LACA has teamed up with the University of Edinburgh Business School, LM3 and ASSIST FM to produce a carbon calculator specially aimed at the school food sector.
With COP26 highlighting the need to work towards net zero over the next few decades, LACA believes the government will increase pressure on individuals and organisations to look at ways to achieve this.
It expects a net zero strategy to be at the core of every tender including those for the school food service.
The meal analyser allows any organisation running a meal service to calculate the annual carbon and economic impacts of that service.
It will show organisations where their carbon emissions are coming from, and how they compare across different types of food, transport and disposal.
The assumptions underlying the calculator are taken from detailed analysis of five school food services across England and Scotland.
A report showing the outcomes of this analysis reveals that if the average carbon footprint is taken for a school foodservice, an area roughly the size of Wales would have to be planted with rain forest to offset the carbon impact every year.
It also shows that ensuring waste food does not go to landfill is vital to managing carbon output, while red meat from ruminants has the greatest impact on carbon footprint of any single food type. Increased use of raw fruit and vegetables lowers carbon footprint.
LACA said it is vital that as many of its members use the tool as possible and upload their figures to build a true picture of the impact of service on carbon output.