New database digs into LCAs for food and beverage sector
This project aims to bring together experts from all stakeholders of the food supply chain to develop a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory database for accurate life cycle assessments (LCA) in the food sector. Two governmental institutions and nine companies of the food sector have thus far joined the ranks of the project, and recruitment continues.
In the food and beverage sector, there is an increasing demand for LCA applied for the quantification of environmental impacts and as a basis for optimization of food production. LCA is a scientific method used to quantify impacts throughout all activities occurring over the life cycle of a product or service, from extracting natural resources to managing generated waste.
Currently, a lamented limitation of LCAs in this sector is the lack of consistent, up-to-date, comprehensive and transparent inventory data for food products and processes. This can offer results that are incomparable and unreliable. The need for better data has been recognized by stakeholders worldwide, including the Environment and Energy Management Agency in France and The Sustainability Consortium in the United States. High quality data are fundamental to communicate on the environmental impact of products, as in the case of Environmental Product Declarations, or EPDs.