Chalmers Conferences, LCM 2013

Gabriela Clemente, Macarena Pérez-Sánchez, Javier Ribal, Neus Sanjuán, Neus Escobar

Last modified: 2014-09-11


Food waste is generated along the whole product life cycle. For this reason, when calculating the carbon footprint of food, waste must be taken into account. From the literature data about food waste along the food chain, the carbon footprint of two daily menus was calculated according to PAS 2050. The results highlight the environmental consequences of decreasing food waste along the food chain. Processing was the stage that generated more waste. The agricultural and post-harvest stages generated a lower amount of waste. The amount of waste during the consumption stage presented a high variability. Results show the influence of consumer practices on the reduction of global warming of food products.


carbon footprint; food chain; waste; consumer practices


Beretta, C., Stoessel, F., Baier, U., Hellweg, S. (2013). Quantifying food losses and the potential reduction in Switzerlaand. Waste Management 33, 764-773.

Buzby, J. C., Wells, H. F., Axtman, B., Mickey, J. (2009). Supermarket loss estimates for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood and their use in the ERS Loss Adjusted food availability data. USDA, Economic Research Service, Economic Information Bulletin, 44.

BSI (2011). British Standards Institution. PAS 2050. Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services. ISBN: 978-0-580-71382-8. Retrieved from (10th of May, 2013).

European Parliament Resolution 2011/2175(INI) (2012). European Parliament Resolution of 19 January 2012 on how to avoid food wastage: strategies for a more efficient food chain in the EU. Retrieved from (10th of May, 2013).

Grolleaud, M. (2002). Inventario y análisis de las pérdidas post-cosecha. Pérdidas post-cosecha: un concepto mal definido o mal utilizado. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Retrieved from (10th of May, 2013).

Gustavsson, J., Cederberg, C., Sonesson, U., Otterdijk, R., Meybeck, A. (2011). Global food losses and food waste. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Retrieved from (20th of May, 2013).

Jones, T. W. (2006). Using contemporary archaeology and applied anthropology to understand food loss in the American food system. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. Retrieved from (22th of May, 2013).

Lebersorger, S., Schneider, F. (2011). Discussion on the methodology for determining food waste in household waste composition studies. Waste Management, 31, 1924-1933.

Muth, M. K., Karns, S. A., Nielsen, S. J., Buzby, J. C., Wells, H. F. (2011). Consumer level food loss estimates and their use in the ERS loss adjusted food availability data. United States Department of Agriculture, Technical bulletin 1927. Retrieved from (22th of May, 2013).

Roches, A., Nemecek, T., Gaillard, G., Plassmann, K., Sim, S., King, H. and Milà i Canals, Ll. (2010). MEXALCA: a modular method for the extrapolation of crop LCA (and supporting information). International Journal Life Cycle Assessment 15, 842-854.

Stuart, T. (2011). Waste. Uncovering the global food scandal. London, England: Penguin Group.

Full Text: PDF