Enabling caterers to calculate the greenhouse gas footprint of their menus, The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) has launched a greenhouse gas calculator available online now, for free.

Claiming TUCO’s “keen interest in the environmental impact of food, and drive to discover the environmental footprint menu items have in university dining halls” is what led it to invest time and money in the application.

Headed by chief executive Mike Haslin and TUCO consultant, Elizabeth Crawford, the calculator displays total greenhouse gases and emissions per serving (in grams) for 207 ingredients, with more to be added later in the year.

Haslin commented: “TUCO is extremely excited to launch the new greenhouse gas footprint calculator on its website.

“The application is a stimulating and valuable tool for our members, allowing them to share important information with their diners in higher and further education.

Helen Harwatt, Planet Friendly Food lead consultant, who worked with TUCO on the seven-month project, added: “I thought this was a great idea and fitted well within my area of expertise, as I’ve worked on food greenhouse gas footprinting.

“I’m keen to contribute to projects that provide tools for institutes to move forward with sustainable food.

“I can see the calculator being a very helpful tool with some interesting and diverse consequences.

“As far as I know, this is the first calculator of its kind, so I think TUCO deserve recognition for their forward thinking and innovation.”