New Study Shows That Violife Have At Least 50% Lower Climate Impact and Uses Less Than 30% of Land Than Dairy Cheese

New Study Shows That Violife Have At Least 50% Lower Climate Impact and Uses Less Than 30% of Land Than Dairy Cheese

We've been working hard behind the scenes on updating our article from 2 years ago about the environmental impact of vegan cheese

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We've been working hard behind the scenes on updating our article from 2 years ago about the environmental impact of vegan cheese compared to dairy cheese.

And at the same time, Violife who have partnered with Quantis have been working on their own study to show the life cycle and environmental impact of their Violife vegan cheeses compared to dairy cheese.

The PDF and study takes Violifes 20 most popular products and compares them to similar dairy cheeses that they are alternatives to. You can see their change your cheese statement and study links here

We already knew that vegan cheeses overall were drastically better for the environment from our own research and findings, but to see one of the largest vegan cheese brands to come out with this news was exciting and another nail in the animal-ag coffin.

And this is the conclusion and findings that Quantis have summarised:

The study shows that Violife Products have at least 50% lower climate impacts and occupies less than 30% of land than dairy cheese.

Below we will expand on the environmental impact of their vegan cheeses and what the study elaborates on.

And if you would like to just see the study, we have embedded that at the bottom of this article for you to browse and scroll through.

violife quantis vegan cheese environmental impact study graph

Climate Change Impacts and Emissions

One of the first environmental impacts people are mostly concerned with is that of emissions and this is the first comparison they give between Violife vegan cheeses and dairy cheese.

The average climate change impacts of Violife Products assessed across recipes and markets is 2.8 CO2-eq per kg of product whereas the average impact for dairy cheese across markets is 8.4 CO2-eq. Violife Products have an overall average savings of 72% compared to dairy cheese.

Straight off, you have a 72% savings on co2e emissions compared to their counterpart dairy cheese options that they are comparing to.

This was averaged out over the 20 Violife products with each showing how well they rated in terms of co2e and each of their dairy offerings as well.

They found that Violife Products vary between 2.2 and 3.2 kg CO2-eq per kg of product and dairy cheese varied between 6.1 and 11.9 kg CO2-eq per kg dairy cheese

The worst case scenario for Violife was with the Violife Feta Flavour and if that was consumed in the United States, with a 3.2 CO2-eq per kg.

With the worst dairy cheese alternative to Violife being a dairy cheddar that was purchased in the United Kingdom and a 11.9 CO2-eq per kg.

Land Use of Violife Vegan Cheese

Decades after environmental issues were being raised we still have the issues of looking beyond carbon emissions as the sole issue of climate change and environmental problems.

After all, the environment is categorised as a number of things, and not just some of the gases that exist in our living systems.

One of the biggest issues we have with our environment, is that the natural environment has been completely wiped out, wild habitats and biodiversity have vanished by over 50% since the industrial revolution in the UK.

And the leading cause of this issue is that of animal-agriculture, which takes up more than 82% of all farmland, yet only produces 18% of our calories we consume.

To further back up these land issues Quantis and Violife have summarised their findings as such:

The average land occupation of Violife Products across recipes and markets is 1.7 m2 .y per kg of product whereas the average occupation for dairy cheese across markets is 7.6 m2 .y, having Violife Products an average savings of 82%.

You read that right, by choosing a vegan cheese, such as Violife, instead of a dairy alternative, you will require, on average, 82% less land to create the same amount of cheese.

For Violife, the land occupation of 1 kg Violife Products varies between 1.5 and 2.1m2 .y per kg of product. Where dairy cheese varies between 5.2 and 11.6 m2 .y per kg.

The worst case scenario for both of these is 2.1m2 for vegan cheese and 11.6 .y per kg for dairy cheese.


Water Use of Violife Cheeses and Dairy Cheese

It is with water use that Violife still has an improvement over dairy cheeses, but by not as much as compared to land use and carbon emissions.

For the majority of vegan cheeses by Violife, 12 in total, they are better than their dairy counterpart for water use and use on average, 40% less water.

This isn't true for all Violife vegan cheeses though, particularly their Feta alternative, which actually uses 9% more water than the feta counter part.

This is mainly due to the fact that Feta dairy cheese is made using sheeps milk, which uses less water than that of cows milk cheeses and added to that, the Feta alternative made by Violife uses more water than the rest of the other Violife products they have researched.

Violife Feta uses 0.026m3 of water for every KG of cheese made and the dairy feta cheese uses 0.024m3 of water per KG. This is a tiny difference, but is made up by the other vegan cheeses in their range.

The data for water use by Quantis also have this to say about this area of research:

The quality of water consumption data in LCA databases is not robust enough to support external communications and comparative claims

Which shows that they did have problems working out this area of resource usage and there is potential for the water use to be even less than 40% or actually, more water is used by Violife and that 40% saving of water could be smaller.

We also came to similar conlusions with our own article posted about water use in vegan cheese last year.

Conclusions of Their Study

This study shows that Violife Products have at least 50% lower climate impacts and occupies less than 30% of land than dairy cheese.

These are huge numbers to summarise with and is just another great reason to choose vegan cheese over dairy.

What we really like about their conclusion is that they have the potential to make their vegan cheese even more environmentally friendly through the research and development of new and different ingredients which have even smaller environmental footprints.

When moving towards more sustainable 100% vegan alternatives to cheese, a key factor would be to reduce impacts related to the product distribution and the embodied environmental impacts from coconut oil through better understanding and improvements in supply chain sourcing, farm level agricultural practices, and product recipe design.

They can see what tasty vegan cheese they can make by replacing coconut oil for ingredients that are even more environmentally friendly and have less environmental impact in the areas of eutrophication, water use, land use, emissions, etc.


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