Food transportation issues and reducing carbon footprint

Part of the Food Engineering Series book series (FSES)


Transportation is the largest overall contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in many developed countries. Because food products often travel long distances to reach consumers, one might expect transportation to be the major food-related contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. As we show in this chapter, this is rarely the case. Supply chains tend to be long and complex, especially in the food industry. We provide an overview of supply chain basics and the special issues related to transport and storage of food from the point of production to the retail shelf. We include a variety of carbon audits and discuss the lessons learned from several industry case studies. We evaluate several options for packaging and distributing food and beverage products. We also consider interactions and trade-offs associated with these options. In carrying out these analyses, we are often able to identify opportunities for significant energy savings and overall greenhouse gas emissions reductions.


Supply Chain Carbon Emission Food Waste Carbon Footprint Distribution Center 
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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen, in Right of Canada 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Portland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.San Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.CleanMetrics CorporationPortlandUSA

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