Sustainable nutrition

We are currently facing potential insecurity of global resources to feed a projected world population of nearly 10 billion by the year 2050,1 as well as an expected 70% greater demand for animal-based food by the same year.2 As the population grows and culture changes, the demand for sustainable food and alternative, complete protein options, continues to increase.

Quorn mycoprotein was developed during the time of the Green Revolution, a 30-year period in the mid-1900s, when there were genuine concerns about feeding the world, which led to the growth of agricultural research and technology to help increase harvesting yields and production. This is as revolutionary now, as it was then.


The carbon footprint of Quorn mycoprotein can be considered to be at least 55 times lower than beef

What does the science say about mycoprotein?

Quorn mycoprotein offers an important example of a healthy protein with a low environmental impact and is part of the solution needed to address this issue of today’s generation – how to transform the global food system to offer current and future generations a healthy and sustainable food future.

A research paper published in 2022 showed that swapping only 20% of global beef consumption for Quorn mycoprotein in the next 30 years can halve deforestation and carbon emissions associated with it.3

Quorn mycoprotein is made using a tiny member of the fungi family, converted into protein and is produced with minimal demand for land or environmental burden. The nature of the efficient method of producing high quality protein via fermentation means a lower requirement for land and water through the supply chain, plus the production of significantly lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Analysis conducted since 2011 led to Quorn Foods becoming the first global meat-alternative company to achieve third-party, independent certification of its portfolio of product carbon footprint results. These figures are then comparable with publicly available data for animal proteins; the results of which have also been verified by the Carbon Trust and are evidenced below.

Quorn mycoprotein has distinct environmental benefits as a fungi-derived protein produced using a very efficient fermentation production process. This can be measured across a number of metrics – primarily carbon emissions, water use and land efficiency:

  • The carbon footprint of Quorn mycoprotein is 55 times lower than beef, 13 times lower than pork and nearly 7 times lower than chicken.*
  • The water footprint of Quorn mycoprotein is 13.5 times lower than beef, 16 times lower than pork and 3.5 times lower than chicken.*
  • The land use requirement of Quorn mycoprotein is 5.5 times lower than beef, 6 times lower than pork and 3.6 times lower than chicken.*

Data sources:
* Quorn Footprint Comparison Report (the Carbon Trust, 2023). Values of beef and chicken are average among four markets, the UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium. Pork value is from the UK market only.
* The comparisons used a conservative approach, comparing the higher end of environmental footprints of Quorn mycoprotein with the lower end of comparative meat proteins. Further information can be found at Quorn Footprint Comparison Report4.

Incorporating Quorn mycoprotein into a dietary plan

Climate change and sustainability are increasingly a concern for food producers and individuals alike.

Quorn mycoprotein has distinct environmental benefits. Producing protein through fermentation is more efficient and far more land-light than protein derived from rearing animals. Moreover, Quorn Foods has continuously increased the use of renewable energy in the production of mycoprotein to make the protein even more sustainable. 95% of the steam used in Quorn mycoprotein production is waste steam from local industrial processes while over 80% of electricity is from renewable sources.

Therefore, Quorn mycoprotein has a significantly smaller carbon footprint and requires less land and water resources than livestock production.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) Environmentally Sustainable Diet5 recommends an increase in and prioritisation of non-animal sources of protein, which includes mycoprotein.


To find out more, please click here to read our latest Quorn Footprint Comparison Report.

Please email us at if you have a question about the nutrition or sustainability of Quorn mycoprotein.

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