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Abstract

This study assesses the LCA-based Water Footprint (WF) and Carbon Footprint (CF) of various types of yoghurts in the Spanish dairy plant of La Fageda. Primary data have been used to allocate impacts to the core processing stages. . The total amount of water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for the production of 1 kg of yoghurt in La Fageda plant are 204 L H2O and 1.94 kg CO2eq respectively. The results indicated that raw milk and milk-based ingredients are the main contributors to all impact categories examined; their contribution to CO2eq ranged from 80 to 96%. Energy consumption and packaging materials have significant contribution to freshwater ecotoxicity, acidification and global warming potential (GWP) impact categories ranging from 30 to 99% when raw milk is excluded from the analysis. In terms of the direct impacts of the plant, Cleaning in Place (CIP) and cleaning operations are responsible for 70% of the water requirements, while refrigerators, pasteurisation and packaging account for 70% of the energy consumption in the facility. The water and carbon footprint varies depending on the production process and the region. The sensitivity analysis illustrates that high precipitation and application of different techniques for raw milk production increases the contribution of the direct impacts of the plant from 2% to 15% in terms of water use.

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... The environmental impacts of Turkish yogurt production were investigated by Uctug et al. [13], while Aggarwal et al. [14] determined the impacts linked with yogurt packaging. 1 kg of each specific product such as natural, favored, skimmed yogurt, Greek-style natural and favored and other types, obtained in one yogurt factory were investigated by Vasilaki et al. [15] in order to assess the water and carbon related environmental impacts. The aim of this study was to investigate the environmental impacts associated with production of yogurt in a Romanian dairy considering the following activities: milk processing, transport, solid waste and wastewater treatments. ...
... The GWP index determined for yogurt was 2.92 kg CO2 eq. per kg of yogurt, which is slightly higher compared with results obtained by Djekic et al. [9] (1.42 to 2.63 kg CO2 eq.), González-García et al. [10] (1.78 kg CO2 eq.), lower compared with the results obtained by Uctug et al. [13] (4.21 kg CO2 eq.), but equal with the index determined by Vasilaki et al. [15] for Greek-style natural yogurt. Electricity consumption during the yogurt production is the main responsible for GWP (Figure 2. a, b), followed by natural gas consumption, solid waste landfilling and raw material transport. ...
... Electricity is consumed during pasteurization, evaporation and cooling stages, which represents the main contributors to the GWP. In this study, the AP value obtained for yogurt was approximately 0.014 kg SO2 eq. per kg of yogurt, which is a lower value than those obtained by Vasilaki et al. [15] (an average of 0.023 kg SO2 eq.), Djekic et al. [9] (values between 0.0144-0.0195 kg SO2 eq.) González-García et al. [10] (0.029 kg SO2 eq.) or Uctug et al. [13] (0.07 kg SO2 eq.). ...
Article
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Yogurt is a fermented milk product, resulted through milk acidification by lactic acid bacteria, highly appreciated worldwide. In this study, life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology was applied for modelling of environmental impacts associated with yogurt production. The system boundaries include the following activities: milk processing, transport, solid waste and wastewater treatments. Functional unit set for this study is 1 kg of produced yogurt. The input and output data were collected from various sources like reports, databases, legislation. All these data were used further in the impact assessment stage performed with GaBi software which includes LCA methods like CML2001-Jan. 2016, ReCiPe 1.08, UBP 2013, EDIP 2003 and others. Results showed that the global warming potential (GWP) determined for yogurt was 2.92 kg CO2 eq. per kg of yogurt, while acidification potential (AP) was approximately 0.014 kg SO2 eq. per kg of yogurt. It was observed that the main contributor to all impact categories is consumption of electricity during the yogurt production, mainly in the pasteurization, evaporation and cooling stages. 61.4% of the emissions resulted from transportation of raw materials contributes to GWP, while 38.3% to photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP). Emissions from wastewater treatment are contributing especially to the eutrophication potential (EP), while emission from solid waste landfilling are contributing mainly to POCP.
... Not all indicators are available for every food category. Many studies have indicated that meat and other animal products are less water efficient than plantbased products in providing nutrition on both a gravimetric (mass) and caloric (energy) basis [5,[28][29][30][31]. Nevertheless, generalizations regarding the LCA-derived impacts of meats should be cautiously interpreted because end products can vary from raw cuts to highly processed foodstuffs, which have very different water-related impacts depending on how and to what extent the meat is processed. ...
... Not all indicators are available for every food category. Many studies have indicated that meat and other animal products are less water efficient than plant-based products in providing nutrition on both a gravimetric (mass) and caloric (energy) basis [5,[28][29][30][31]. Nevertheless, generalizations regarding the LCA-derived impacts of meats should be cautiously interpreted because end products can vary from raw cuts to highly processed foodstuffs, which have very different water-related impacts depending on how and to what extent the meat is processed. ...
... Water use associated with the other company's meat analogs is less than a quarter of that for processed beef and chicken products and less than half of that for processed pork [20]. Minimally processed animal-sourced foods such as dairy products (e.g., yogurt) have substantially lower water consumption indices than do meat analogs [30], reflecting the sizeable water demand of processed foods derived from either plants or animals. ...
Article
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Animal-based products reportedly have substantial water footprints. One alternative to meat products is meat analogs, which are processed plant-based foods mimicking real meat products. As data for the water footprints of meat analogs are limited, the present study assesses their water consumption and their potential for contributing to eutrophication and ecotoxicity in fresh and marine receiving waters. Life cycle assessments, which encompassed the generation of ingredients to the packaging of products, were performed for 39 meat analogs. Estimates for consumptive water use, ecotoxicity, and eutrophication are reported per ton of product and per kilogram of protein. On average, 3800 m3 of water were consumed per ton of product, whereas 0.56 kg P equivalents. and 12 kg 1,4-DCB (1,4-dichlorobenzene)) equivalents. were potentially released to terrestrial freshwaters and 2.2 kg N equivalents. and 7 kg 1,4-DCB equivalents. to marine waters. The predominant driver for water consumption and marine ecotoxicity was processing the meat analogs, whereas producing the raw ingredients was the main driver for freshwater toxicity and eutrophication. For reducing the use of and potential impacts on water, meat analogs may represent a viable alternative to processed meat products.
... Among the different assessment methods considered to evaluate the environmental burdens of milk production, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology has been applied for a wide range of dairy products (Baldini et al., 2017;Daneshi et al., 2014;De Léis et al., 2015;Del Prado et al., 2013;Fantin et al., 2012;González-García et al., 2013a, 2013cGuerci et al., 2014;Meneses et al., 2012;Rafiee et al., 2016;Thomassen et al., 2008;Van der Werf et al., 2009;Vasilaki et al., 2016). Focusing on milk production, González-García et al. (2013a) evaluated the environmental impacts of packaged UHT milk in Portugal and concluded that raw milk production at the farm was the main contributor, in agreement with other similar studies (Daneshi et al., 2014;Rafiee et al., 2016). ...
... Catalonia (Northeast Spain) ranks fourth in Spanish regions for dairy industry with a total production of about 758,000 t of raw milk predominantly based on confined feedlot regimes (MAPAMA, 2017). In a recent report, Vasilaki et al. (2016) led the evaluation of the dairy sector in this area, but only focusing on the Carbon and Water Footprints of various types of yogurt. Under this premise, the present work aimed to focus on evaluating the environmental burdens of cow milk production at farm stage in Catalonia but expanding the framework of the study by integrating additional environmental impact indicators: acidification, eutrophication and depletion of resources. ...
... The study was performed through a cradle-to-gate perspective, from the extraction of raw materials up to the point when raw milk is ready to leave the farm. As aforementioned, further stages of dairy processing were excluded from the assessment due to their minor contribution according to previous LCA studies involving dairy products (Daneshi et al., 2014;Fantin et al., 2012;González-García et al., 2013a, 2013cVasilaki et al., 2016). ...
Article
This study focuses on the assessment of the environmental profile of a milk farm, representative of the dairy sector in Northeast Spain, from a cradle-to-gate perspective. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) principles established by ISO standards together with the carbon footprint guidelines proposed by International Dairy Federation (IDF) were followed. The environmental results showed two critical contributing factors: the production of the livestock feed (e.g., alfalfa) and the on-farm emissions from farming activities, with contributions higher than 50% in most impact categories. A comparison with other LCA studies was carried out, which confirmed the consistency of these results with the values reported in the literature for dairy systems from several countries. Additionally, the Water Footprint (WF) values were also estimated according to the Water Footprint Network (WFN) methodology to reveal that feed and fodder production also had a predominant influence on the global WF impacts, with contributions of 99%. Green WF was responsible for remarkable environmental burdens (around 88%) due to the impacts associated with the cultivation stage. Finally, the substitution of alfalfa by other alternative protein sources in animal diets were also proposed and analysed due to its relevance as one of the main contributors of livestock feed.
... This includes all stages involved in the life cycle assessment using Equation (4)-(9). Table 4. Results of a simple carbon footprint calculation in water supply and treatment with energy and water consumption pro unit of a product [49,54,[58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66]. The dairy sector includes liquid milk, milk powders, cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice cream [63]. ...
... The uniqueness of the presented approach compared to previous studies [62][63][64][65][66] is its simplicity and focus on the main energy consuming manufacturing steps in the industrial process. Both presented calculations indicated a gap in the available research on the water footprint assessment in the industrial sector. ...
... Results of the carbon footprint calculation in milk dairy production[49,54,[62][63][64][65][66]. ...
Article
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Recent national government policy in Ireland proposes a radical transformation of the energy sector and a large reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Water and energy form the water-energy nexus, with water being an essential component in energy production. However, the connection between the production of energy and water is rarely made. In particular, the end-user processes are generally excluded because they occur outside the water industry. The present study includes two simple approaches for industrial sites to calculate their carbon footprint in the water sector. The assessment of the milk powder manufacturing using both approaches indicates that the combined emission factor of the water supply and treatment is approximately 1.28 kg CO2 m-3 of water. The dairy production among steel, textile, and paper industries appears to be the most carbon-emitting industry. However, the results show that the carbon intensity of the water supply and treatment can be minimized by the integration of renewable energy sources for the onsite heat/steam and electricity generation. The uniqueness of our approaches compared to calculations illustrated by the ecoinvent and other governmental databases is its simplicity and a focus on the main energy consuming manufacturing steps in the entire industrial process. We believe that the management of water and energy resources will be more efficient when "active water citizens" raise environmental awareness through promoting measures regarding data monitoring and collection, observed leaks and damages, dissimilation and exchange of information on sustainable water stewardship to public and various industrial stakeholders.
... would have annual CO2 emissions of 20ktCO2e (Carbon Trust, 2010) And within that site, 20-40% of process energy consumption can be directly related to pasteurisation. (Col, 2016) (Xu & Flapper, 2009) A carbon foot printing study (Flysjö, Thrane, & Hermansen, 2014) undertaken using data from Arla sites (and suppliers of milk) in Denmark show the difference in CO2e across the different activities related to milk production. Data from that study is shown in Table 1-1. ...
... Previous studies into dairy processing have utilised the term "black box" when finding that sites cannot provide transparent data for product line mass and energy flows (González-García, Castanheira, Dias, & Arroja, 2012) (Col, 2016). ...
... In terms of being able to control a process such as pasteurisation in real time with a mind for reducing energy consumption; the department level reports are inadequate. It is not typical to collect energy data on individual production lines and they can thus be perceived as something of a black box with regard to energy (González-García et al., 2012) (Col, 2016 (Brunner, Kulterer, & Glatzl, 2014). The intended audience are managers; whose scrutiny of the reporting would unearth potential projects (possibly capital projects) and issues; to be communicated to operational staff along with suggested fixes. ...
Thesis
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Reduction of C02 emissions is a challenge in all sectors of the process industry. From experience in the food and drink industry we find that process energy reduction and optimisation are often the last areas to be tackled after general good housekeeping, improving efficiency of supply of utilities (hot and chilled water) and investment in new equipment. While this prioritisation has good reason; we find much potential to reduce energy consumption in the running of process plant. We review historical energy studies and highlight that certain processes (pasteurisation, Clean In Place, spray drying) come up regularly as targets for process optimisation due to being high energy consumers and having a degree of complexity. We also find that these processes often lack sufficient monitoring to track energy consumption and define them as “black boxes”. For these “black box” processes we use ethnography to investigate the potential role of the operator to reduce energy consumption. We investigate their autonomy and ability to juggle control priorities; we also look at visualisation issues with regards to the data. If operators are tasked with reducing energy consumption, and provided with data on the energy use of the process; they have the skills and autonomy to achieve that task. Data from operating plant has been extracted and studied to identify energy consumption issues that have gone unnoticed. These are quantified and discussed with operators. Two methods are developed to allow operators to include energy consumption of the plant as a factor they control for. Simple data visualisation is used to provide live plant energy consumption information to operators. This method is trialed with client sites to produce implementation case studies. Then k-means clustering is adapted to identify cases when changes in pasteuriser temperatures and mass flows warrant further investigation and/or action by the operator.
... However, this study used the method of blue, grey, and green water to evaluate the scarcity and did not include any other impact categories. The third study found in literature focused on the carbon and water footprint of yogurt for the context of Catalonia in Spain (Vasilaki et al., 2016). It investigated the water footprint using the water stress index method developed by Pfister et al. (2009). ...
... To improve yogurt production, efforts should be made at the industry level since milk production shows the highest contribution (Wang et al., 2016). In terms of global warming potential, our result of 3.03 kg CO 2 eq per kg of yogurt for the life cycle is in the same order of magnitude as for Turkey (4.21 kg CO 2 eq) (Üçtuğ et al., 2019), Spain (2.92 kg CO 2 eq for Greek-style natural yogurt) (Vasilaki et al., 2016), Serbia (1.42-2.63 kg CO 2 eq) (Djekic et al., 2014), and Portugal (1.78 kg CO 2 eq) ( González-García et al., 2013a, 2013b. ...
... For the water scarcity, similar outcomes were found in Bai et al. (2018) where cow breeding showed the largest contribution to the water consumed. Also, Vasilaki et al. (2016) determined that the water consumed for 1 kg of yogurt is 326 L, which is in agreement with our result of 285 L. Although Owusu-Sekyere et al. (2017) studied the water footprint for several dairy products, no clear comparison can be established since the authors used a different method to evaluate the scarcity footprint. ...
Article
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The dairy sector presents various environmental impacts and a transition towards more ecological processes is required. This might be achieved through life cycle assessment, a tool used to evaluate the environmental impacts of a product throughout its life cycle. This paper aims to assess the environmental performance from cradle-to-grave of a dairy product, 1 kg of yogurt. To model the life cycle inventory and life cycle impact assessment phases, the SimaPro software and the IMPACT 2002 + method are used, respectively. Water scarcity is assessed using the Available WAter REmaining (AWARE) consensus methodology. The results show that the milk production accounts for the highest impacts due to animal crops, whether imported or cultivated. The latter crops require fertilizers, which contribute by 72.3% to global warming, 72.5% to terrestrial acidification/nutrification, and 64.4% to aquatic eutrophication. Imported crops contribute to all impact categories except for non-carcinogens and terrestrial/aquatic ecotoxicity, for which a positive contribution on the environment is observed due to the use of organic fertilizers for the crops production. Environmental impacts are also imposed on the other categories due to crops production and fuel consumption. It is shown that the use of organic fertilizers and reduction of the distance of importation could be two potential ways to decrease the environmental load for some impact categories. For the water scarcity, the water consumed to produce 1 kg of yogurt is 285 L and the feed production stage contributes to 97.71% of the total water scarcity (2.00E + 01 m3 world eq).
... This approach has been widely J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f accepted, and has been used to both identify and evaluate EI of processes and product life cycles (ISO, 14040: 2006a;ISO, 14044: 2006b). Studies in the past have used LCA to assess EI of the food industry at large, including dairy (Djekic et al., 2014(Djekic et al., , 2018Finnegan et al., 2017a;Mahath et al., 2019;Egas et al., 2020;Tarighaleslami et al., 2020;Berton et al., 2021;Rotz et al., 2021); cheese and organic mozzarella cheese production (González-García et al., 2013b;Kim et al., 2013Kim et al., , 2014Santos et al., 2017;Canellada et al., 2018;Alves et al., 2019;Salas-Vargas et al., 2021) meat and beef (Rivera Huerta et al., 2016;Li et al., 2020;González-Quintero et al., 2021); biscuit (Noya et al., 2018); tomato (Del Borghi et al., 2014); yoghurt and egg yolk (González-García et al., 2013a;Houssard et al., 2021;Vasilaki et al., 2016;Üçtuğ et al., 2019;Tsai et al., 2021). Some of the salient studies in this regard encompass Baldini et al. (2017) and Finnegan et al. (2018) assessing the agri-food environmental sustainability during production and distribution stage. ...
... Importantly, a vast majority of studies that have actually focused on EI of the dairy processing industry, have been for developed economies; limited studies seem to be available in the context of a 'developing economy', specifically India (Finnegan et al., 2017b). Moreover, extant literature also seemed to allude to the fact that EI actually varies from plant to plant and region to region; thus, there is definitely a scope to understand EI of the dairy industry in developing nations (Djekic et al., 2014(Djekic et al., , 2018Vasilaki et al., 2016;Finnegan et al., 2017;Mahath et al., 2019). Thus, the studies to assess the EI of the dairy processing industry using the LCA approach are vital for a gradual shift towards sustainable development (Famiglietti et al., 2019;Elginoz et al., 2020;Elginoz et al., 2020;Varma et al., 2021). ...
... The finding reveals that, the raw milk production has significant impact category in dairy industry supply chain. 13. Vasilaki et al., 2016 Catalonia Spain Yoghurt SimaPro ...
Article
India is the world's largest milk producer and contributes significantly to global milk production. In recent times, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in demand for milk and other dairy products because of its high nutritional value. However, the dairy sector is responsible for colossal greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and environmental impacts (EI). The main objective of this study is to assess the gate-to-gate EI of several dairy products during its processing and packaging stage, using Impact 2002+ for assessing EI. Additionally, the study also explores various hotspots for analyzing the impact causing factors for these dairy products, for which, it employs the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach, using SimaPro software. Through its analyses the study shows that the consumption of electricity and fuel for thermal energy, utilization of freshwater and several chemicals, along with the packaging materials are some of the main contributing factors to EI. Further, the findings highlight that paneer, ice cream, and butter are the top three contributors to climate change. Based on the findings, the study recommends the dairy processing industry to minimize environmental damage through sustainable development. The study findings would improve sustainability performance of the dairy processing industry, and the suggested recommendations would help policy and decision-makers to minimize EI in the dairy processing industry.
... Vasilaki and colleagues assessed the LCA-based water and carbon footprint of various types of yoghurt in Spain (Vasilaki et al., 2016). They used a cradle-to-gate approach with a functional unit of 1 kg yoghurt produced in the plant. ...
... GWP during production is mainly caused by energy consumption, therefore pasteurization, evaporation and cooling stages were found to be the main contributors to the GWP as far as production is concerned. These results are consistent with the literature (Djekic et al., 2014;Gonz alez-García et al., 2013;Vasilaki et al., 2016). ...
... Optimizing the distribution routes should be considered so that the use of coolant gases can be reduced which would consequently decrease the ODP score. Bioplastics can be used instead of polypropylene as the packaging material, which could reduce the GWP score significantly (Vasilaki et al., 2016). ...
Article
The life cycle environmental impacts of yoghurt supply to the end user in Turkey were investigated. Turkey is the second biggest yoghurt producer in the world; therefore reducing the environmental footprint of yoghurt production is of utmost importance from cleaner production and sustainability points of view. The functional unit was chosen as 1 ton of yoghurt, CCaLC2™ was used as software, and CML2001 methodology was used. A cradle-to-grave approach was employed. The production processes were modelled based on real life data acquired from a major yoghurt production company in Turkey. Six impacts (global warming potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, photochemical oxidant creation potential, ozone layer depletion potential, and human toxicity potential) were calculated. All of the impacts turned out to be higher than the values reported in the literature (differences ranging from 18% to 76%), which was attributed to the high amounts of milk loss and the high energy intensity of yoghurt production processes combined with the fact that the energy resources used for thermal energy and electricity supply in Turkey have high environmental footprints. Except for ozone layer depletion, all impacts were found to be mainly caused by raw material supply and production processes, with these two stages having a combined average contribution of 80%. Choosing different end-of-life treatment methods (landfilling versus incineration) affected the results by no more than 4%. None of the impacts except for ozone layer depletion potential were found to be sensitive to transportation distances,. It was concluded that, in order to reduce the environmental footprint of yoghurt production, the electrical energy input to the production process should be obtained from more environmentally friendly resources such as solar photovoltaics whereas heat energy should be supplied from cleaner resources such as natural gas instead of coal.
... Eight indicators including global warming (GW, kg CO 2 eq), ionization radiation (IR, kBq Co 60 eq), terrestrial ecotoxicity (TE, kg 1,4-DCB), marine ecotoxicity (ME, kg 1,4-DCB), human carcinogenic toxicity (HCT, kg 1,4-DCB), human non-carcinogenic toxicity (HNCT, kg 1,4-DCB), fossil resource scarcity (FRS, kg oil eq) and water consumption (WC, m 3 ) are reported in this study because they have been indicated by previous LCA studies as the most important environmental impacts associated with food manufacturing processes (e.g. dairy) in which CIP operations were considered (G esan-Guiziou et al., 2019; Vasilaki et al., 2016;Zouaghi et al., 2019). The calculations were performed using the commercial LCA software, SimaPro v8.0. ...
... This reflects the difference in heating duties, with drying requiring hot air at 180 C to heat the droplets and evaporate water while pasteurisation simply raised the temperature of the liquid egg yolk to 67 C. While the total amount of water consumed for the CIP processes (i.e. CIP 1 and CIP 2) of egg yolk powder manufacture (2.96 Â 10 À3 m 3 ) was comparable to that used for producing 1 kg yogurt (2.45 Â 10 À3 m 3 , Vasilaki et al., 2016), the cleaning of egg yolk deposits required significantly greater NaOH use (0.012 kg) than yogurt deposits (4.2 Â 10 À3 kg). This is related to the higher egg yolk protein and fat contents, as well as the high temperature encountered in the dryer. ...
Article
The manufacture of egg yolk powder by spray drying requires regular cleaning in order to remove fouling deposits and prevent microbiological growth on the pasteurization heat exchanger and the spray dryer. A life cycle assessment (LCA) study on a typical powder manufacturing plant, using literature data, indicated that the egg breaking, storage and pasteurization steps were the major contributors to the plant’s environmental impacts rather than the cleaning-in-place (CIP) operations owing to their high water and electricity consumption (for refrigerated storage). CIP impacts on thermal energy and wastewater emissions were nevertheless significant, and the benefits of using intermittent flows of aqueous NaOH solution in the dryer CIP stage, reported by Yang et al. (2019) were assessed. The latter gave a 21% improvement in terrestrial ecotoxicity impact. Optimising the NaOH/temperature conditions based on experimental data gave more efficient cleaning with lower water, chemicals and energy consumption. Over-cleaning had significant impacts on terrestrial and marine ecotoxicity as well as reducing productivity. Three changes in cleaning technology were considered briefly: electrical heating, solar heating and pumping, and membrane treatment of wastewater. These gave little overall global improvement, partly due to the polluting nature of the available electricity supply (coal-fired) and local benefits to the factory being offset by impacts associated with equipment manufacture.
... However, as far as the other impacts are concerned no such generalisation can be made. The papers that solely focus on global warming potential (GWP) tend to include only the farming, or raw milk production, stage and neglect the remaining stages [77]. It does not necessarily mean that all Bpartial LCA^studies tend to focus on only the GWP as an impact; there are several in which a detailed LCA of the farming stage has been conducted [3,5,12,43,53,60,72,75,78,81]. ...
... raw milk, concentrated and powdered milk) was the main factor responsible of the environmental loads and energy requirements, especially in the case of acidification, eutrophication and global warming potentials, whereas other activities that have important environmental impacts include the production of the energy requirements in the yoghurt production factory, packaging materials production and retailing. According to Vasilaki et al. [77], while raw milk was the main contributor to several NSDA no specific data available (*) Impacts such as particular matter formation, ionising radiation, ecosystem, carcinogens, human health, water depletion and respiratory organics and inorganics were not included in the table because none of the reviewed papers had any specific numerical data regarding the percentage contributions (of the stages) about these impacts impacts, energy consumption and packaging materials have significant contribution to ecotoxicity, acidification and global warming potential impact categories. ...
... For example, Dyer et al. (2014) performed an LCA where carbon footprint along with the impacts on non-carbon footprints, such as water, energy, and diseases, were considered to measure the environmental impacts of livestock production in Canada. Vasilaki et al. (2016) also used an LCA-based water and carbon footprint to assess the environmental impact of different types of yogurt productions in a dairy plant. Most recently, Cecchini et al. (2016) also performed a sustainability analysis of dairy farms using the LCA-based carbon footprint to perform an environmental assessment. ...
... Water footprint provides a better understanding of water management and usage of a system. Therefore, it has been frequently applied to assess: techniques to improve water usage on dairy farms (Palhares and Pezzopane 2015;Murphy et al. 2017; Zonderland-Thomassen and Ledgard 2012), water availability for largescale production systems (Huang et al. 2014), water scarcity (Owusu-Sekyere et al. 2016), and different types of dairy products (Vasilaki et al. 2016). IFSM determines the water footprint as the total amount of water used (surface water, groundwater, and rainwater) in the dairy farm system. ...
Article
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Livestock productions require significant resources allocation in the form of land, water, energy, air, and capital. Meanwhile, owing to increase in the global demand for livestock products, it is wise to consider sustainable livestock practices. In the past few decades, footprints have emerged as indicators for sustainability assessment. In this study, we are introducing a new footprint measure to assess sustainability of a grazing dairy farm while considering carbon, water, energy, and economic impacts of milk production. To achieve this goal, a representative farm was developed based on grazing dairy practices surveys in the State of Michigan, USA. This information was incorporated into the Integrated Farm System Model (IFSM) to estimate the farm carbon, water, energy, and economic impacts and associated footprints for ten different regions in Michigan. A multi-criterion decision-making method called VIKOR was used to determine the overall impacts of the representative farms. This new measure is called the food footprint. Using this new indicator, the most sustainable milk production level (8618 kg/cow/year) was identified that is 19.4% higher than the average milk production (7215 kg/cow/year) in the area of interest. In addition, the most sustainable pasture composition was identified as 90% tall fescue with 10% white clover. The methodology introduced here can be adopted in other regions to improve sustainability by reducing water, energy, and environmental impacts of grazing dairy farms, while maximizing the farm profit and productions.
... Los resultados para el agua se exponen en la Figura 16 (Medel, 2018). empresas de este sector por kilogramo de producto oscilan entre los 2,9 kg de CO2 equivalente por kg de derivado lácteo para las producciones artesanales de productores locales y los 18,2 kg de CO2 equivalente por kg de derivado lácteo, siendo los valores más frecuentes los comprendidos entre 8,5 y 12,4 kg de CO2 equivalente por kg de derivado lácteo, para producciones industriales (Aguirre-Villegas et al., 2011;Clune et al., 2017;Flysjö, 2012;Vasilaki et al., 2016). ...
Conference Paper
El presente estudio analiza la Huella de Carbono de tres empresas españolas del sector lácteo, como instrumento de utilidad para identificar el grado de sostenibilidad ambiental de sus procesos productivos. Se procede en primer lugar a calcular la Huella de Carbono generada por cada una de las actividades productivas de estas empresas del sector lácteo, diferenciándose el Alcance 1 (emisiones directas), el Alcance 2 (emisiones indirectas ligadas a la energía) y el Alcance 3 (otras emisiones indirectas), para lo cual se realiza un inventario exhaustivo de su consumo de materias primas y energía, de sus sistemas logísticos y de transporte y de su producción de residuos, entre otros parámetros. Para determinar las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero por los alcances 1 y 2 se ha utilizado la herramienta de cálculo del Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente (Mapama). La cuantificación del alcance 3 de la Huella de Carbono para las tres empresas se ha realizado utilizando los factores de conversión más próximos a las actividades y materias empleadas en este sector industrial. La Huella de Carbono global calculada, se compara para las tres empresas del sector lácteo estudiadas y también frente a resultados publicados por otras empresas de la misma área productiva. Se identifican así mismo cuáles son los ámbitos productivos del sector lácteo más significativos desde el punto de vista de las magnitudes de gases de efecto invernadero emitidos. Finalmente se analizan además en este trabajo, diversas actuaciones que pueden contribuir a la reducción o mitigación de las emisiones equivalentes de dióxido de carbono por el sector industrial de lácteos, así como una serie de propuestas que se enmarcarían tanto en el ámbito de la compensación de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero como en el de Adaptación al Cambio Climático.
... Few life cycle assessment (LCA) studies published in the scientific literature estimated the environmental impacts of regular yogurt manufacturing process [3,[19][20][21] and yogurt packaging and delivery systems [22,23] but non of them focus specifically on Greek yogurt technologies. The first aim of this paper is to fill this gap, comparing the environmental performance of the most common GY production options available in the province of Québec (Canada) in 2018 throughout the entire product life cycle from a cradle-to-grave perspective. ...
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Greek yogurt (GY), a high-protein-low-fat dairy product, particularly prized for its sensory and nutritional benefits, revolutionized the North American yogurt market in less than a decade, bringing with it new sustainability challenges. The standard production of GY generates large volumes of acid whey, a co-product that is a potential source of environmental pollution if not recovered. This study aims to assess the environmental performance of different technologies and identify the main factors for improving GY production. A complete life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed to compare the standard technology (centrifugation) with two new technologies (fortification and ultrafiltration) to reduce acid whey volumes. Three milk protein concentrate alternatives were also assessed. Results show that the technology choice is not a clear discriminant factor. However, minimizing losses and wastage (accounting for 23 to 25% of the environmental impacts for all indicators) beyond the processing plant and selecting milk ingredients (accounting for 63 to 67% of the impacts) with low environmental impacts are key factors in improving the environmental performance of GY systems. From a methodological perspective, the results also highlight a shortcoming in the current International Dairy Federation LCA guidelines (2015) for treating the multifunctionality of GY systems.
... Los resultados para el agua se exponen en la Figura 16 (Medel, 2018). empresas de este sector por kilogramo de producto oscilan entre los 2,9 kg de CO2 equivalente por kg de derivado lácteo para las producciones artesanales de productores locales y los 18,2 kg de CO2 equivalente por kg de derivado lácteo, siendo los valores más frecuentes los comprendidos entre 8,5 y 12,4 kg de CO2 equivalente por kg de derivado lácteo, para producciones industriales (Aguirre-Villegas et al., 2011;Clune et al., 2017;Flysjö, 2012;Vasilaki et al., 2016). ...
... In addition, although it is well known that the farming system is a determining parameter for the environmental performance of dairy farms (Rojas-Downing et al. 2017), few studies (and none in Spain) have been carried out comparing the effect of the farming system on the milk CF (Flysjö et al. 2011;Belflower et al. 2012). The CF of the milk determines the CF of the derived dairy products, since it has been reported that raw milk production is the most significant contributor to the total impact associated with dairy products such as cheese, yogurt or processed milk (Finnegan et al. 2018;Hospido et al. 2003;Vasilaki et al. 2016). Consequently, this research has been carried out with three main objectives, firstly to carry out a mini-review on the carbon footprint of milk worldwide, secondly, to widen knowledge about the carbon footprint of milk production in Spain by comparing two contrasting milk production systems and, thirdly, to analyse the effect of the milk production systems on the carbon footprint of an artisanal cheese. ...
Article
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Milk production has been estimated to contribute 3–4% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the carbon footprint associated with raw milk can vary, depending on a variety of factors, such as the geographical area, species of cow and production system. In this study, a global overview of research published on the carbon footprint (CF) of raw cow milk is provided. Additionally, two different dairy systems (semi-confinement and pasture-based) have been analysed by life-cycle assessment (LCA) in order to determine their effect on the CF of the milk produced. Inventory data were obtained directly from these facilities, and the main factors involved in milk production were included (co-products, livestock food, water, electricity, diesel, cleaning elements, transport, manure and slurry management, gas emissions to air etc.). In agreement with reviewed literature, it was found that the carbon footprint of milk was basically determined by the cattle feeding system and gas emissions from the cows. The values of milk CF found in the systems under study were within the range for cow milk production worldwide (0.9–4.7 kgCO2eq kgFPCM⁻¹). Specifically, in the semi-confinement and the pasture-based dairy farms, 1.22 and 0.99 kgCO2eq kgFPCM⁻¹ were obtained, respectively. The environmental benefits obtained with the pasture grazing system are not only mainly due to the lower use of purchased fodder but also to the allocation between milk and meat that was found to be a determining methodological factor in CF calculation. Finally, data from the evaluated dairy systems have been employed to analyse the influence of raw milk production on cheese manufacturing. With this aim, the CF of a small-scale cheese factory has also been obtained. The main subsystems involved (raw materials, water, electricity, energy, cleaning products, packaging materials, transport, wastes and gas emissions) were included in the inventory of the cheese factory. CF values were 16.6 and 14.7 kgCO2eq kg⁻¹ of cheese for milk produced in semi-confinement and pasture-based systems, respectively. The production of raw milk represented more than 60% of CO2eq emissions associated with cheese, so the primary production is the critical factor in reducing the GHG emissions due to cheese making.
... Payen et al. (2015) performed a LCA framework for hot-spots of off-season tomato production. Vasilaki et al. (2016) assessed the LCA-based water footprint and carbon footprint of multiple types of yoghurt in a dairy plant of Spanish. Maciel et al. (2016) analyzed land-use change and GHG emissions by soybean cultivation in LCA perspective. ...
Article
To improve the capabilities of conventional methodologies in supporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation from food production under uncertain conditions, an integrated approach was developed through incorporating copula-based violation risk analysis into a general life cycle analysis (LCA) framework. This approach strengthened the applicability of LCA in terms of uncertainty and risk reflections for food systems in the background of urbanization under multiple GHG emission targets. In detail, such an approach can (a) reflect uncertainties of food production and consumption processes, (b) tackle joint probability of two correlated variables (i.e., GHG emissions and economic benefits) through the employment of Archimedean copula (i.e., Gumbel, Frank, and Clayton copula) and Gaussian copula, and (c) assess violation risk of GHG emissions in food production considering the trend of future urbanization. A case study was proposed to illustrate application of the approach in Dalian City, China. Considering uncertainties of dietary patterns in 2020, two scenarios (scenarios of baseline and increase) were proposed according to dietary structures of urban and rural residents. In detail, the scenario of baseline represented the recent dietary pattern of Dalian in 2015. Scenario of increase indicated 50% rise in beef, mutton, and milk compared with the dietary pattern under the scenario of baseline. The results showed that based on the current agenda upon GHG emission intensity in China, violation risks under the scenario of baseline would be more prominent than the violation risks under the scenario of increase.
... However, LCA based WF, has not been implemented extensively, reporting WF related impacts based on conventional Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) methods that cover traditional impact categories to address water degradation (e.g., aquatic eutrophication, aquatic acidification, aquatic ecotoxicity) (Aivazidou et al., 2016). Some studies of different agri-food, livestock and dairy and industrial products, including wine, have applied a set of different impact LCA-based WF methods (Herath et al., 2013;Manzardo et al., 2016;Quinteiro et al., 2015;Vasilaki et al., 2016), addressing different freshwater types and sources, pathways and characterization models at midpoint and endpoint levels, under different spatial and temporal resolution. ...
Article
The water footprint profile was analyzed for grape used in vinification in the Ribeiro appellation (Spain) for the period 2000-2009. The ISO 14046 framework was followed to address the quantitative -freshwater scarcity- and qualitative -degradation- water-related impacts from a life cycle perspective. The timeline perspective allowed the analysis of the fluctuation of impacts for this kind of product. For the quantitative blue water-related impacts, the Available WAter REmaining (AWARE) method was implemented to assess the freshwater scarcity impacts, being the selection of characterization factors (CFs) essential to establish the main impact contributors, especially for direct water consumption at spatial scale. Blue water scarcity impact results varied considerably during the period assessed, mainly due to changes in the harvest yield. The impact results obtained from the AWARE method were compared with the results obtained with other water-related impact assessment methods -water stress index and water depletion. The results for both share the same trends as the AWARE method, with direct water consumption representing 30%-40% of the total contributions throughout the assessed period. The green water scarcity footprint was also evaluated, showing that there are perturbations in the production of surface blue water and green moisture recycled to the atmosphere. The sensitivity analysis on green water CFs showed high variations in green water scarcity footprint results, highlighting the relevance of deriving spatially differentiated and crop-specific green water CFs to assess real water consumption impacts on crop fields properly. On-field emissions were the primary responsible for water degradation impacts; in particular, those resulting from fuel consumption, pesticides application and fertilization. The sensitivity analysis conducted for pesticides emissions highlighted the necessity of a consensus dispersion model to address them.
... For the reasons mentioned above, the aim of our study was to create an indicator and test its validity on several products in order to comprehensively assess the environmental impacts of primary, secondary and tertiary packaging in relation to the products selected. The carbon footprint was chosen as the impact category used to determine the indicator because the carbon footprint is an impact category that is often monitored in many studies [9,33,[36][37][38][39]. ...
Article
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Today, packaging is an integral part of most foods and beverages. However, excessive and just one-time applications of packaging can bring about indisputable environmental impacts in the form of large amounts of waste generated. If we want to monitor the environmental impacts of packaging materials, it is advisable to assess them in a complex way including not only the specific packaging but also specific products. No universal methodology currently exists that would enable this type of complex assessment regarding the environmental impacts of packaging in relation to particular products. Therefore, the aim of our study was to develop and test a Package-to-Product (PtP) indicator. For this purpose, the life cycle assessment (LCA) was employed to analyse four selected products considering different life cycle stages of packaging and their impacts on the climate change category. The results of the study confirm that the values of the PtP indicator significantly differ for various products, thus emphasising the need to establish a uniform methodology for individual product groups, such as meat, dairy and vegetable products or beverages. The application of this indicator, however, enables a clear impact assessment of different packaging materials and allows the packaging manufacturers to reduce their overall environmental impacts.
... In order to meet the nutritional demand of the human population, about 70% of the freshwater resources are consumed by the agricultural production systems across the globe, which is also accompanied by 15e28% of greenhouse gases emissions in the developed countries (Foley et al., 2011;Garnett, 2011). All future indices, including climate change projection, population growth, and increasing urbanizations, indicate the constraint in its availability for future food production (Vasilaki et al., 2016;Vermeulen et al., 2012). Moreover, the current over-exploitation of resources in the agricultural production system has been regarded to be unsustainable and contributing significant portions to the environmental degradation in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions (Garcia-Herrero et al., 2018;Dal' Magro and Talamini, 2019). ...
Article
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Unsustainable use of water resources and environmental degradation as related to global food production systems are critical issues of concern. However, reducing food wastage along the supply chain can provide the needed solutions to resources and environmental conservations, while meeting food demand. This study quantified the wastage of common food types at each stage along the supply chain in Korea using top-down mass flow analysis for the period of 2007 - 2017. The principal component analysis (PCA) was used to rank the food types based on their contribution to the total wastage. The water resources and GHG emissions associated with food wastage were assessed using the production footprint concept, after which prediction models were developed. The estimated food wastage was 14.97 ± 1.2 million tonnes, with production, postharvest, processing, distribution, and consumption representing 14%, 11%, 13%, 15%, and 46%, respectively. Vegetables, maize, and rice were ranked as the highest food types contributing to the total wastage, while mutton and rapeseed were the least. Our results indicated 15.24 ± 1.95 billion m³ and 20.08 ± 6.14 megatonnes CO2eq of water footprint and GHG emissions associated with food wastage, respectively, with substantial variations among the 28 major food commodity types. The prediction models using Bradley-Terry fitted well for the trend analysis of water footprint and GHG emission associated with food wastage. The prediction suggested that the total food supply, total wastage, water footprint, and GHG emission were estimated to reach 54.89 million tonnes, 16.91 million tonnes, 18.63 billion m³, and 27.41 megatonnes CO2eq by 2030, respectively. This study is of utmost importance considering the strong desire of the Korean government to pursue food self-sufficiency in the face of constraint water resources and GHG emission reduction target.
... However, examples of such work exist for other countries and sectors. Most of the existing research that jointly analyses impacts in terms of both carbon emissions and water focuses on food production (Page et al., 2012;Bonamente et al., 2016;Rinaldi et al., 2016;Vasilaki et al., 2016;Carneiro et al., 2019;Sampaio et al., 2021), industrial processes (Francke and Castro, 2013;Mantoam et al., 2020;Pomponi and Stephan, 2021;Brizga et al., 2020;Berger et al., 2015;Ma et al., 2018;Qian et al., 2021), and service sector and residential activities (Kanakoudis et al., 2011;Gallion et al., 2014). All the above authors use the water footprint methodology in their estimates. ...
Article
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The energy sector is the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and one of the thirstiest sectors worldwide. Within the energy sector, thermoelectricity directly impacts on both emissions and water. This study assesses the evolution of the direct CO2 emissions and operational water consumption of the Spanish thermoelectricity generation from 1969 to 2019. Both carbon emissions and water consumption correlate over time, led by the trends in total thermal generation, although over the past half century, water requirements swelled far more than carbon emissions. This results in a long-term trade-off between carbon emissions and consumptive water use in relative terms: while the CO2 per thermal MWh generated halved since 1969 in Spain, the operational water consumption per MWh of thermoelectricity generated more than doubled due to switching from coal burning to nuclear and combined cycle technologies. We find no real trade-off in absolute levels. Although moving towards smaller environmental impacts since the mid-2000s, thermoelectricity remains one of the largest carbon emitters while becoming one of thirstiest energy technologies in Spain.
... Some studies on life cycle assessment in dairy production have also pointed to packaging materials as a critical issue affecting most of the categories, with the category climate change as one of the most affected [50,52]. Similar to our study, in their study on LCA in yoghurt production, the authors González-García et al. (2013) identified that one of the most affected categories is abiotic depletion due to the origin of some packaging being from fossil sources [30]. ...
Article
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The production of dairy products generates several environmental impacts, and life cycle assessment (LCA) is a useful methodology to quantify and understand those impacts. In Brazil, some traditional dairy products have not yet been evaluated using the LCA methodology. Based on this gap, we conducted a cradle-to-gate LCA of six dairy products from a plant in Minas Gerais, Brazil. We also performed two sensitivity analyses. The first analysis was on how the environmental profiles of the products changed depending on how the multifunctional processes were allocated. The second analysis evaluated how these changes in environmental profiles occurred depending on the way that the impacts were allocated to products and by-products (whey and buttermilk) produced within the dairy factory. Among the dairy products studied, the impacts of mozzarella cheese and butter substantially surpassed those of other products; cheese spread and dulce de leche had a similar impact; and yoghurt and milk had the lowest values for the impact categories that were assessed. The inclusion of by-products in the analysis proved to be an effective way to reduce the environmental impacts attributed to the dairy products, especially for cheese and cheese spread, the impact values of which decreased by 56% and 46%, respectively. Additionally, the use of different strategies to deal with the multifunctional processes significantly affected the impact results of the dairy products. The subdivision of processes combined with causal allocation was the best alternative as opposed to the allocation by milk solids. These results could offer a better understanding of the environmental profiles of dairy products from Brazil, especially the traditional products, such as dulce de leche and cheese spread. Other contributions of this study include the proposal of alternatives that could improve the environmental profiles of products (such as the processing of by-products and the questioning of the use of allocation according to milk solids, which have been commonly used in other life cycle assessment studies) and the proposal of a better method for assessing the environmental impacts of dairy products.
... than one main theme of analysis in Table 1 involved LCA of bioenergy scenarios for dairy farms (Kimming et al., 2015) and dairy systems (Acosta-Alba et al., 2012; Battini et al., 2016) while other studies benchmarked dairy processes within (Dolman et al., 2014;Finnegan et al., 2015;González-García et al., 2013) and across countries (Guerci et al., 2013). The environmental impact of dairy products was also assessed based on footprint methods that involved water, emissions, land, and/or expended energy (Walmsley et al., 2015b;Vasilaki et al., 2016). ...
Article
Universities have responsibilities for accelerating pedagogical innovation to enable a more sustainable future. This research work develops a three-phased approach for integrating principles of a circular economy system within a course in energy policy. The phases involve scanning available resources, identifying possible matches based on the quality of energy , namely exergy, and determining solution areas. The case study is a university-founded dairy facility in the province of Ankara, Turkey with a biogas production potential of 982 m 3 per day. Four scenarios are analyzed based on options for combined heat and power, organic Rankine cycle, waste heat recovery, absorption chillers, ground source heat pumps, photovoltaic thermal arrays, and/or low-speed wind turbines. In total, 184.1 kW e of high exergy power and 285.3 kW t of low exergy thermal power may be produced. Further evaluation of the scenarios indicates that the level of exergy match may reach 0.87 while primary energy and primary exergy savings over separate energy production from renewables may be 38% and 61%, respectively. The solution areas can address aspects of an energy, water, and food nexus based on energy from waste, energy for irrigation and agriculture, and other linkages. The results are used to engage students in advancing the Sustainable Energy Action Plans of local municipalities. The approach has applicability to other cases in a time when pedagogical innovation is urgently needed to stimulate environmental sustainability.
... Gollnow et al. (2014) reported that the CF of fat and protein corrected milk from Australian dairies was on average 1.11 kg CO 2 e l -1 . Similar studies for the CF of dairy production have been conducted in other jurisdictions (Vergé et al., 2013;Vasilaki et al., 2016), and other studies have compared the CF of different dairy production systems (Henriksson et al., 2011;O'Brien et al., 2014). Dairy production is also associated with water use for watering livestock, irrigation of pasture and fodder crops, and for washing the dairy after milking. ...
... Meanwhile, there is already a high level of stiff competition on these food production resources due to population explosion, industrialization, and climate change (Vasilaki et al., 2016;Vermeulen et al., 2012;Adelodun et al., 2019). Moreover, the need to curb the environmental effects resulting from food production is continuously increasing (Godfray and Garnett, 2014). ...
Article
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Food waste management in Korea has become increasingly important as the country continues to champion the transition into a circular economy among the OECD countries to achieve sustainable development target goals. However, reliable primary data on food waste quantity and composition to achieve its prevention and managementtargets by understanding food waste patterns among Korean households is poorly documented. This study investigates the quantity and composition of food waste generation rates among the sampled households by considering two important influencing factors of seasonality and housing types in the Buk-gu province of Daegu, South Korea. The food waste generation rates from three different housing types during four representative seasons were assessed, considering the availability of different food types at different seasons. The identified 46 food waste items from sampled data were statistically analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis statistical test. The results showed that food waste generation rates were 0.88 ± 0.37 kg/household/day (0.26 ± 0.11 kg/capita/day), which varied seasonally. Significant seasonal variations (P < 0.002) in food waste generated from the selected housing types were shown by K–W mean rank analysis. The food waste generation rate followed the seasonal order of summer > autumn > winter > spring. The effect of housing type was also a pivotal factor affecting the food waste generation. This study adds to the ground-level insights of food waste generation trends in different seasons and housing types of Korea.
... Meanwhile, adoption of a vegetarian, no animal sources, and flexitarian diet scenario given a median reduction of 37, 25, and 11% in the total water footprint (l/capita/day), respectively (Ballard et al., 2013;FAO, 2020a;Popkin, Corvalan & Grummer-Strawn, 2020). Other studies have also found that meat and animal-based products are less water efficient than plantbased products (Zonderland-Thomassen, Lieffering & Ledgard, 2014;Huerta, Güereca & Lozano, 2016;Park, Egilmez & Kucukvar, 2016;Vasilaki, Katsou, Ponsá & Colón, 2016). However, the solution to water scarcity by diet modification can only be effectively achieved once food loss and waste are reduced (Jalava et al., 2014;Springmann et al., 2018). ...
Chapter
Meat alternatives are predominantly plant centered food products designed to mimic the taste, texture, look, and functionality of meat products. It is also called meat analog, meat substitute, and imitation meat. Plant-based meat aims to offer consumers familiar meals with diversified and a lighter impact on the earth and human health. The use of plant proteins is more economical and sustainable, while the conversion of feed into animal protein requires a large amount of arable land, water, and energy, leading to deforestation, land degradation, and biodiversity loss. Plant-rich proteins are the nutritious proteins and future-proof protein supply that guarantee future food security. Besides, plant-based, fungal protein and insect-based products also other potential meat alternatives prospects. They can be expanded directly as meat alternatives with an identic sensory quality, better physicochemical properties, and offer healthy images. These alternative protein sources are not only healthy but also fast, convenient, and non-perishable, which means require little attention than animal proteins.
... In many dairy systems of southern Italy, the required straw is often produced on farm and, particularly in the three farms of this study, the straw is a typical co-product of wheat (Triticum durum Desf.), sold as human food. Culled cows are generally involved in the allocation criterion [8,61], but in this case, they are considered as products to avoid. Thus, a high rate of culled cows denotes an inadequate management whereas a low percentage will be considered useful to remove pollutants. ...
Article
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In this study, the life cycle assessment (LCA) principle was performed to estimate the environmental impact of three dairy farms that operate using different farming systems, namely, conventional (CON), organic (ORG), and high-quality (HQ) modes. In Italy, the typical style of high-quality (HQ) farming is commonly included in the conventional system but is more strictly regulated by the Decree of the Italian Ministry of Health N° 185/1991. Although the farms are not fully representative of each conduct, they showed intrinsic peculiarities, e.g., the cow-culling rate of each system. This rate requires a quantification as it may be related to loss of income. Allocation criteria were applied to attribute the quantities of pollutants to the co-products: wheat, involved in the congruence and number of cows culled, the latter being undesirable and therefore necessary to quantify. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) highlighted that the no-dairy products significantly mitigated (p < 0.05) some of the impacts’ categories. The allocation of culled cows decreased the impacts of the CON and particularly those of the ORG farms when the mass mode was adopted. HQ showed values similar to the results without allocation. Overall, the objective of identifying a “marker” of undesirable products, estimated by the culling rate, was partially achieved.
... En general, la horquilla de variación de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero en empresas de este sector por kilogramo de producto oscilan entre los 2,9 kg de CO 2 equivalente por kg de derivado lácteo para las producciones artesanales de productores locales y los 18,2 kg de CO 2 equivalente por kg de derivado lácteo, siendo los valores más frecuentes los comprendidos entre 8,5 y 12,4 kg de CO 2 equivalente por kg de derivado lácteo, para producciones industriales (Aguirre-Villegas et al., 2011;Clune et al., 2017;Flysjö, 2012;Vasilaki et al., 2016). ...
Conference Paper
El cálculo de la Huella de Carbono de productos alimentarios está cobrando cada vez más interés, ya que tanto empresas como consumidores desean conocer cuál es el impacto sobre el Cambio Climático del conjunto de productos agroalimentarios que constituyen la “cesta de la compra” diaria, a través de un indicador, como la Huella de Carbono que contabiliza las emisiones de gases invernadero totales de la producción, distribución y consumo de los alimentos. En la presente comunicación se analizan las metodologías más utilizadas para el cálculo de la Huella de Carbono en el ámbito de la industria agroalimentaria, sus diferencias, su potencial y sus limitaciones, al tiempo que se describen diferentes ejemplos del cálculo de la Huella de Carbono para diferentes empresas del sector y para determinados productos alimentarios del ámbito de las industrias láctea, cárnica, vinícola y de los residuos agroalimentarios. Se analiza igualmente el papel de la Huella de Carbono en la industria agroalimentaria, como indicador de carácter ambiental, no solo por su impacto en el Calentamiento Global, sino como marcador sencillo de otros parámetros de sostenibilidad, sobre los que los consumidores cada vez están más atentos, como su relación con las distancias de los transportes tal y como se exige en los “Alimentos Km Cero”, su contribución al desperdicio alimentario, su papel en la descarbonización de la economía y del consumo o su vinculación con la Economía Circular, a través de la reducción en la utilización en el uso de plásticos y otros embalajes en su transporte y comercialización. Se desarrollan en el presente trabajo, las motivaciones del sector empresarial por realizar el cálculo de la Huella de Carbono de sus productos, como una herramienta que facilita la comparación entre empresas o productos similares, la mejora en la imagen de las empresas, al evidenciar una mayor responsabilidad social y ambiental; permite además establecer puntos de partida para la elaboración de planes de reducción de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero, con sus positivas consecuencias, económicas, ambientales y de posicionamiento en el mercado. Finalmente se abordan en esta comunicación las limitaciones que exhibe la Huella de Carbono frente a herramientas más poderosas, aunque quizás nos tan visuales y sencillas, como el Análisis del Ciclo de Vida o la Declaración de Producto, y cuáles son las tendencias que, en el ámbito del Sector de productos agroalimentarios, siguen los etiquetados ambientales.
... Gollnow et al. (2014) reported that the CF of fat and protein corrected milk from Australian dairies was on average 1.11 kg CO 2 e l -1 . Similar studies for the CF of dairy production have been conducted in other jurisdictions (Vergé et al., 2013;Vasilaki et al., 2016), and other studies have compared the CF of different dairy production systems (Henriksson et al., 2011;O'Brien et al., 2014). Dairy production is also associated with water use for watering livestock, irrigation of pasture and fodder crops, and for washing the dairy after milking. ...
... Some minor emissions were omitted, for example, emissions deriving from pesticide, detergent, and medicine production. According to the point 6.2.1 of the ISO/TS 14067, which suggests adopting existing relevant Product Category Rules (PCR), the product lifecycle was modelled considering two main modules: upstream and core (Vasilaki et al., 2016). Within the upstream module all the phases carried out on the farm (cultivation of forage for animals, cultivation of soy, breeding and management of cattle) were included. ...
Article
Since livestock product consumption could have a significant effect on tackling climate change, in the few last years, there has been an increasing consumer demand for non-dairy alternatives. Despite plant-based beverages being considered crucial to foster the transition towards sustainable diet models, no studies have yet compared the level of emissions of plant-based beverages with animal-based ones. The present study aims at computing the carbon footprint of cow milk and that of soy drink and evaluating the carbon footprint results in the light of the substitutability of cow's milk with soy drink, analyzing the potential environmental, economic and nutritional trade-offs between the two products. Results highlight that, considering the environmental perspective, soy drink could be a valid substitute of cow milk: its production has a lower carbon footprint, allowing for the achievement of food security objectives. However, focusing on the economic and nutritional perspectives, the high average consumer price of soy drink is associated with an overall lower nutritional level. In order to reach the same nutritional value as 1 L of cow milk in terms of protein intake, the consumption of soy drink should be increased by 13%. Furthermore, soy drink consumption implies paying 66% more than for cow milk, when considering the same protein content.
Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic created heavy pressure on firms, by increasing the challenges and disruptions that they have to deal with on being sustainable. For this purpose, it is aimed to reveal the role of the Smart Circular Supply Chain (SCSC) and its enablers towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for post pandemic preparedness. Methodology: Total interpretive structural modelling and MICMAC have been applied to analyse the SCSC enablers which are supported by the natural-based resource view in Turkey’s food industry. In this context, industry experts working in the food supply chain (meat sector) and academics came together to interpret the result and discuss the enablers that the supply chain experienced during the pandemic for creating a realistic framework for post pandemic preparedness. Findings: The results of this study show that "governmental support" and "top management involvement" are the enablers that have the most driving power on other enablers, however, none of them depend on any other enablers. Originality: The identification of the impact and role of enablers in achieving SDGs by combining smart and circular capabilities in the supply chain for the post pandemic.
Article
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cause climate changes, and their impact on the environment continues to increase. As a result, there is an urgent need to accelerate efforts to reduce GHG emissions. In industry, the majority of the current methods of reducing GHG emissions depend on technical enhancements of the facility and equipment. These methods focus on local optimization for carbon emission reduction in enterprises and may require additional time, money and effort for satisfactory implementation. Unlike technical approaches that focus on the equipment, this paper proposes an approach that combines carbon footprint analysis and production planning. The carbon footprint of the entire company’s operational process can be analyzed systematically using this approach. Subsequently, carbon emissions can be reduced significantly through production planning and optimization. To test the effectiveness of the proposed approach, a pharmaceutical enterprise is employed as an example. A production planning model is constructed based on the energy consumption analysis of different units and equipment. Using this model, the carbon emissions of the enterprise can be analyzed, and the corresponding production plan can be developed. To determine the optimal solution, a hybrid discrete particle swarm algorithm is developed and tested based on real data collected from the pharmaceutical enterprise. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed novel approach is effective and carbon emissions of the enterprise can be reduced by an average of 6.77%, or a reduction in CO2 emissions of 610.2 tons per year.
Article
Since the 2014 release of the International Standards Organization’s (ISO’s) international water footprint standard (ISO 14046), the subject of water footprint assessment based on life cycle assessment has gained increased attention in research communities. In this study, a dairy farm and five processing plants in a large Chinese enterprise’s dairy industrial chain were selected for a comprehensive water footprint assessment using ISO 14046. Results indicate that the water scarcity footprint at the plants was not only related to total freshwater consumption and production, but also closely related to the scarcity of water resources in the watershed basin or area. The water footprint assessment focused on volume but ignored environmental impacts, which are prone to errors and deviations. For the dairy farm, the indirect water scarcity footprint accounted for more than 92% of the total water footprint and was much larger than its direct water scarcity footprint. In the dairy industry chain, cow breeding had a larger contribution to environmental water scarcity, while dairy processing was the main contributor to the water degradation footprint. The results of the water degradation footprint composition show that impact from water eutrophication pollution (NH3-N, TP and TN) was greater than that of organic pollution (COD). Furthermore, in terms of the water eutrophication footprint, nitrogen pollutants contributed to a much greater extent than phosphorus pollutants. Finally, the results highlight that the water footprint of the dairy industrial chain could be greatly reduced by increasing the water efficiency of each production process, improving wastewater treatment capacity, reducing the water footprint of the supply chain, and considering the water sustainability of the river basin.
Article
Electrification is a promising approach to most carbon-emitting sectors of economic sectors of human activities such as transportation and industry sectors. Electrifying the machinery and different systems used in a farm can mitigate the carbon footprint of the agriculture sector if renewable energy sources are coordinated with the agricultural loads appropriately. This paper presents a road-map that: 1) presents greenhouse gases emitting activities in the food supply chain, 2) the potential impact of vertical farming on the agriculture sector, 3) discuss the carbon footprint of different activities in the food supply chain, and 4) presents a road-map to decarbonize greenhouse gas emitting activities in farms. This paper estimates that electrification of farms in an appropriate process with renewable energy resources can decrease the carbon footprint of farming 44–70% depends on the type of the farm.
Article
Nowadays Life Cycle Assessment is usually adopted to evaluate the carbon footprint and water footprint of packaged foods considering the whole supply chain, but not many studies compare the results coming from the adoption of different Life Cycle Impact Assessment methodologies. Adopting the IPCC 2013, IPCC 2013 incl. CO2 uptake, ILCD 2011 Midpoint +, ReCiPe 2016 and AWARE methods, this study aims to investigate the environmental impact of an organic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese produced in Italy. We demonstrated that the application of different LCIA methods gives different impact results for the same product: for example, global warming was lower with ILCD 2011 and IPCC 2013 CO2 uptake methods than IPCC 2013 and ReCiPe 2016. Moreover, the water footprint resulted different using ILCD 2011 midpoint + method, since it considers a European consumption of water, the AWARE, based on global average consumption, and the ReCiPe that considers the regionalized impacts. Overall, agricultural and breeding phases had a relevant contribution because of the use of water and greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and their daily feed. However, using renewable energy, such as biogas plants or photovoltaic panels, the paper demonstrated that the water and carbon footprint can be reduced.
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In recent times, society has been confronted with problems related to food safety and environmental protection. As a result, consumers are increasingly demanding an evolution towards the consumption of healthy products, produced within a framework of protection of natural resources and the environment. As a primary source of protein and micronutrients, meat products are considered essential elements of the human diet. In the search for products that meet the criteria of excellence of natural products produced in a sustainable way, the Community of Natural Parks of Galicia (Northwest Spain) is a territory recognized and protected as a region of magnificent landscapes and natural ecosystems. In this context, a framework for action has been planned to define environmental sustainability criteria for the award of a specific eco-label for products produced in these ecosystems. In particular, the sustainable use and economic development of the territory through livestock farming is proposed. To this aim, an environmental analysis has been carried out to identify and compare livestock systems based on extensive practices for beef production in the framework of the Galician Natural Parks. To this end, several environmental indicators were selected, although special attention was paid to two of them because of their particular relevance in assessing the environmental profile of livestock products: Carbon Footprint (CF) and Water Footprint (WF). The principles of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) were applied by the former, while the Water Footprint Network (WFN) guidelines were followed in the latter case. According to the results obtained for the different indicators, feed production (including grass, cereals and concentrated feed) contributed significantly to the overall impacts of the supply chain (up to the farm gate), regardless the environmental indicator evaluated. Considering the key role played by the production of the various ingredients for the formulation of feeds and their associated transport, the need to promote more sustainable production methods, as well as the exploitation of agricultural land adjacent to the farms, should be stressed, so that the environmental impacts are even lower than those estimated in this study. In addition, diffuse emissions also had a significant impact on most LCA-based categories, mainly due to the emission of nitrogen compounds to air from manure storage and their application to agricultural soils. Similarly, water demand from both irrigation steps in cultivation practices and on-farm activities had a critical role in WF results. From these outcomes, it would be desirable for waste management (especially livestock manure) to be carried out in accordance with principles of minimum impact, valuing the different streams to obtain reclaimed water for irrigation and bio-fertilizers that can replace those of chemical synthesis. Finally, the main results were compared with published works (in terms of CF and WF ratios) focusing on beef products and lower environmental impacts were registered. On this basis, common criteria for eco-labelling in beef production systems were defined in the framework of the Galician natural areas.
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Greek yogurt (GY), a high-protein-low-fat dairy product, particularly prized for its sensory and nutritional benefits, revolutionized the North American yogurt market in less than a decade, bringing with it new sustainability challenges. Standard GY production generates large volumes of acid whey, a co-product that is a potential source of environmental pollution if not recovered. This study aims to assess the environmental performance of different technologies and identify the main factors to improve GY production. A complete life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed to compare the standard technology (centrifugation) with two new technologies (fortification and ultrafiltration) to reduce acid whey volumes. Three milk protein concentrate alternatives were also assessed. Results show that technology choice is not a clear discriminant factor. However, minimizing losses and wastage (accounting for 23 to 25% of the environmental impacts for all indicators) beyond the processing plant and selecting milk ingredients (accounting for 63 to 67% of the impacts) with low environmental impacts are key factors to improve the environmental performance of GY systems. From a methodological perspective, the results also highlight a shortcoming in the current LCA guidelines (2015) issued by the International Dairy Federation to treat the multifunctionality of GY systems.
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Dairy and livestock sector is a significant contributor of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon footprint (CF) is commonly used to indicate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (CO2 equivalent) at various life cycle stages of a product. Studies undertaken globally on CF of dairy products were reviewed, reported CF values for various products are summarized and important contributing factors are discussed. In various studies undertaken globally, CF of dairy products has been calculated by using different international standards and methodologies like ISO 14040, 14044 and 14067, publicly available specification (PAS 2050). Most of the studies have used functional units such as kilogram greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of fat-and-protein-corrected-milk (FPCM) and energy correlated milk (ECM). Direct emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from on-farm livestock production and indirect CO2 and N2O emissions related to inputs on the farm have generally been considered in various studies. Enteric methane (CH4) has been reported as the major source of dairy farm emissions, followed by manure management, fertilizer production and its application. Processed milk products were found to have higher CF value as compared to the unprocessed milk. Various mitigation strategies have been suggested for emission reduction from dairy farms for example balanced feed rations and concentrates according to animal body requirements during lactation period, reducing use of nitrogen based fertilizers and increasing efficiency in application during crop production, use of biogas in place of cow dung, anaerobic digestion (AD) and efficient manure management.
Article
Background Globally, climate change is a challenge for the dairy sector and its effects are expected to have important consequences on the environmental performance of the dairy products value chains. At the same time, this sector significantly contributes to global warming and other environmental impacts. Scope and approach This paper addresses this twin challenge from a life cycle perspective, i.e. covering from dairy farms, dairy factory, distribution and retail, to consumption. To do so, literature reviews were done on the contribution of the sector to climate change and on the biophysical impacts of climate change on the dairy sector in the near term in Europe. Both reviews were linked to qualitatively analyse the interaction and connect in a matrix the biophysical impacts caused by the effects of climate change on the environmental performance of the sector. Key findings and conclusions Not surprisingly, dairy farms were identified as the major contributor to the total greenhouse gas emissions across the dairy value chains but also as the most vulnerable stage to climate change. Depending on the region, the dairy sector will face opportunities but also threats such as significant cows' heat stress, crop cultivation variability, on-farm water availability, cows' diseases, crop pests' pressure and product safety risk, which is associated with product losses and waste. Measures will be needed to mitigate them but with an environmental cost. The clear definition of the dairy sector-climate change interaction is the starting point to begin preparing this sector for a near-future under climate change conditions.
Article
Following the Single Market for Green Products, the European Commission released the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules for Dairy Products (PEFCR-D). According to the PEFCR-D, nitrogen (N) emissions must be calculated as stated by The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the European Environmental Agency (EMEP/EEA) methods. However, since the IPCC method and the EMEP/EEA method follow different N flows, the estimated N emissions differ at common farm stages resulting in incompatibilities in the reported PEFCR-D emissions from a mass balance perspective. This work proposes a comprehensive approach to calculate N emissions to satisfy the PEFCR-D guideline in a N balanced farm system. The proposed approach coordinates and balances the N flows at each stage in order to estimate the N emissions from the dairy system. In this regard, emissions such as N2O, NH3, NOx, N2 and NO3⁻ are estimated following the IPCC and EMEP/EEA methods from a single N flow in the system. The N losses in the whole dairy farm are estimated to increase 4.41% as a result of the implementing the PEFCR-D in a N balanced system instead of a non-balanced one. Consequently, an increase in environmental impacts of the farm such as Global Warming Potential (6.68%), Marine Eutrophication (4.91%) and Terrestrial Eutrophication (4.26%) were also measured. Moreover, the proposed approach to implement the PEFCR-D enabled the redistribution of emissions between farm stages; particularly relocating N emissions and environmental impacts between manure management and application. This resulted in a decrement on the manure management stage environmental impacts such as Global Warming (−41.88%) and Photochemical Ozone formation (−25.49%). On the other hand, at application stage, increments in Global Warming (26.94%), Marine Eutrophication (8.48%) and Terrestrial Eutrophication (7.52%) were evidenced when contrasting the outcomes between the non-balanced and balanced PEFCR-D calculation approach.
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The environmental issues and the projected world population increase have brought into light many different terms and concepts. For over 20 years, sustainability attracts the main focus of most researchers; however, recently the concept of circular economy (CE) is considered to be its successor. CE is based on a closed loop supply chain, where waste is minimized and reintroduced into the supply chain, thus requiring a systemic change. In the agri-food sector, the CE principles have many possible applications. This chapter provides a CE perspective for the dairy supply chain by identifying and analyzing the associated technologies and strategies through a literature review taxonomy based on the related stage of the supply chain.
Article
Dairy consumption studies or life cycle assessment of dairy products have been in research focus for several years providing useful information. However, limited number of studies confronted the two types of data in order to analyze environmental impacts associated with consumers. The objective of this research was to calculate these impacts, namely global warming potential (GWP), ozone depletion potential (ODP), cumulative energy demand (CED), acidification potential (AP) and eutrophication potential (EP) related to the consumption of milk and yogurt in Serbia. In the present paper, life cycle assessment study was performed using data from nine dairy farms and ten dairy plants. The system boundary applied is ‘cradle-to-retail’ comprising data from cow farms, raw milk transportation, processing and transportation of dairy products. In parallel, a survey on the consumption of milk and yogurt was conducted analyzing responses from 957 dairy product consumers. It was found that milk production is responsible for the emission of 1.511 kg CO2e/kg of milk, 7.720 MJe/kg, 0.1363 mg R11e/kg, 12.164 g SO2e/kg and 17.825 g PO4e/kg while the results for yogurt are slightly higher 1.672 kg CO2e/kg, 7.804 7.720 MJe/kg, 0.1369 mg R11e/kg, 12.238 g SO2e/kg and 17.609 g PO4e/kg. Further calculations also revealed that weekly emission of GWP, CED, ODP, AP and EP associated with an average consumer of milk and/or yogurt in Serbia was estimated at values of 2.254 kg CO2e/week, 10.926 MJe/week, 0.19261 mg R11e/week, 17.191 g SO2e/week and 24.363 g PO4e/week. These results may be of interest to all actors in the dairy chain giving them a wider perspective of sustainable consumption of dairy products.
Article
A compliant tool (CalcPEFDairy) to determine the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) of Dairy products has been developed following the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) v.6.3 guidance and the 2018 approved PEFCR for Dairy products. CalcPEFDairy is a new tool that simplifies and reduces the work for LCA practitioners when implementing the PEFCR for Dairy products. On contrary to traditional LCA software, CalcPEFDairy includes all the emission models needed to calculate farm and crop cultivation direct emissions and it also implements the specific calculation formulas stated in the PEFCR such as the Circular Footprint and Data Quality Requirement formulas. Moreover, the PEF compliant datasets provided by the Life Cycle Data Network are incorporated in the tool as source of secondary data. To demonstrate the accuracy of the tool a traditional dairy farm in Catalonia (Northwest of Spain) was assessed and the results compared with the European representative PEF compliant datasets for the production of raw milk, cheese and yoghurt. In addition to the environmental profile, CalcPEFDairy has determined the case study's environmental single score (ESS) for the production of raw milk (1.0 × 10-4) cheese (9.7 × 10-6) and yoghurt (1.4 × 10-5); these ESS results are within the range of the ESS obtained from the analysed EF-datasets. The data sets' average ESS for raw milk is 9.9 × 10-5 ± 1.1 × 10-5, while for cheese and yoghurt are 1.5 × 10-5 ± 3.1 × 10-6 and 1.9 × 10-5 ± 3.4 × 10-6 respectively. A 78% of the raw milk production ESS is attributed to the dairy farm activities while, the raw milk production stage affects in a 87.4% and 80.1% to the ESS for cheese and yoghurt respectively.
Article
The capability of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) in minimising waste and retaining the value of materials and energy within the biological and technical cycles in the Dairy Industry (DI) makes AD a critical instrument of transition to circular economy. The aim of this paper is to propose an approach for measuring the environmental performance of the anaerobic treatment of dairy processing effluents based on the circular economy principles. The potential of AD to close the water, energy and nutrient circular loops is investigated together with the relevant environmental costs and benefits at different levels of the dairy supply chain. The developed methodology was based on Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) applied at three different system levels: the AD plant, the dairy processing facility, the entire dairy supply chain. The approach is demonstrated in a dairy facility coupled with a full-scale AD unit. The results show that the excess electricity (426 MWh/annum) and heat (1236 MWh/annum) produced from the AD plant cause significant reduction of the overall environmental impact of the processing facility. The recovered energy from AD provides 20% of the energy requirements of the factory reducing the total carbon footprint emissions by 13% compared to the baseline scenario.
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In recent years, great emphasis has been seen to reduce the environmental footprint of the activities in our daily lives. Food is essential for all life, and its production may have a significant environmental impact if it is not properly monitored. In this chapter the environmental impact associated with the production of dairy products, along with details of the leading method for estimating the impact, life cycle assessment (LCA), is discussed. An overview of LCA studies that assess the environmental impact of dairy products, in a number of countries worldwide, is presented in this chapter. From this analysis, acidification, eutrophication, and global warming potential found to be the three most popular environmental impact categories assessed. In addition, a case study investigating the environmental impact associated with producing fluid milk in the Republic of Ireland is presented. The outcomes from this study not only demonstrated the effectiveness of using a systematical methodology like LCA but also provide key results for fluid milk producers and provide a benchmark for individual producers and processers to compare their performance.
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Education for sustainable development through activities or seminars is part of the training program for chemical engineering students to strengthen their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included in Agenda 2030. Food waste is not only an ethical and economic issue; it also depletes limited natural resources. In terms of the most recognized environmental indicator, food waste generates about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In this regard, curbing the growing trend of over-consumption of goods that we will not consume can have a significant effect on reducing the environmental impact associated with food production. The evaluation of the environmental impacts associated with non-responsible food consumption address SDGs No. 1, 2, 6, 12 and 13 and creates a framework for discussion on how to prevent food waste and strengthen the sustainability of the food system. The activity included both group activities (search for life cycle characterization factors to estimate the carbon and water footprints of food) and individual activities (collection of food waste data) over several months. When comparing the values of environmental footprints at the beginning and end of the activity, the most rational consumption of meat and dairy products was responsible for the largest proportion of the reduction achieved (70%). The activity was evaluated by the students with an average of 3.40 (between 1 and 4), with a remarkable percentage of students (>75%) who valued the activity positively both in the definition of the different phases of the work and in the monitoring of the results.
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The increasing demand for pork products has contributed to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Based on survey data of pig farms in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, China, we developed a hybrid model DICPig (DNDC and IPCC combined model for pig husbandry) by combining the Manure-DNDC (denitrification and decomposition model for manure) model with the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) agricultural greenhouse gas calculation method to calculate the total GHG emissions from the pig husbandry life cycle. This hybrid model allowed the analysis of the pig husbandry carbon emissions component structure and the identification of the factors affecting the level of emissions. The results showed that CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) emission per pig in its life cycle is about 672.27 kg CO2-eq. In the process of pig waste disposal, the N2O (Nitrous oxide) emitted is 1.17 kg, and the CH4 (Methane) emitted is 1.36 kg. Pig waste disposal and feed production processes were the two most important contributors to total pig husbandry GHG emissions, accounting for 56.92% and 28.62% of the total emissions respectively. GHG emissions from pig farms could be reduced significantly by optimizing manure management measures, constructing and utilizing biogas digesters, reducing the amount of fertilizer applied to cropping, and adopting a planting-breeding combination policy.
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This study quantifies the green, blue and grey water footprint of global crop production in a spatially-explicit way for the period 1996–2005. The assessment is global and improves upon earlier research by taking a high-resolution approach, estimating the water footprint of 126 crops at a 5 by 5 arc min grid. We have used a grid-based dynamic water balance model to calculate crop water use over time, with a time step of one day. The model takes into account the daily soil water balance and climatic conditions for each grid cell. In addition, the water pollution associated with the use of nitrogen fertilizer in crop production is estimated for each grid cell. The crop evapotranspiration of additional 20 minor crops is calculated with the CROPWAT model. In addition, we have calculated the water footprint of more than two hundred derived crop products, including various flours, beverages, fibres and biofuels. We have used the water footprint assessment framework as in the guideline of the water footprint network. Considering the water footprints of primary crops, we see that global average water footprint per ton of crop increases from sugar crops (roughly 200 m<sup>3</sup> ton<sup>−1</sup>), vegetables (300 m<sup>3</sup> ton<sup>−1</sup>), roots and tubers (400 m<sup>3</sup> ton<sup>−1</sup>), fruits (1000 m<sup>3</sup> ton<sup>−1</sup>), cereals} (1600 m<sup>3</sup> ton<sup>−1</sup>), oil crops (2400 m<sup>3</sup> ton<sup>−1</sup>) to pulses (4000 m<sup>3</sup> ton<sup>−1</sup>). The water footprint varies, however, across different crops per crop category and per production region as well. Besides, if one considers the water footprint per kcal, the picture changes as well. When considered per ton of product, commodities with relatively large water footprints are: coffee, tea, cocoa, tobacco, spices, nuts, rubber and fibres. The analysis of water footprints of different biofuels shows that bio-ethanol has a lower water footprint (in m<sup>3</sup> GJ<sup>−1</sup>) than biodiesel, which supports earlier analyses. The crop used matters significantly as well: the global average water footprint of bio-ethanol based on sugar beet amounts to 51 m<sup>3</sup> GJ<sup>−1</sup>, while this is 121 m<sup>3</sup> GJ<sup>−1</sup> for maize. The global water footprint related to crop production in the period 1996–2005 was 7404 billion cubic meters per year (78% green, 12% blue, 10% grey). A large total water footprint was calculated for wheat (1087 Gm<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup>), rice (992 Gm<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup>) and maize (770 Gm<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup>). Wheat and rice have the largest blue water footprints, together accounting for 45% of the global blue water footprint. At country level, the total water footprint was largest for India (1047 Gm<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup>), China (967 Gm<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup>) and the USA (826 Gm<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup>). A relatively large total blue water footprint as a result of crop production is observed in the Indus River Basin (117 Gm<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup>) and the Ganges River Basin (108 Gm<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup>). The two basins together account for 25% of the blue water footprint related to global crop production. Globally, rain-fed agriculture has a water footprint of 5173 Gm<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup> (91% green, 9% grey); irrigated agriculture has a water footprint of 2230 Gm<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup> (48% green, 40% blue, 12% grey).
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Recognizing the need for a comprehensive review of the tools and metrics for the quantification and assessment of water footprints, and allowing for the opportunity for open discussion on the challenges and future of water footprinting methodology, an international symposium on water footprint was organized. The Water Footprint Symposium was held in December 2013 at the University of Leeds, UK. In particular, four areas were highlighted for discussion: water footprint and agriculture, quantification of water footprint, industrial water footprint, and from theory to practice. Discussion was organized to focus on the " prioritization of water footprint research & applications to practical sectors ". The concept of water footprinting has helped to better communicate water management and assessment among different research and user communities. Significant research progress has been made in the relations between water footprint and agriculture, quantification of water footprint, industrial water footprint, and the transition from theory to practice. Future water footprint research needs to further enhance assessment accuracy, improve sustainability assessment methodology, develop databases, address uncertainties , and prioritize application by government and in practical sectors. More information on the symposium can be found on the water@leeds website: http://www.wateratleeds.org/ conferences/2013/water-footprint-symposium.
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Purpose Water footprinting and the assessment of water use in life cycle assessment have become of major interest in sustainability assessments. Various initiatives for combining water resource issues with consumption of products and services have been initiated in the last decade. However, comprehensive databases fulfilling the requirements for addressing these issues have been lacking and are necessary to facilitate efficient and consistent assessments of products and services. To this purpose, ecoinvent focused on integrating appropriate water use data into version 3, since previously water use data has been inconsistently reported and some essential flows were missing. This paper describes the structure of the water use data in ecoinvent, how the data has been compiled and the way it can be used for water footprinting. Methods The main changes required for proper assessment of water use are the addition of environmental and product flows in order to allow a water balance over each process. This is in accordance with the strict paradigm in ecoinvent 3 to focus on mass balances, which requires the inclusion of water contents of all products (also for e.g. waste water flows), as well as emissions of water to soil, air and various water bodies. Water inputs from air (e.g. rainwater harvesting) is introduced but is not yet used by any activity. Results and discussion Ecoinvent version 3.1 consistently includes the relevant flows to address water use in life cycle assessment (LCA) and calculate water footprints on the product level for most processes including uncertainty information. Although some problems regarding data quality and spatial resolution remain, this is an important step forward and can limit efforts for detailed data collection to the most sensitive processes in the product system. With the combination of data on water use and emissions to water for each process, concentration and corresponding water classes can also be calculated and assessed with existing impact assessment methods. Conclusions This comprehensive collection of water use data on the process level facilitates the proper assessment of water use within an LCA and water footprints beyond agricultural production. Especially in LCA, but also in tools for eco-design and specific water footprint, this data is essential and leads to a cost-efficient way of assessing consumption choices and product design decisions with full transparency. It enhances the effectiveness of investing in data collection by performing sensitivity analyses using ecoinvent data to identify the most relevant flows and processes.
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Purpose The assessment of water footprints of a wide range of products has increased awareness on preserving freshwater as a resource. The water footprint of a product was originally defined by Hoekstra and Hung (2002) as the sum of the volumetric water use in terms of green, blue and grey water along the entire life cycle of a product and, as such, does not determine the environmental impact associated with freshwater use. Recently, several papers were published that describe building blocks that enable assessment of the site-specific environmental impact associated with freshwater use along the life cycle of a global food chain, such as the impact on human health (HH), ecosystem quality (EQ) or resource depletion (RD). We integrated this knowledge to enable an assessment of the environmental impact associated with freshwater use along the life cycle of milk production, as a case for a global food chain. Material and methods Our approach innovatively combined knowledge about the main impact pathways of freshwater use in life cycle assessment (LCA), knowledge about site-specific freshwater impacts and knowledge about modelling of irrigation requirements of global feed crops to assess freshwater impacts along the life cycle of milk production. We evaluated a Dutch model farm situated on loamy sand in the province of Noord-Brabant, where grass and maize land is commonly irrigated. Results and discussion Production of 1 kg of fat-and-protein corrected milk (FPCM) on the model farm in Noord-Brabant required 66 L of consumptive water. About 76 % of this water was used for irrigation during roughage cultivation, 15 % for production of concentrates and 8 % for drinking and cleaning services. Consumptive water use related to production of purchased diesel, gas, electricity and fertiliser was negligible (i.e. total 1 %). Production of 1 kg of FPCM resulted in an impact on HH of 0.8 × 10−9 disability adjusted life years, on EQ of 12.9 × 10−3 m2 × year and on RD of 6.7 kJ. The impact of producing this kilogram of FPCM on RD, for example, was caused mainly by cultivation of concentrate ingredients, and appeared lower than the average impact on RD of production of 1 kg of broccoli in Spain. Conclusions Integration of existing knowledge from diverse science fields enabled an assessment of freshwater impacts along the life cycle of a global food chain, such as Dutch milk production, and appeared useful to determine its environmental hotspots. Results from this case study support earlier findings that LCA needs to go beyond simple water volume accounting when the focus is on freshwater scarcity. The approach used, however, required high-resolution inventory global data (i.e. especially regarding crop yield, soil type and root depth), and demonstrated a trade-off between scientific quality of results and applicability of the assessment method.
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In the past decade, several methods have emerged to quantify water scarcity, water availability and the human health impacts of water use. It was recommended that a quantitative comparison of methods should be performed to describe similar impact pathways, namely water scarcity and human health impacts from water deprivation. This is precisely the goal of this paper, which aims to (1) identify the key relevant modeling choices that explain the main differences between characterization models leading to the same impact indicators; (2) quantify the significance of the differences between methods, and (3) discuss the main methodological choices in order to guide method development and harmonization efforts. The modeling choices are analysed for similarity of results (using mean relative difference) and model response consistency (through rank correlation coefficient). Uncertainty data associated with the choice of model are provided for each of the models analysed, and an average value is provided as a tool for sensitivity analyses. The results determined the modeling choices that significantly influence the indicators and should be further analysed and harmonised, such as the regional scale at which the scarcity indicator is calculated, the sources of underlying input data and the function adopted to describe the relationship between modeled scarcity indicators and the original withdrawal-to-availability or consumption-to-availability ratios. The inclusion or exclusion of impacts from domestic user deprivation and the inclusion or exclusion of trade effects both strongly influence human health impacts. At both midpoint and endpoint, the comparison showed that considering reduced water availability due to degradation in water quality, in addition to a reduction in water quantity, greatly influences results. Other choices are less significant in most regions of the world. Maps are provided to identify the regions in which such choices are relevant. This paper provides useful insights to better understand scarcity, availability and human health impact models for water use and identifies the key relevant modeling choices and differences, making it possible to quantify model uncertainty and the significance of these choices in a specific regional context. Maps of regions where these specific choices are of importance were generated to guide practitioners in identifying locations for sensitivity analyses in water footprint studies. Finally, deconstructing the existing models and highlighting the differences and similarities has helped to determine building blocks to support the development of a consensual method.
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Achieving sustainable global food security is one of humanity’s contemporary challenges. Here we present an analysis identifying key “global leverage points” that offer the best opportunities to improve both global food security and environmental sustainability. We find that a relatively small set of places and actions could provide enough new calories to meet the basic needs for more than 3 billion people, address many environmental impacts with global consequences, and focus food waste reduction on the commodities with the greatest impact on food security. These leverage points in the global food system can help guide how nongovernmental organizations, foundations, governments, citizens’ groups, and businesses prioritize actions.
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Purpose A life cycle assessment was conducted to determine a baseline for environmental impacts of cheddar and mozzarella cheese consumption. Product loss/waste, as well as consumer transport and storage, is included. The study scope was from cradle-to-grave with particular emphasis on unit operations under the control of typical cheese-processing plants. Methods SimaPro© 7.3 (PRé Consultants, The Netherlands, 2013) was used as the primary modeling software. The ecoinvent life cycle inventory database was used for background unit processes (Frischknecht and Rebitzer, J Cleaner Prod 13(13–14):1337–1343, 2005), modified to incorporate US electricity (EarthShift 2012). Operational data was collected from 17 cheese-manufacturing plants representing 24 % of mozzarella production and 38 % of cheddar production in the USA. Incoming raw milk, cream, or dry milk solids were allocated to coproducts by mass of milk solids. Plant-level engineering assessments of allocation fractions were adopted for major inputs such as electricity, natural gas, and chemicals. Revenue-based allocation was applied for the remaining in-plant processes. Results and discussion Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are of significant interest. For cheddar, as sold at retail (63.2 % milk solids), the carbon footprint using the IPCC 2007 factors is 8.60 kg CO2e/kg cheese consumed with a 95 % confidence interval (CI) of 5.86–12.2 kg CO2e/kg. For mozzarella, as sold at retail (51.4 % milk solids), the carbon footprint is 7.28 kg CO2e/kg mozzarella consumed, with a 95 % CI of 5.13–9.89 kg CO2e/kg. Normalization of the results based on the IMPACT 2002+ life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) framework suggests that nutrient emissions from both the farm and manufacturing facility wastewater treatment represent the most significant relative impacts across multiple environmental midpoint indicators. Raw milk is the major contributor to most impact categories; thus, efforts to reduce milk/cheese loss across the supply chain are important. Conclusions On-farm mitigation efforts around enteric methane, manure management, phosphorus and nitrogen runoff, and pesticides used on crops and livestock can also significantly reduce impacts. Water-related impacts such as depletion and eutrophication can be considered resource management issues—specifically of water quantity and nutrients. Thus, all opportunities for water conservation should be evaluated, and cheese manufacturers, while not having direct control over crop irrigation, the largest water consumption activity, can investigate the water use efficiency of the milk they procure. The regionalized normalization, based on annual US per capita cheese consumption, showed that eutrophication represents the largest relative impact driven by phosphorus runoff from agricultural fields and emissions associated with whey-processing wastewater. Therefore, incorporating best practices around phosphorous and nitrogen management could yield improvements.
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This article presents a cradle-to-grave analysis of the United States fluid milk supply chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are accounted from fertilizer production through consumption and disposal of milk packaging. Crop production and on-farm GHG emissions were evaluated using public data and 536 farm operation surveys. Milk processing data were collected from 50 dairy plants nationwide. Retail and consumer GHG emissions were estimated from primary data, design estimates, and publicly available data. Total GHG emissions, based primarily on 2007 to 2008 data, were 2.05 (90% confidence limits: 1.77–2.4) kg CO2e per kg milk consumed, which accounted for loss of 12% at retail and an additional 20% loss at consumption. A complementary analysis showed the entire dairy sector contributes approximately 1.9% of US GHG emissions. While the largest GHG contributors are feed production, enteric methane, and manure management; there are opportunities to reduce impacts throughout the supply chain.
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A case study is presented to (1) assess the water footprint of New Zealand (NZ) dairy farming in two contrasting regions of Waikato (North Island, non-irrigated moderate rainfall) and Canterbury (South Island, irrigated low rainfall), (2) illustrate differences in water footprint methods and (3) evaluate the suitability of indicators derived from each water footprint method. The water footprint methods (1) water footprint following the Water Footprint Network (WF-WFN), (2) stress-weighted water footprint (WF-Ridoutt), following Ridoutt and Pfister (2010) and Ridoutt et al. (2010), (3) environmental impacts of freshwater consumption expressed in damage to resources (ΔR), damage to ecosystem quality (ΔEQ), and damage to human health (ΔHH) following Pfister et al. (2009), and (4) freshwater ecosystem impacts (FEIs) and freshwater depletion (FD) following Milà i Canals et al., 2009 and Milà i Canals et al., 2010 were applied to two average dairy systems in the different regions.
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Water is essential for life of plants, animals, humans, and human civilization. The rapidly growing human population is causing energy crisis, ozone depletion, global warming, and scarcity of cropland and this is also leading to water scarcity, water pollution, and water-related land fertility degradation. Incoming rainwater generates two types of water resources, green water and blue water. Four actions, population stabilization, seriously intended pollution abatement, water-based balancing of green and blue water requirements for social and environmental purposes, and preparedness for mega-scale food trade expansion from water-rich to water-short countries-will form the building blocks to a responsible approach to sustainability.
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The increase in the consumption of animal products is likely to put further pressure on the world's freshwater resources. This paper provides a comprehensive account of the water footprint of animal products, considering different production systems and feed composition per animal type and country. Nearly one-third of the total water footprint of agriculture in the world is related to the production of animal products. The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of crop products with equivalent nutritional value. The average water footprint per calorie for beef is 20 times larger than for cereals and starchy roots. The water footprint per gram of protein for milk, eggs and chicken meat is 1.5 times larger than for pulses. The unfavorable feed conversion efficiency for animal products is largely responsible for the relatively large water footprint of animal products compared to the crop products. Animal products from industrial systems generally consume and pollute more ground-and surface-water resources than animal products from grazing or mixed systems. The rising global meat consumption and the intensification of animal production systems will put further pressure on the global freshwater resources in the coming decades. The study shows that from a freshwater perspective, animal products from grazing systems have a smaller blue and grey water footprint than products from industrial systems , and that it is more water-efficient to obtain calories, protein and fat through crop products than animal products.
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Purpose In recent years, several methods have been devel-oped which propose different freshwater use inventory schemes and impact assessment characterization models considering various cause–effect chain relationships. This work reviewed a multitude of methods and indicators for freshwater use potentially applicable in life cycle assess-ment (LCA). This review is used as a basis to identify the key elements to build a scientific consensus for operational characterization methods for LCA. Methods This evaluation builds on the criteria and proce-dure developed within the International Reference Life Cycle Data System Handbook and has been adapted for the purpose of this project. It therefore includes (1) description of relevant cause–effect chains, (2) definition of criteria to evaluate the existing methods, (3) development of sub-criteria specific to freshwater use, and (4) description and review of existing methods addressing freshwater in LCA. Results and discussion No single method is available which comprehensively describes all potential impacts derived from freshwater use. However, this review highlights several key findings to design a characterization method encompassing all the impact pathways of the assessment of freshwater use and consumption in life cycle assessment framework as the fol-lowing: (1) in most of databases and methods, consistent freshwater balances are not reported either because output is not considered or because polluted freshwater is recalculated based on a critical dilution approach; (2) at the midpoint level, most methods are related to water scarcity index and corre-spond to the methodological choice of an indicator simplified in terms of the number of parameters (scarcity) and freshwater uses (freshwater consumption or freshwater withdrawal) con-sidered. More comprehensive scarcity indices distinguish dif-ferent freshwater types and functionalities. (3) At the endpoint level, several methods already exist which report results in units compatible with traditional human health and ecosystem quality damage and cover various cause–effect chains, e.g., the decrease of terrestrial biodiversity due to freshwater con-sumption. (4) Midpoint and endpoint indicators have various levels of spatial differentiation, i.e., generic factors with no differentiation at all, or country, watershed, and grid cell differentiation. Conclusions Existing databases should be (1) completed with input and output freshwater flow differentiated according to water types based on its origin (surface water, groundwater, and precipitation water stored as soil moisture), (2) regional-ized, and (3) if possible, characterized with a set of quality parameters. The assessment of impacts related to freshwater use is possible by assembling methods in a comprehensive methodology to characterize each use adequately.
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Over the past two decades, a continuously expanding list of footprint-style indicators has been introduced to the scientific community with the aim of raising public awareness of how humanity exerts pressures on the environment. A deeper understanding of the connections and interactions between different footprints is required in an attempt to support policy makers in the measurement and choice of environmental impact mitigation strategies. Combining a selection of footprints that address different aspects of environmental issues into an integrated system is, therefore, a natural step. This paper starts with the idea of developing a footprint family from which most important footprints can be compared and integrated. On the basis of literature review in related fields, the ecological, energy, carbon, and water footprints are employed as selected indicators to define a footprint family. A brief survey is presented to provide background information on each of the footprints with an emphasis on their main characteristics in a comparative sense; that is, the footprints differ in many aspects more than just the impacts they are addressed. This allows the four footprints to be complementarily used in assessing environmental impacts associated with natural resource use and waste discharge. We evaluate the performance of the footprint family in terms of data availability, coverage complementarity, methodological consistency, and policy relevance and propose solutions and suggestions for further improvement. The key conclusions are that the footprint family, which captures a broad spectrum of sustainability issues, is able to offer a more complete picture of environmental complexity for policy makers and, in particular, in national-level studies. The research provides new insights into the distinction between environmental impact assessment and sustainability evaluation, properly serving as a reference for multidisciplinary efforts in estimating planetary boundaries for global sustainability.
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The amount of water that is used in animal agriculture influences society’s view of its environmental sustainability. Estimates of how much water is consumed to produce one kg of milk remain scarce. Such information needs to be given to society and water resource managers. The aim of this study were to assess the water footprint of both a conventional and an organic dairy production system and identified the components and processes that have the greatest water use in terms of green, blue, gray water, and virtual water. Additionally, it analyzed the impact of element on gray water footprint, and utilized indicators to evaluate the water scarcity. These were done following a water footprint method compliant with Water Footprint Network. Green water footprint was the most significant contributor to the total footprint values for both systems. This situation can be understood as an opportunity to improve the agriculture water use efficiency and promote the integration between agriculture and livestock. Virtual water represents from 39% to 57% of footprint value for the conventional and from 32% to 59% for the organic. The consumption of water for irrigation accounted for the greatest percentage of blue water, 95% for conventional and 96% for organic. The element used to calculate gray water footprint has a significant impact on its values. Footprints calculated having phosphorus as element were 1.5 and 1.9 times higher for conventional and organic, respectively. Both conventional and organic farms showed an equal green water scarcity index (1.1) and despite the two farms are located in places with high rainfall, they suffered green water scarcity The blue water scarcity index was 0.11 for conventional and 0.13 for organic. Study concluded that a product with a lower water footprint could be more damaging to the environment than one with a higher water footprint depending on water availability. The water footprint approach evidenced that nutritional management is crucial to improve water use. Results cannot support the consequences in changing the conventional or the organic production system regarding the use of water. The more efficient water use depend on productions factors and water availabilities that are specific to each system.
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Methods: The dairy production systems were confined feedlot system, semi-confined feedlot system (including some grazing), and pasture-based grazing system. A sensitivity analysis of the dry matter intake (DMI) in each farming system and an uncertainty analysis based on a Monte Carlo (MC) simulation were performed to complement the discussion. The standards ISO 14040: 2006 and ISO 14044: 2006 were used for the comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) focused on the CF. The LCA software tool SimaPro 7.3.3 was used. Sensitivity analyses were conducted on input data for total digestible nutrients (TDN) and crude protein (CP) based on values from the literature.
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Background Food consumption is one of the most important drivers of environmental pressures. Adoption of healthy diets is suggested to be an option for less environmentally intensive food habits and improved public health. In particular, changes in meat consumption are believed to bring potential benefits. Objective To quantify the impact of changes in meat consumption on the dietary contribution of nutrients, GHG emissions and on land requirement. Design Scenario analysis is performed for three scenarios representing different variants of meat consumption in Sweden. The reference scenario is based on average Swedish meat consumption while NUTR-1 and NUTR-2 are hypothetical scenarios in line with prevailing dietary guidelines. The results are evaluated in relation to the recommended daily intake of nutrients, international climate goals and global capacity for sustainable expansion of agricultural land. Uncertainties and variations in data are captured by using Monte Carlo simulation. Results Meat consumption in line with nutritional guidelines, implying an approximate 25% reduction of Swedish average intake, reduces the contribution of total and saturated fat by 59–76%, energy, iron and zinc by about half and protein by one quarter. Restrictions in meat consumption are most critical for the intake of iron and zinc, whereas positive effects on public health are expected due to the reduced intake of saturated fat. Aligning meat consumption with dietary guidelines reduces GHG emissions from meat production from 40% to approximately 15–25% of the long-term (2050) per capita budget of sustainable GHG emissions and the share of per capita available cropland from 50% to 20–30%. Conclusions This quantitative analysis suggests that beneficial synergies, in terms of public health, GHG emissions and land use pressure, can be provided by reducing current Swedish meat consumption.
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Chemical pulp is one of the most important raw materials used in the paper industry. This material is known to make a significant contribution to the water footprint and cost of final paper products; therefore, chemical pulp is crucial in determining the competitiveness of final products’. Several studies have focused on these aspects, but there have been no previous reports on the integrated application of raw material water footprint accounting and costs in the definition of the optimal supply mix of chemical pulps from different countries. The current models that have been applied specifically to the paper industry are based mainly on general sectorial data; therefore, they cannot reflect the importance of the efficiency of the different processes in the supply chain of paper production. The objective of this study was to develop a multi-objective optimization model to identify the supply mix that minimizes the water footprint accounting results and costs of chemical pulp, thereby facilitating the assessment of the water footprint by accounting for different chemical pulps purchased from various suppliers, with a focus on the efficiency of the production process. Water footprint accounting was adapted to better represent the efficiency of pulp and paper production. A multi-objective model for supply mix optimization was also developed using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA). Water footprint accounting confirmed the importance of the production efficiency of chemical pulp, which affected the final results, with an average factor of 4.7 m3 wood/t paper. The MCDA that we developed was used to determine the optimal mix of chemical pulps from different countries, which demonstrated how the optimal mix changed when considering only one of the two variables. Herein, we also discuss the latest developments in impact assessments related to water based on a life cycle assessment, which should be used as a framework for the future development of the model that is presented.