Know Your Footprint

Know Your Footprint

Transparency has been at Open Farm’s core since our founding in 2014. Pet parents have always been able to trace their Open Farm ingredients back to the source, but today we’re leaning into our obsession with transparency and telling a more complete story about the environmental impact of our products.

Open Farm is proud to be rolling out our new Know Your Footprint online experience. Our new site tools will allow pet parents to see the carbon footprint (or is it pawprint?) of their Open Farm products, and to better understand which products are lower carbon options, so they can make a fully informed decision for themselves and their pet. We’re on a mission to do some good for animals and the planet, and we want to equip pet parents with the information they need to do the same.

The Know Your Footprint Experience has three core tools:

  1. Open Farm Promise QR Code: By scanning the QR code on any of our products, customers can learn more about the rigor behind our sustainability and animal welfare standards as well as see the carbon footprint of each product. We are committed to transparently sharing the carbon emissions data for all of our products, and to publicly updating these figures annually. We are in the process of rolling out our new QR feature across each of our product lines.
  2. Lower Carbon Product Badges: The new “Lower Carbon Option” product badges on our site help customers easily identify our lowest carbon emitting products, each of which emits 1kg CO2e or less per lb of product, as they browse through any product page on the site.
  3. Lower Carbon Collection Page: Our "Lower Carbon Options" collection page displays all of our lowest carbon emitting products in one place, so pet parents can easily browse all of the options available in this category at the one time.

Know Your Footprint

Know Your Footprint

Lower Carbon Options

Why does Know Your Footprint matter?

We believe in setting big, ambitious goals, but we also recognize that it can take many small actions to meet those goals over time. In 2020, Open Farm committed to a Science Based Target (SBT) goal to reduce the direct emissions from our manufacturing and operations by 42% by 2030, while at the same time minimizing the indirect emissions from our raw materials. As we make large scale changes throughout our business to reduce our emissions, we also want to provide information to empower pet parents to take small steps to reduce their own carbon footprint while purchasing Open Farm. We believe that it’s our job to provide the information, and the consumer’s job to make whatever choices feel right for their pets and their families.


Screening Level Life Cycle Assessment
Soon after we set our Science-Based Target in 2020, we conducted a screening-level Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of each of our products, where an independent third-party estimated the carbon emissions associated with each product. We worked with our third-party consultant to analyze each stage of the product life cycle, from ingredients to processing to transportation to packaging and estimate the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This analysis leveraged information from our annual GHG inventory process as well as product-level information, including emission factor data (or suitable proxies) for the 140+ ingredients we use across 50+ recipes. The result of this work was a product-level list of detailed carbon emissions for every item we produce.

Setting a “Lower Carbon Option” threshold
Establishing what would qualify as a “lower carbon option” required a great deal of thought, debate and consideration. Generally speaking, there is very minimal data available about the relative emissions of other pet food products today. Open Farm is one of the few brands to have conducted a screening level lifecycle assessment and the first in the pet space to publicize our data. For this reason, we had to look outside of our industry for benchmarks to help establish what a reasonable threshold should be. We evaluated multiple ingredient and meal related academic studies and benchmarks across the US, Canada, and Europe and found that emissions factors for average human meals, which are protein heavy, are well above the 1kg per pound threshold we set for ourselves to classify products as lower carbon options. Check out this calculator if you want to know more about your carbon footprint. Right now, about one third of our recipes are below the threshold we set for ourselves, but our goal is to get many products under this threshold, and it will require working with partners along our value chain to increase regenerative and sustainable practices and measuring outcomes frequently. Transparency is a defining feature of Open Farm, and we are excited to bring you behind the scenes of our operations and help pet parents know their footprint.

The table below lists all of Open Farm’s current products, and their carbon footprint based on 1 pound of product. These numbers were updated on February 6th, 2023.

Carbon Assessment of Open Farm Recipes


I am surprised to see beef recipes included in your lower carbon options, considering beef is a well known high carbon emitting ingredient?

We have four beef-based products that are classified as Lower Carbon Options: Grass-Fed Beef Bone Broth, Grass-Fed Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Grass-Fed Beef & Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food, and Grass-Fed Beef Rustic Blend Wet Cat Food. The carbon footprint of our products is calculated based on multiple inputs, including ingredients, but also manufacturing, packaging, and transportation. Although there may be an energy intensive ingredient included in a specific product, how all the pieces of the carbon footprint come together ultimately results in the final carbon footprint number reported.

In this case, the manufacturing methods and/or specific facilities that produce the beef products listed above are more energy efficient than the methods and/or facilities that produce some of our other products. The lower manufacturing emissions have an offsetting effect to the more carbon intensive main raw material, beef.

In addition, Open Farm takes a whole animal approach to sourcing beef. This means that a high percentage of the animal is used. As a result, the carbon emissions emitted through the life of the animal and during processing and transportation are split out amongst more pounds of usable meat, since less of the animal is wasted. This tends to result in a lower relative carbon footprint versus some other beef products.

I did not see your Kind Earth Premium Insect Kibble listed as a “Lower Carbon Option,” why is this?

The first ingredient in this recipe is dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae that we source from an innovative producer in Kentucky. The carbon footprint of this product is driven by the drying process of the larvae before it is made into kibble. The Black Soldier Fly Larvae are humanely euthanatized with a quick, high (dry) heat process to quickly euthanatize the larvae, which is the most humane approach but does result in a higher carbon footprint.

Why do your dehydrated beef treats have the highest carbon footprint?

Our Dehydrated Beef treats use a carbon intensive ingredient (beef), combined with a carbon intensive manufacturing process (dehydration), which ultimately results in a higher carbon footprint.

Why do your supplements have high carbon footprints?

The carbon footprint of our line of supplements is driven largely by the emissions associated with product manufacturing. Because our supplements are packed full with nutritious and functional ingredients in one small bite sized morsel, a lot of energy is required to make this product.

How do I know how big or small the carbon footprint of the product is relative to other emissions in my life?

What does 0.95 kg CO2e per lb of Homestead Turkey & Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food mean for you? Our team has enjoyed using this calculator from The Nature Conservancy to better understand our total footprint, where the hotspot areas are in our own lives, and what are a few small changes we can make to reduce our emissions where we can.

Why did you measure greenhouse gas emissions in kg CO2e/lb product and what does that mean?

We measured our emissions in kilograms (kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per pound of product. Using CO2e considers all greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide, methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in one unit of measurement. We communicate the carbon emissions of each product per pound of product so that we can compare each of our products easily to one another.

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