Showing results for: Environmental impact assessments
This dissertation looks at the sustainability of the current food system and analyzes how environmental impacts could be reduced and health impacts could be increased through dietary change. The results from this work suggest that dietary change, in areas with unrestricted diets, could play an important role in reaching environmental and health goals, potentially reducing GHG emissions and land use requirements by up to 50%.
As the FCRN has previously reported, the EU commission recently held a consultation (now closed) aimed at exploring how we as a society might move towards a more resource efficient and sustainable food system. The public consultation included discussions on a number of areas for action:
This briefing paper was produced by Sir Gordon Conway together with colleagues from the Agriculture for Impact program at Imperial College London and researchers from Harvard Kennedy School and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). The briefing paper argues that African food production remains well below its potential and that innovation for sustainable intensification can help smallholder farmers produce more food with less impact on the environment while also improving agriculture’s sustainability.
This annual report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) focuses on the use of refrigerants with high global warming potential such as HFCs, in major supermarket chains in the UK and Europe. It investigates the progress made in shifting towards more climate-friendly alternatives.
Approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted. This FAO report argues that this waste represents a missed opportunity to improve global food security, and to mitigate the environmental impacts resulting from the food supply chain.
The Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) Climate Mitigation Task Force has released a report which looks at where there might be a need for research activity on geoengineering. The report is a joint production between the Met Office Hadley Centre, University of East Anglia/Natural Environment Research Council and University of Exeter.
Researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York have built a model that looks at the pressure that UK consumption activities place on biodiversity overseas. The model, funded by Defra, provides a framework for assessing the links between goods and services consumed in the UK but imported from overseas to potential impacts of their production on biodiversity in their country of origin. The model can be used to explore the impacts of over 200 agricultural products (and many other products of non-agricultural systems, e.g. mining, forestry and fisheries), and can break down consumption impacts resulting from demand from specific product groups.
Eating out, in restaurants and canteens is growing in importance in many countries. This raises the need to understand and to put in place measures to address the environmental impacts of this development.
A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) describes methods for quantifying environmental pressures caused by European consumption patterns and economic production sectors, and shows the results from this approach.
You may be interested in this study co-authored by FCRN network member Toni Meier on diets and environmental impacts, published in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology.
A study regarding the efficiency of beetle larvae (mealworms) as a potential protein source was published in the journal PLOS ONE by researchers at the University of Wageningen in Netherlands. The researchers compared the environmental impact of meat production on a mealworm farm to traditional animal farms using three parameters: land usage, energy needs, and greenhouse gas emissions. From the start of the process to the point that the meat left the farm, they found that mealworms scored better than the other foods. Per unit of edible protein produced, mealworm farms required less land and similar amounts of energy.
Defra has published the results of a study which looked at the environmental impact of consuming foods that are produced locally in season. One of Defra’s current high level environmental behaviour goals is for consumers to eat more food that is locally in season.
A new FAO-led partnership is looking to improve how the environmental impacts of the livestock industry are measured and assessed. FAO and governmental, private-sector, and nongovernmental partners will work together on a number of fronts to strengthen the science of environmental benchmarking of livestock supply chains.
Pelletier N, Pirog R, Rasmussen R (2010). "Comparative life cycle environmental impacts of three beef production strategies in the Upper Midwestern United States", Agricultural Systems 103 (2010) 380–389 This paper compares three US beef rearing systems. Cattle are finished either in: feedlot systems (having received hormone implants); backgrounding systems (also with hormone implants); or on pasture (no implants).