Review on Suitability of Available LCIA Methodologies for Assessing Environmental Impact of the Food Sector

Pegah Amani, Gerhard Schiefer


Production, processing, distribution, and consumption of a wide variety of products in the food sector have different ranges of environmental impacts. Methodologies used in environmental impact assessment differ in which set of impact categories is covered and which models are used to assess them. In the food sector, life cycle assessment results are mostly presented without any clear distinction of the principles applied to selecting the relevant methodology. In this paper, the most relevant life cycle impact assessment methodologies are determined from the list of recommended methodologies published recently in the international reference life cycle data system (ILCD) handbook. The range of the relevant impacts covered is considered as the main indicator decisive in selecting a methodology. The selection of the relevant set of impact categories is performed through an overview of more than 50 recent LCA case studies of different products in the sector. The result of the research is a short list of three LCIA methodologies recommended to be used for environmental impact assessment of products in the food sector.


food chain sustainability; environmental impact; life cycle impact assessment (LCIA); LCIA methodologies

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ISSN 1869-6945


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