SSP Group, a leading operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations worldwide, has joined forces with Klimato, specialists in helping restaurants calculate, communicate and track the climate impact of their food, to measure its recipes’ carbon emissions and pilot carbon labelling on its menus.

SSP will be conducting a two-month pilot of carbon labelling on the menus for its Ritazza and Camden Food Co. brands at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s newly opened Terminal A. Chefs will be able to use the Klimato platform to assess the carbon impact of recipes, which will then be displayed on the menus. Point of sale materials explaining the labelling will also be prominently displayed in both outlets to help customers make more informed choices. The process will help SSP explore the effect labelling has on customer behaviour, and to develop more sustainable offerings. This is the first time Klimato carbon labelling has been employed in a travel location and, if successful, SSP will roll out carbon labels more widely across its menus.

The carbon labelling pilot is part of SSP’s wider strategy to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 2040*. Already SSP is making strong progress, with a 42% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2023, from its 2019 base year. The greater challenge is in reducing Scope 3 emissions – primarily from the food and drink SSP sells – which this intiative is focusing on. It also coincides with the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference (COP28), being held in Dubai from 30th November until 12th December with a strong focus on food sustainability. The pilot will be taking place at two units that are located in areas that are expected to be particularly busy.

Sustainability has been a key priority during the design, construction and operation of SSP’s new units at Abu Dhabi, which aligns with the airport’s sustainable build standards. For example, 90% of the wood used in the build was from recycled or reclaimed sources, and 85% of all floor and wall tiling used are locally sourced with a minimum of 20% recycled content. In addition, the units have been fitted with water-based air-conditioning and a system to extract steam from hoods and recycle it into clean air, alongside other energy-efficient equipment. As another example of sustainability practice at the airport, SSP has partnered with The Waste Lab, a Dubai-based women-owned start-up, to turn waste coffee grounds from its units into fertiliser for use by local communities.

Commenting on the initiative, Mark Angela, CEO of SSP EEME and India, said; “As part of our net-zero commitment, we are working to reduce carbon emissions associated with food and beverage across our business. This new carbon labelling initiative takes a science-based, data-driven approach to decarbonising our menus. And the associated communications campaign will drive customer awareness to help passengers make more informed and considered food choices.”

Ollie Judge, Chief Marketing Officer, Klimato, said: “We are delighted to partner with SSP in their commitment to addressing climate change and promoting sustainability within the food industry. SSP’s dedication to calculating, communicating and reducing their food’s environmental impact is commendable. By taking this important step, they are not only leading by example but also raising awareness about the crucial issue of food and sustainability. Together, we can create a brighter, more sustainable future for our planet.”


* SSP’s net-zero target has been verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and includes near-term targets to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 60% by FY2032, from a FY2019 base year, and absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services and capital goods by 35% within the same time frame; and a long-term target to reduce absolute Scopes 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 90% by FY2040 (again from a FY2019 base year). FY relates to SSP’s financial year from 1 October to 30 September. All references in this to target dates, base years and performance relate to the financial year end.