Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Carbon footprint

1 November 2013

Taking as its starting point the mounting evidence pointing to the need for consumption changes aimed at achieving healthier and more sustainable diets, this research highlights the process of constructing an ecological foodprint tool (www.voedingscentrum.nl). It seeks to contribute to greater understanding of the role that social networks and social media can play in informing dietary choices. The foodprint tool has the following features: 1) its focuses on food only; 2) it is designed to encourage interaction by the users; and 3) it incorporates recommendations for achieving a healthy diet with a lower foodprint.

15 October 2013

This paper explores how far changes in consumers’ diets can lead to reductions in food related GHG emissions. While previous studies have looked at the relative mitigation impact of switching to vegetarian and vegan diets, this paper estimates the contribution that the average UK diet makes to GHG emissions. It does so by combining the GHG emissions from 66 different food categories with self-reported dietary information. The average GHG impact that the authors arrive at is 8.8 kg CO2 eq per person – including both food eaten and the embedded emissions in food wasted (post-purchase).

7 October 2013

A new centre has been set up in the UK, which aims to reduce the energy used across food production, taking a whole system approach. The RCUK Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains (CSEF) will examine where and how to make savings in food production:  its research outputs are intended to support energy efficiency policy and contribute to cutting carbon use and GHG emissions. One of its primary research themes is the simulation of energy and resource flows in the food chain, from manufacture and transport of food through to the energetic requirements of refrigeration in supermarkets.

26 September 2013

This annual report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) focuses on the use of refrigerants with high global warming potential such as HFCs, in major supermarket chains in the UK and Europe. It investigates the progress made  in shifting towards more climate-friendly alternatives. 

26 September 2013

In a recent article in BioScience, researchers argue that land-use decisions need to take into account the multiple impacts of revegetating agricultural landscapes. If decision making fails to address the wide range of issues of importance for landscapes, carbon farming (carbon markets and related international schemes that allow payments to landholders for planting trees) may have harmful effects, such as degrading ecosystems and causing food supply problems.

17 September 2013

Approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted.  This FAO report argues that this waste represents a missed opportunity to improve global food security, and to mitigate the environmental impacts resulting from the food supply chain.

5 September 2013

This publication by FAO examines how fruit and vegetable wastes (FVW) could be used as livestock feed. The demand for livestock products is rapidly increasing in most developing countries but in many cases there are severe feed deficits. The sustainability of feed production systems is being challenged due to biophysical factors such as land, soil and water scarcity, food-fuel-feed competition, ongoing global warming and frequent and drastic weather events, along with increased competition for arable land and non-renewable resources such as fossil carbon-sources, water and phosphorus.

13 May 2013

Details as follows: According to many authorities the impact of humanity on the earth is already overshooting the earth’s capacity to supply humanity’s needs. This is an unsustainable position. This book does not focus on the problem but on the solution, by showing what it is like to live within a fair earth share ecological footprint.

8 May 2013

This report looks at the role of consumption based emissions (i.e. taking into account emissions embedded in imported goods) in contributing to the UK’s overall carbon footprint. It covers past trends and sets out future scenarios for UK consumption emissions. It also looks at the lifecycle emissions of low-carbon technologies in order to understand how their deployment would impact the UK’s carbon footprint.

1 April 2013

For companies seeking to undertake Product Carbon Footprints (PCF) of leather and leather goods, one of the most controversial methodological issues relates to the definition of the system boundaries of the PCF study and, in particular, how to deal with the significant upstream burdens associated with livestock breeding and agricultural production of the cow.

25 March 2013

One FCRN network member has kindly responded to the request for info on more footprinting tools.

She highlights the Fieldprint calculator (on-farm only) developed by The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. The tool calculates not only carbon but also incorporates soil and water use indicators. Reference values are included to enable the user to establish how his/her farm compares, but as the tool was developed in the US that aspect of the tool may not apply in other regions.

4 March 2013

This is a very interesting study. It’s based on a very small set of interviews - 16 people who self-identified as deliberately trying to live a lower-carbon lifestyle because of concern about climate change – and so its findings don’t necessarily apply to other people living in lower carbon ways.

15 January 2013

FCRN member David Freudberg, host of the National Public Radio series “Humankind,” has written a blog for The Huffington Post arguing that diet is rarely discussed as a way to mitigate climate change. He notes that the recommendations being made by climate scientists on how to lessen our carbon footprint are also the same as those being made by health experts – diets higher in fruits, vegetables, and grains, and lower in meat.

15 January 2013

A perspective paper published by Environmental Research Letters revisits the 2004 study by Pacala and Socolow that deployed seven wedges of different existing energy technologies to address climate change. At the time of that paper’s publication, each wedge would avoid one billion tons of carbon (1 GtC) emissions per year after 50 years. In this new perspective paper, its authors show that as a result of increased emissions, merely achieving what was considered "business-as-usual" in 2004 would require the development and deployment of 12 wedges; stabilizing emissions at current levels would require another 9 wedges; decreasing emissions to the level needed to prevent climate change would need an additional 10 wedges. Altogether, 31 wedges would be required to stabilize the Earth's climate.

18 December 2012

A lifecycle assessment study, carried out by PE International, measured the greenhouse gas emissions emitted from the production of a number of dairy products in Australia to identify the industry’s overall carbon footprint.  An industry cross section of primary data has been analysed from 140 farms across Australia.

19 November 2012

This study by CE DELFT, a Dutch independent research and consultancy  organisation , examines how food consumption patterns might be influenced in order to reduce food related GHG emissions. Its stated objective is to identify and  analyse  policy options which offer potential for achieving this goal.

12 November 2012

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has released a report entitled the Low Carbon Economy Index, which analyses the amount of carbon emitted per unit of GDP. It concludes that for a 50 % chance of limiting temperature rise to 2˚C, carbon intensity needs to fall by more than 5 % per year every year until 2050. 

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