Data Availability for Carbon Calculators in Measuring GHG Emissions Produced by the Food Sector

Pegah Amani, Gerhard Schiefer



The continuing increase in burning fossil fuels over recent decades along with the changing land use have resulted in a considerable increase in the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) which can potentially lead to climate change. Adaptation processes will become necessary in order to cope with these challenges in the future. Despite individuals’ and institutions’ willingness to reduce the amount of GHG emissions caused by their actions or their "carbon footprints", they may lack the knowledge to make effective choices. Carbon calculators have been developed to address these knowledge gaps by measuring and communicating the overall magnitude of the impacts and also the extent to which different behavior patterns contribute to GHG emissions. LCA databases, as providers of inventory data for carbon calculators, have an important role in helping to develop more complete and accurate tools to measure and report produced GHG emissions. For emissions-intensive behavior patterns, the food life cycle is a significant contributor to emissions resulting from activities including agriculture, processing, transport, storage, retail, consumption, and waste handling. This research seeks to classify and characterize these calculators and the agricultural activities or practices they cover, to provide the reader with an idea on the differences between these calculators, and why some of them could be more applicable to the food sector. The intent is to bring clarity to the discussion which could be a step forward in paving the way for the development of more reliable and comprehensive carbon calculators for measuring the GHG emissions of the food sector


GHG emission; Carbon calculator; LCA databases; Food chain

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ISSN 1869-6945


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