Read SETAC Europe 15 th LCA Case Studies Symposium OPTIMAL PACKAGING DESIGN USING LCA AND SHELF LIFE STUDIES text version

CARBON FOOTPRINTING OF CARROTS AS CASE STUDY USING CD ISO 14067.

Erik Svanes1 1Ostfold Research Gamle Beddingv. 2B, 1671 Kråkerøy, Norway E-mail contact: [email protected]

Abstract

As part of a research project aimed at developing and testing standard calculation rules for some selected food products, the current draft standard ISO 14067 for products was tested. The test shows that the standard does not give adequate guidance on how to calculate precise and comparable carbon footprints. Detailed requirements must be given on a number of issues before carbon Footprinting can be a reliable tool for both internal improvement work and external communication. The main issues identified in this study were representativeness, soil carbon change, land use change, system borders and waste treatment. There are also some elements in the current standard that might make calculation of carbon footprints resource intensive and complicated, especially the inclusion of capital goods and the post-retail life phases.

Background

PAS 2050 is currently the only universal Carbon Footprint calculation guideline used at an international level. Two other international standards/guidelines are under development: GHG Protocol Product Standard developed by WRI/WBSCD and ISO 14067. The GHG Protocol Product Standard has been tested by more than 60 companies but the ISO Draft Standard seems to not have been tested. The ISO Standard require that for Business to Consumer (B2C) more detailed guidelines must be followed, but for Business to Business (B2B) cases the ISO standard can be used as Stand-alone guidance. The aim of this project was to test the use of ISO 14067 in the CD version as calculation rules for Carbon Footprint of food products. Carrots was chosen as case, because this product is an important product in terms of sales volumes, it has a low Carbon Footprint and it is a relatively robust plant, having a low wastage and less variations in yield compared to other products. The case was carried out using a data set from a very homogenous set of growers and a simple post-harvest value chain.

Results

Description of case study

Data was collected from a group of 10 growers, which account for 14 % of the Norwegian production. They are conventional growers situated in South-Eastern Norway, with a similar climate. No organic soils are represented. The size of the farms vary widely, from 0,2 to 5 hectares, but the large farms dominate. Some growers store part of the production but most is stored in a central facility. All production is processed and packed in one central plant. Products are sorted into four different categories according to size, shape and appearance. The studied product category are packed in PP or PET tray with PP film wrapping. The products are then sent to regional wholesalers storages and then to retail. The study was a cradle-to-grave study which means that transport to consumer, storage and preparation of the food and waste treatment of packaging and wasted food was included. Specific data was collected for the life phases from primary production to retail. For the post-retail phase published data and database data was used.

The figure shows the distribution of GWP in the value chain. The table below shows some of the elements in the standard that is not specified. The time and effort spent on gathering data for calculation of Capital Goods and wastage rates in retail was considerable. Data on consumer behaviour was not collected in this study (results are based on published results) but it can safely be assumed that collection of such data will be timeconsuming and complicated. This means that calculation of Carbon Footprints can be a resource-intensive process. Separate reporting of biogenic and fossil carbon can also contribute to this.

Life Cycle Phase Parameter Case Average yield two largest growers Variation in yield Primary production Capital Goods Soil Carbon Change Transport from retail to home Retail and consumer Shopping trip pr kg product Waste treatment carrot and packaging waste With/without taking into account of CG Different scenarios, from 12 to 300 kg C/ha yearly erosion 1 and 4 km Different recycling, landfill, incineration scenarios. 3% 0,1-3 % 76 % -4%+ 11 % Average yield between production units of one large grower Effect on total GWP 4% 30 %

Conclusions

The results show that in order to produce reliable and comparable Carbon Footprints more detailed guidance than in the CD ISO 14067 must be given. The current Draft Standard ISO 14067 states that for B2B purposes a Carbon Footprint can be calculated and presented without more detailed calculation rules. Use of CFPs in a B2B setting require that the customer is very competent in evaluating CFPs. This is a questionable assumption. This study has also revealed that some important elements of the CFP can be very time-consuming to collect data for, but at the same time they are too important to be ignored.

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SETAC Europe 15 th LCA Case Studies Symposium OPTIMAL PACKAGING DESIGN USING LCA AND SHELF LIFE STUDIES

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