Knowledge for better food systems

Life cycle assessment of spray dried soluble coffee and comparison with alternatives

Humbert S, Loerncik Y, Rossi V, Margni M and Jolliet O (2009). Life cycle assessment of spray dried soluble coffee and comparison with alternatives (drip filter and capsule espresso), Journal of Cleaner Production 17, 1351-1358.
Humbert S, Loerncik Y, Rossi V, Margni M and Jolliet O (2009). Life cycle assessment of spray dried soluble coffee and comparison with alternatives (drip filter and capsule espresso), Journal of Cleaner Production 17, 1351-1358. This paper aims to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with spray dried soluble coffee over its entire life cycle and compare it with drip filter coffee and capsule espresso coffee. It particularly aims to identify critical environmental issues and responsibilities along the whole life cycle chain of spray dried coffee. This life cycle assessment (LCA) specifically uses foreground data obtained directly from coffee manufacturers and suppliers. Aside from energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions, water footprint is also studied in detail, including regionalization of water impacts based on the ecological scarcity method 2006. Other impact categories are screened using the IMPACT 2002 impact assessment method. This study shows that a broad LCA approach is needed to help industry to minimize the environmental burdens directly related to their products. Including all processes of the entire system is necessary to:
  • get a comprehensive environmental footprint of the product system with respect to sustainable production and consumption
  • share stakeholders' responsibility along the entire product life cycle
  • avoid problem shifting between different life cycle stages
 

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