Outcomes of the second workshop of the Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table Working Group 1: deriving scientifically sound rules for a sector-specific environmental assessment methodology

  • Camillo De Camillis
  • Jean-Christophe Bligny
  • David Pennington
  • Balázs Pályi
WORKSHOP REPORT

Abstract

Purpose

This paper illustrates the consensus achieved by the members of the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table Working Group 1 in their second scientific workshop held in the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre site in Ispra, Italy on July 5–7, 2011. This workshop came after having run a detailed analysis, of data gaps and of methodologies, for the environmental assessment of food and drink products. In particular, the aim of this workshop was to reach consensus amongst key stakeholders on those approaches found diverging across methodologies and on which the forthcoming protocol for the ENVIronmental assessment of FOOds and Drinks (ENVIFOOD Protocol) is expected to provide guidance to the sector.

Methods

Almost 30 round table members joined the workshop. Most of them were representatives from business associations associated with the food and drink supply chain and their member companies, EU member state governments, government-supported initiatives on environmental labelling schemes, NGOs and The Sustainability Consortium. Several European Commission staff members also participated in the workshop. A pool of selected senior scientists on food LCA, data and environmental impact assessment methods were also invited to join the workshop. Even if not eligible to take part in the round table decision-making process on the workshop outcomes, some of these invited scientists joined the workshop and actively contributed to the discussion by providing participants with their arguments. A pre-analysis of key existing guidelines and the guiding principles for voluntary environmental assessment and communication agreed by the food round table members provided the basis for the workshop. Besides two plenary sessions (i.e. one to introduce the topics at the beginning of the workshop and one in the end to draw conclusions), the workshop had three ad hoc breakout sessions to discuss those approaches where consensus is missing across environmental assessment methodologies.

Results

Bearing in mind the twofold purpose of the ENVIFOOD Protocol (i.e. providing guidance for assessments instrumental to both communication and environmental improvement), some approaches for assessment were agreed in the workshop. For instance, in the context of those assessments instrumental to business-to-consumer (B2C) communication, the functional unit shall be equal to 100 g or ml. In addition, the functional unit can also be expressed either per recommended serving or per portion. When it comes to those assessments for business-to-business communication, reference flows shall be preferred to functional units as reference units of analysis. These and many other approaches on calculation rules, data quality and impact assessment were agreed by the round table members. These will be likely integrated into the ENVIFOOD Protocol.

Conclusions

Despite the workshop was relatively successful in terms of consensus achieved, some issues still remained. Round table members are continuing the discussion inside the working group 1 drafting group to address those issues where no consensus was reached (e.g. system boundary for assessments instrumental to B2C communication) or where a more in-depth background analysis was needed (e.g. accounting for land use change, allocation for recycling). A public consultation will be run in 2012 to ensure that the coming ENVIFOOD Protocol is both scientifically sound and practical to implement.

Keywords

Drink ENVIFOOD Protocol European Food SCP Round Table Food Sustainable consumption and production 

References

  1. AFNOR-ADEME (2011) BP X 30-323 general principles for an environmental communication on mass market products. Part 0: general principles and methodological framework, AFNOR, La Plaine Saint-Denis Cedex, FranceGoogle Scholar
  2. De Camillis C (2011) Data gap analysis. Technical report. Deliverable (No.) 1.5. Food SCP Round Table, Working Group 1, Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  3. De Camillis C, Schenker U, Unger N, Blomsma C, Blonk H, Bligny J-C, Souza DM (2011a) Detailed analysis of environmental assessment methodologies and guidelines. Technical report. Deliverable (No.) 1.6 Part 3: analysis of methodological convergences. Food SCP Round Table, Working Group 1, Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  4. De Camillis C, Unger N, Schenker U, Vessia O, Blok M, Blomsma C, Blonk H (2011b) Detailed analysis of environmental assessment methodologies and guidelines. Technical report. Deliverable (No.) 1.6 Part 1: methodology overview. Food SCP Round Table, Working Group 1, Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  5. De Camillis C, Bligny J-C, Pennington D, Bauer C, Ponsioen T, Schenker U, Sueys R, Unger N, Lundquist L, Brandão M, Hamill S, Peacock N, Pelletier N (2012) Towards the ENVIFOOD Protocol: deriving scientifically-sound rules from existing methodological alternatives. Summary report of the second scientific workshop of the Food SCP Round Table Working Group 1. Publications Office of the European Union, LuxemburgGoogle Scholar
  6. EU (2011) Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, amending Regulations (EC) No 1924/2006 and (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Commission Directive 87/250/EEC, Council Directive 90/496/EEC, Commission Directive 1999/10/EC, Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Directives 2002/67/EC and 2008/5/EC and Commission Regulation (EC) No 608/2004. OJEU. L 304: 21Google Scholar
  7. European Commission's Joint Research Centre (2010a) The International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Data Network—compliance rules and entry-level requirements. Publications office of the European Union, LuxemburgGoogle Scholar
  8. European Commission's Joint Research Centre (2010b) The International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook—general guide for life cycle assessment—detailed guidance. European Commission, Joint Research Centre. First edition March 2010 edn. Publications office of the European Union, LuxemburgGoogle Scholar
  9. European Commission's Joint Research Centre (2011) The International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook—recommendations for life cycle impact assessment in the European context. European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Publications office of the European Union, LuxemburgGoogle Scholar
  10. Food RT (2010) Guiding principles. Voluntary environmental assessment and communication of environmental information along the food chain, including to consumers. The European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table, Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  11. Food RT (2012) The European food sustainable consumption and production round table. www.food-scp.eu. Accessed 2 February 2012
  12. Peacock N, De Camillis C, Pennington D, Aichinger H, Parenti A, Rennaud J-P, Raggi A, Brentrup F, Sara B, Schenker U, Unger N, Ziegler F (2011) Towards a harmonised framework methodology for the environmental assessment of food and drink products. Int J Life Cycle Assess 16(3):189–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Schenker U, Bauer C, Unger N, Bligny J-C, De Camillis C (2011) Detailed analysis of environmental assessment methodologies and guidelines. Technical report. Deliverable (No.) 1.6 Part 2: key methodological issues. Food SCP Round Table, Working Group 1, Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Camillo De Camillis
    • 1
  • Jean-Christophe Bligny
    • 2
  • David Pennington
    • 1
  • Balázs Pályi
    • 3
  1. 1.European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES)IspraItaly
  2. 2.DanoneÉvianFrance
  3. 3.FoodDrinkEuropeBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations