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Title: Standard methods useable for mitigating the environmental impact of food industry
Authors: Mauro Moresi
Cibelli Matteo
Cimini ALessio
Issue Date: 2020
The assessment of the environmental performance of food and beverage production is presently carried out using numerous single- or multi-environmental issue standard methods. All of them are compliant with the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology but diverge along the number of impact categories and materials covered, the models used to characterize the environmental impact, and even for the free use of different normalization and weighting factors.

In this chapter the human impact on the environment and basics of the LCA methodology and main life cycle impact assessment methods are briefly outlined. Independently of the number of mid- or end-point impact categories accounted for, all these methods give no more than a partial schematic representation of the environmental impact of a product or activity. They are useful for in-house product improvement and, except for the carbon footprint (CF) labeling, cannot be presently used for external communication to environmentally -unconscious consumers.

Whether the life cycle impact of foods and beverages is mostly affected by fossil cumulative energy demand (CED) and consequently by greenhouse gas emissions, the CED indicator or CF appears to be the most straightforward and cost-effective method usable by 99% of the European food and beverage enterprises to start improving their sustainability, even with the help of secondary instead of primary data. Any additional environmental impact category or alternative method can be included, primarily if the LCA modeling is carried out using the LCA software nowadays available
ISBN: 9780128213636
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-821363-6.00013-8
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:B1. Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)

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