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UK-France carbon project picks up European award

The UK-France collaborative project Cool Food has been named the winner of a European REGIOSTARS Award 2020, chosen in a year when the awards received its highest ever number of applications.

The Cool Food project won in the Sustainable Growth: Circular economy for a green Europe category. It was selected for its contribution to reducing carbon emissions by encouraging people to make planet-friendly food choices.

Launched in 2019 as a partnership project between the French organisation Al’Terre Breizh and the environmental charity PECT, Cool Food is a digital tool designed to recommend and capture commitments from individuals to change food habits and help the environment.

The process of growing, harvesting, and transporting food accounts for almost a third of the world’s carbon emissions.

The good news is that the project identified the small actions everyone can take to reduce our environmental impact, and aims to help households in the UK and France make a 20 per cent reduction in their carbon emissions through changing meal and food shopping habits.

By showing individuals, communities, and organisations the real-time impact of their choices, the tool empowers people to work together to reduce CO2 emissions.

At the heart of the tool is a counter that lets people commit to a low carbon food habit, such as trying vegetarian meals, adopting dairy-free days, buying locally, or reducing food waste.

PECT’s CEO Carly Leonard explains: “Cool Food is already having a big impact. Its 2,800 users have collectively reduced their food-related carbon emissions by an impressive 400 tonnes – two times the project’s original target.

“To put this in perspective, this reduction is the equivalent of nearly 400 round trip flights from Paris to New York!”

“We are delighted to have received this award in recognition of the collaborative work between the UK and French teams, and because it really demonstrates how important individual food choices can be in helping to tackle the climate crisis.”

The REGIOSTARS Awards is an annual competition organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy.

It aims at identifying good practices in regional development and highlighting innovative, EU-funded projects.

For the first time ever, this year’s awards ceremony was fully digital.

The Cool Food project was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund via the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, which promotes cross border co-operation.

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