Drew et al., in their journal article entitled Healthy and Climate-friendly Eating Patterns in the New Zealand Context, compiled the first New Zealand-specific database of foods and their associated greenhouse gas footprints. The below table presents a list of commonly consumed food items in New Zealand and their climate footprint (measured in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per kilogram of food item), which is broken down by the various lifecycle stages: farming and processing, packaging, transportation and so forth.

A technical description of the graphic can be found below.

Citation: Drew, J., Cleghorn, C., Macmillan, A., & Mizdrak, A. (2020). Healthy and Climate-Friendly Eating Patterns in the New Zealand Context. Environmental Health Perspectives, 128(1), 017007.

New Zealand Food Emissions Database


Technical Description: This graphic presents a NZ-specific food emissions database,, which was developed by modifying cradle to point-of-sale reference emissions estimates  (sourced from the UK-based lifecycle assessment (LCA) database compiled by Hoolohan et al. (2013), according to the NZ context.

Extant NZ-specific LCAs were used to represent foods produced in NZ where available. Reference transportation estimates were replaced with NZ-specific estimates that were calculated by estimating the distances that food groups travel and then multiplying these distances by emissions factors for the respective modes of transport.

Differences in electricity related-emissions were accounted for by scaling the electricity component of downstream lifecycle stages (warehouse and distribution, refrigeration, and overheads), according to differences in non-renewable electricity usage between New Zealand and the UK. Other emissions sources from these lifecycle stages, as well as emissions arising from packaging, were assumed to be generalizable to the NZ context.