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Using the product environmental footprint for supply chain management : lessons learned from a case study on pork

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Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the chainorganization environmental footprint (chain-OEF) approach by applying it to part of a pork production chain in Belgium. The approach is supposed to provide insight into the environmental impact of a specific production chain in an efficient manner by applying pragmatic data collection throughout the chain. This is achieved by allocating the environmental impact of each of the production sites to the product of interest using straightforward allocation rules. Methods: The cradle-to-gate (up to retail) environmental impact of pork was determined by life cycle assessment (LCA), in line with the product and organisation environmental footprint guidelines (PEF and OEF; European Commission 2013b). Foreground data was gathered at a feed production site, two farmers, a slaughterhouse and a meat processing site. All foreground operations are part of the same pork production chain in Belgium. The chain was completed using background data from Ecoinvent v3.01 (Wernet et al. 2016), Agri-Footprint v1.0 (Blonk 2014), European Life Cycle Database v3.0, LCA Food Database (Nielsen et al. 2003) and OEF Sector Rules Retail (Humbert et al. 2015b). The impact was quantified using the international reference life cycle data system (ILCD) midpoint method for 14 impact categories, but focussing on climate change. Results and discussion: The total carbon footprint of the cradle-to-gate pork production system equals 0.46 kg CO2-eq. (100 g pork)−1. This result is quite similar to that of earlier studies analysing the pork production chain: 0.58 and 0.57 kg CO2-eq. (100 g pork)−1 (Bracquené et al. 2011, Agri-Footprint 2014). Most of the carbon footprint was caused by feed production and more specifically, by the feed ingredients and their transport. Grains, soy and palm oil have the largest impact contributions. The farms are responsible for most of the remaining impact. N2O and CH4 emissions are the largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions at the farms. Also, in the other 13 considered impact categories, feed production and farming are responsible for more than half of the total impact, mostly followed by meat processing. Conclusions: Applying the chain-OEF approach in this study has shown that a chain LCA can be performed successfully and pragmatic data collection allows obtaining LCA results relatively fast, especially for small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Whereas data availability was not such an issue, the main bottlenecks identified are data management and the link of LCA to other disciplines such as engineering, policy, etc. which could increase the added value of LCA studies.
Keywords
Chain-OEF, Pork, Product environmental footprint, Supply chain management, LIFE-CYCLE ASSESSMENT, POLICY IMPLEMENTATION, BREAKTHROUGH, CONSUMPTION, EMISSIONS, BREAKDOWN, IMPACT

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Chicago
Six, Lasse, Bruno De Wilde, Frederic Vermeiren, Steven Van Hemelryck, Mieke Vercaeren, Alessandra Zamagni, Paolo Masoni, Jo Dewulf, and Steven De Meester. 2017. “Using the Product Environmental Footprint for Supply Chain Management : Lessons Learned from a Case Study on Pork.” International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 22 (9): 1354–1372.
APA
Six, L., De Wilde, B., Vermeiren, F., Van Hemelryck, S., Vercaeren, M., Zamagni, A., Masoni, P., et al. (2017). Using the product environmental footprint for supply chain management : lessons learned from a case study on pork. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT, 22(9), 1354–1372.
Vancouver
1.
Six L, De Wilde B, Vermeiren F, Van Hemelryck S, Vercaeren M, Zamagni A, et al. Using the product environmental footprint for supply chain management : lessons learned from a case study on pork. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT. 2017;22(9):1354–72.
MLA
Six, Lasse, Bruno De Wilde, Frederic Vermeiren, et al. “Using the Product Environmental Footprint for Supply Chain Management : Lessons Learned from a Case Study on Pork.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT 22.9 (2017): 1354–1372. Print.
@article{8503448,
  abstract     = {Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the chainorganization environmental footprint (chain-OEF) approach by applying it to part of a pork production chain in Belgium. The approach is supposed to provide insight into the environmental impact of a specific production chain in an efficient manner by applying pragmatic data collection throughout the chain. This is achieved by allocating the environmental impact of each of the production sites to the product of interest using straightforward allocation rules.
Methods: The cradle-to-gate (up to retail) environmental impact of pork was determined by life cycle assessment (LCA), in line with the product and organisation environmental footprint guidelines (PEF and OEF; European Commission 2013b). Foreground data was gathered at a feed production site, two farmers, a slaughterhouse and a meat processing site. All foreground operations are part of the same pork production chain in Belgium. The chain was completed using background data from Ecoinvent v3.01 (Wernet et al. 2016), Agri-Footprint v1.0 (Blonk 2014), European Life Cycle Database v3.0, LCA Food Database (Nielsen et al. 2003) and OEF Sector Rules Retail (Humbert et al. 2015b). The impact was quantified using the international reference life cycle data system (ILCD) midpoint method for 14 impact categories, but focussing on climate change.
Results and discussion: The total carbon footprint of the cradle-to-gate pork production system equals 0.46 kg CO2-eq. (100 g pork)\ensuremath{-}1. This result is quite similar to that of earlier studies analysing the pork production chain: 0.58 and 0.57 kg CO2-eq. (100 g pork)\ensuremath{-}1 (Bracquen{\'e} et al. 2011, Agri-Footprint 2014). Most of the carbon footprint was caused by feed production and more specifically, by the feed ingredients and their transport. Grains, soy and palm oil have the largest impact contributions. The farms are responsible for most of the remaining impact. N2O and CH4 emissions are the largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions at the farms. Also, in the other 13 considered impact categories, feed production and farming are responsible for more than half of the total impact, mostly followed by meat processing.
Conclusions: Applying the chain-OEF approach in this study has shown that a chain LCA can be performed successfully and pragmatic data collection allows obtaining LCA results relatively fast, especially for small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Whereas data availability was not such an issue, the main bottlenecks identified are data management and the link of LCA to other disciplines such as engineering, policy, etc. which could increase the added value of LCA studies.},
  author       = {Six, Lasse and De Wilde, Bruno and Vermeiren, Frederic and Van Hemelryck, Steven and Vercaeren, Mieke and Zamagni, Alessandra and Masoni, Paolo and Dewulf, Jo and De Meester, Steven},
  issn         = {0948-3349},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {1354--1372},
  title        = {Using the product environmental footprint for supply chain management : lessons learned from a case study on pork},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11367-016-1249-8},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2017},
}

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