Title: Biodiversity impacts due to food consumption in Europe
Citation: JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION vol. 227 p. 378-391
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC113069
ISSN: 0959-6526 (online)
URI: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095965261931131X?via%3Dihub
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.04.054
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Food security and biodiversity conservation are closely interconnected challenges to be addressed in order to achieve a sustainable food system on a global scale. Due to the complex nature of food production and consumption system, quantifying the impacts of food supply chains on biodiversity is challenging. Life cycle assessment (LCA) allows for systematically addressing environmental impacts along supply chains, representing a reference methodology that could be applied for assessing food systems. In the present study, 30 representative food products of European consumption have been selected and their environmental impacts calculated through a process-based LCA. The role of EU food consumption in the current biodiversity decline has been evaluated both adopting midpoint and endpoint indicators. A comparison of the drivers behind the impacts has been performed. Meat products, the underpinning use of land for agricultural purposes, and climate change represent the main hotspots of impacts on biodiversity. Notwithstanding several drivers of biodiversity loss could be accounted for with LCA , the evidence of increasing biodiversity decline at global scale indicates that the accounting system should be further expanded, especially for what concerns refining ecotoxicity, including resource overexploitation and invasive species. This study illustrates: how far the current LCA based impact assessment framework may help addressing the drivers of biodiversity loss; which are the main uncertainties associated to results stemming from the application of different endpoint methods; which aspects need to be elaborated further to ensure a comprehensive assessment of biodiversity impacts due to food production and consumption.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.

Items in repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.