Title: Outcomes of the second workshop of the Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table Working Group 1: deriving scientifically-sound rules for a sector-specific environmental assessment methodology
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC68988
ISSN: 0948-3349
URI: http://www.springerlink.com/content/2176k463r1qtx22u/fulltext.pdf
DOI: 10.1007/s11367-012-0396-9
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Purpose This paper illustrates the consensus achieved by the members of the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table Working Group 1 in their second scientific workshop held in the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) site of Ispra, Italy on July 5th-7th, 2011. This workshop came after having run a detailed analysis of data and methodologies for assessing the environmental performance of food and drink products. In particular, the aim of this workshop was to reach consensus amongst key stakeholders on those approaches found diverging across methodologies and on which the forthcoming Protocol for the ENVIronmental assessment of FOOds and Drinks (ENVIFOOD Protocol) is expected to provide guidance to the sector. Methods Almost thirty Round Table members joined the workshop. Most of them were representatives from business associations associated with the food and drink supply chain and their member companies, EU member state governments, government-supported initiatives on environmental labelling schemes, NGOs, and The Sustainability Consortium. A pool of selected senior scientists on food LCA, data and environmental impact assessment methods from academia were also invited to join the workshop and actively contributed to the discussion. Several European Commission staff members also participated in the workshop. A pre-analysis of key existing guidelines and the Guiding Principles for voluntary environmental assessment and communication agreed by the Food Round Table members provided the basis for the workshop. Besides two plenary sessions, one at the beginning of the workshop to introduce the topics and one in the end to draw conclusions, those approaches where consensus is missing across environmental assessment methodologies were analysed in three ad hoc break-out sessions over the two days. Results and conclusions Functional unit equal to 100g or ml in the context of those assessments instrumental to Business-to-Consumer (B2C) communication, and clear identification of a reference flow (instead of a functional unit) for those assessments conducted for Business-to-Business (B2B) communication are just a few recommendations coming out from the workshop. These and many other approaches on calculation rules, data quality and impact assessment were agreed by Round Table members. These will be likely integrated into the ENVIFOOD Protocol. Despite the workshop was relatively successful in terms of consensus achieved, some issues still remained. Round Table members are continuing the discussion inside the working group 1 drafting group to address those issues where no consensus was reached (e.g. system boundary for assessments instrumental to Business-to-Consumer (B2C) communication) or where a more in-depth background analysis was needed (e.g. accounting for land use change, allocation for recycling). A public consultation will be run in 2012 to ensure that the coming ENVIFOOD Protocol is both scientifically sound and practical to implement.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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