The Big Climate Database wins the 2021 Nordic Council Environment Prize

02.11.21 | News
Vinder af Nordisk Råds miljøpris 2021

Vinder af Nordisk Råds miljøpris 2021

Photographer Fröderberg

Michael Minter, programme manager for think-tank CONCITO’s food programme

A proud programme manager for think-tank CONCITO’s food programme went up on stage on Tuesday evening in Copenhagen’s Skuespilhuset to accept the Nordic Council Environment Prize.

CONCITO, Denmark’s green think-tank, has won the prize for developing the Big Climate Database. The climate database has catalogued 500 of the most common foods in Denmark and calculated their carbon footprint. 

The initiative has a broad societal perspective and can be used by citizens, public authorities, and businesses alike. The database’s huge potential comes in the form of its free online access. Knowledge is power, which is something that CONCITO’s Big Climate Database is helping to democratise. The prize is therefore awarded to the think-tank for its huge potential to change behaviours. 

The theme for this year’s environment prize was initiatives that can contribute to the development of sustainable food systems.


Global food production accounts for around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. Access to information about a food’s CO2 footprint is crucial if we are to steer the production and consumption of food in a more sustainable direction.

Once we know a food’s CO2 footprint, as a consumer we can actively decide whether we want to use it in our household. This knowledge will, hopefully, result in food consumption that is less damaging for the climate. 

The 2021 Nordic Council Environment Prize is awarded to the Big Climate Database for its potential to create a basis for more sustainable food consumption and production in the Nordic Region.

The database provides a clear and easy insight into different foods’ CO2 footprints, with all information in the database freely available.

The methodological approach to data collection, the extensive range of foods in the database, and the targeting of the food sector are unique to the Big Climate Database. With its simple format and design, the Big Climate Database and its calculation methods are scalable and can be easily adopted in other countries and sectors for the benefit of sustainability efforts across the board. In short, the database demonstrates how the easy and accessible dissemination of in-demand information can become a springboard for behavioural change at the consumer level.

In light of the database’s potential to change behaviours, the adjudication committee believes that CONCITO, Denmark’s green think-tank, should be awarded the 2021 Nordic Council Environment Prize.

Watch CONCITO Denmark’s green think-tank receive the environment prize in Copenhagen

About the Nordic Council prizes

Each year the Nordic Council awards five prizes: the Literature Prize, the Film Prize, the Music Prize, the Environment Prize, and the Children and Young People’s Literature Prize. The winners each receive a Nordlys statuette and DKK 300,000. The prizes are awarded in conjunction with the Nordic Council’s annual Session.