Understanding the economic and environmental impact of food consumption and waste through life cycle thinking

Garcia Herrero, Laura (2020) Understanding the economic and environmental impact of food consumption and waste through life cycle thinking, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 32 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/9434.
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Current food systems need to be urgently redesigned as they are unable to feed a growing global population ensuring social justice and environmental sustainability contemporaneously. The building blocks for a transition to more sustainable food systems should address its inefficiencies, drawing attention to the wide range of environmental, economic and social impacts derived from these systems. The evaluation of sustainability represents a challenge as it involves the understanding of different disciplines, actors, and concerns along the food supply chain. Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) approach emerges as a complex and complete holistic assessment method unveiling the environmental, economic and social impacts occurred in each segment of the food supply chain while providing improving scenarios. The scope of this research is to contribute to the development and understanding of LCT, and to apply this approach to selected case studies. More specifically, this work was designed to achieve the following aims: 1) To understand and assess the environmental and cost impact of food consumption and waste in different school canteens typologies, and 2) To identify the perception of consumers regarding the sustainability of the chocolate life cycle and compare it with experts’ opinion. First aim was accomplished by the development and analysis of two case studies, one in public school canteens in Italy and the other in a private school in the US. In each case, different food quantification techniques were explored. The environmental and cost impacts were evaluated following the LCT approach. Second aim required the active participation of a range of stakeholders to increase the understanding of the chocolate value-chain. The method combined literature review and consultation with consumers and chocolate value-chain experts. The focus provided an examination of the environmental and socio-economic impacts, the role of labels in informing consumers, and the relevance of the FLW of cocoa and chocolate.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Garcia Herrero, Laura
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Life cycle thinking; life cycle assesssment; life cycle costing; social life cycle assessment; sustainable diets; food waste; school canteen;
Data di discussione
2 Aprile 2020

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