Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Carbon footprint

23 October 2014

In the 'Carnivore's Dilemma', part of National Geographic’s special series on The Future of Food, Robert Kunzick (National Geographic’s senior environmental editor) contributes to the current meat debate by discussing his visit to 'Cactus Feeders', the company that operates 9 feed yards in Kansas, USA. He explores the role of pharmaceuticals and hormones for the health and productivity of the animals and also discusses environmental issues including water supply, beef’s carbon footprint and feedlots. 

For the complete article with infographics and photographs, see here.

15 October 2014

The following two reports deal with food waste costs and mitigation. The first report focuses on costs and introduces a methodology that allows for full-cost accounting (FCA) of the food waste footprint, including costs associated with the environmental impacts of food waste. The FCA framework incorporates market based evaluations of the direct financial costs, non-market valuation of lost ecosystem goods and services and well-being valuation to assess the social costs associated with natural resource degradation.

2 October 2014

This blog discusses the June Business Forum meeting organised by the Food Ethics Council which saw businesses and NGOs coming together to consider how industry and government discusses issues of food consumption and choice now, and how this might need to change.

25 September 2014

A major new report released by a commission of global leaders finds that governments and businesses can improve economic growth and reduce their carbon emissions together. Rapid technological innovation and new investment in infrastructure are making it possible today to tackle climate change at the same time as improving economic performance.

22 July 2014

The Global Calculator is an open-source interactive tool allows you to explore all the options we have to reduce emissions through changing our technologies, fuels, land use and lifestyles up to the year 2050. It is funded by the UK Government’s International Climate Fund and the EU’s Climate-KIC, and has been built by an international team.

1 July 2014

This study is one of the very few that examines the GHG impacts of a selection of real life ‘self selected’ diets as opposed to those that are modelled or hypothetical.  It looks specifically at the dietary patterns (based on a standard 2,000 kcal diet) of UK vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and non-vegetarians.  Approximately 55,500 subjects were chosen for the study, all part of the EPIC-Oxford cohort study.

23 June 2014

The International Trade Center’s (ITC) Trade and Environment Unit has recently released a training manual aimed at addressing climate change in the tea sector. With climate change already having an impact on both the quality and quantity of tea the manual sets out to help tea farmers and factories lower their emissions and reduce energy costs. One of the reasons for the focus on factories is that exporters are increasingly subject to requirements set by buyers and retailers to measure and reduce carbon emissions.

2 May 2014

This interesting article, published by the International Leather Maker magazine takes a look at the often neglected non food-outputs of the livestock system, focusing in particular on leather.

25 April 2014

This study investigates specifically how camels compare to other ruminants in terms of emissions and they find that they release less methane.

10 April 2014

Since this is a complex but very interesting paper, we’ve put together a more detailed summary and explanation of the paper’s approach and findings, together with some comments in this document here.  Our summary and commentary draws upon some very helpful insights from Professor Pete Smith at the University of Aberdeen and includes some useful commentary from Dr Marco Springmann at the University of Oxford – thanks to both.

9 April 2014

This open access article from Chalmers University, Sweden, argues that unless we reduce our consumption of meat and dairy, world temperatures will continue to rise and we will be unable to meet the goal of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 2˚C.

9 April 2014

This very interesting paper essentially argues that policies designed to incentivise production efficiencies achieve greater GHG reductions than those focusing on consumption. Moreover they do so at lower calorie ‘cost’ than consumption side measures. The abstract is given below, but we’ve produced some further explanation of the paper’s approach and findings, together with some comments in Our summary and commentary (which you can also download as a PDF below) draws upon some very helpful insights from Professor Pete Smith at the University of Aberdeen and includes some useful commentary from Dr Marco Springmann at the University of Oxford – thanks to both.

12 March 2014

Climate policy progress assessment concludes that many countries are advancing to cut emissions at a similar rate as the UK.  A report by the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE international) argues that only a "handful of countries" have not yet engaged with climate change as a policy problem or fail to see it as a legislative priority. Analysing the climate legislation of 66 countries (together accounting for 88 percent of greenhouse gas emissions) it finds that 62 of them have a 'flagship law'. And contrary to commonly held perceptions, it is not just rich countries that are introducing laws to tackle emissions. Countries including Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Kenya are also taking firm legal measures.

12 March 2014

The Nordic countries collaborate in setting guidelines for dietary composition and recommended intakes of nutrients. Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2012 is their 5th and latest publication. The recommendations emphasize food patterns and nutrient intakes that, in combination with sufficient and varied physical activity, are optimal for development and function of the body and that contribute to a reduced risk of certain diet-associated diseases.

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