ex-managing director of Aldi), Markus Windisch (COO of HelloFresh) and Mengting Gao (founder and CEO of Kitchen Stories) and proven company builders, such as Julius Köhler (co-founder and MD of sennder), Mike Rötgers (co-founder and CTO of cargo.one) and Vassili Samolis (senior director of product in Doordash).
The funding will be utilised in building the first full version of its product together with its first pilot customers.
Eric Oancea, co-founder of Root said: “Climate effort is a value chain effort. We help all stakeholders in the food industry to speak the same carbon language, share activity data in the same format, and calculate carbon scores using the same methodology. Today, our food system emits 16.5 billion tons of carbon equivalents - almost every third ton going out into the atmosphere. With Root we build the decision-making infrastructure to get to zero.”
Anton Waitz, general partner at Project A added: “Carbon-intense products will become unaffordable to the average consumer and companies that do not manage their climate footprint well, will no longer be able to compete in a hyper-competitive food market. We have been looking for a solution in climate tech that goes beyond estimating and offsetting emissions.”