The growing need for mitigation of GHG emissions generated by the agri-food sector and the production of sufficient, quality food for the growing population, play a prominent role in the planning of global policies and economies. The determination of damaging practices to be reviewed or avoided is achieved by quantifying their Carbon Footprint (CF). With respect to these needs, our research area is the available literature analysing the CF of agri-food products from a life cycle perspective. The reduced availability of studies using this approach results in the lack of a solid basis for the agri-food sector to make a change from in production processes. Quantifying CFs offers the opportunity to act at the most impactful stages of a product's life cycle. In addition to producing products sustainably, it would allow operators in the sector to integrate additional sources of income, through, for instance, participation in the voluntary carbon market or simply by obtaining a premium price for environmental friendly products. The main objective of the study is therefore to understand how the literature deals with the quantification of food CFs, which methodologies it adopts and what insights it provides for future studies that can help policy makers and the sector in question. The review was conducted by applying the PRISMA methodology, which offers guidelines for proper data collection in a literature review. For this purpose, the search was conducted on the Scopus and Web of Science databases. The literature considered highlighted an important historical path in the world of international CF standards with the transition from the ISO/TS 14067 technical specification to the ISO 14067 international standard. However, the range of products analysed is small and no comparative studies on the results obtained by different standards were found. Again, the literature on the subject does not take into account consumer perceptions of low-carbon products nor the economic perspectives of operators. The information we have obtained from our study provides a solid basis for future research, which should focus on increasing the number of agri-food products analysed and examining which parts of the production cycle need improvement. This also opens the door to future research scenarios concerning possible alternative sources of income for those who produce in a carbon-neutral manner and the benefits for consumers willing to buy them.

The Quantification of Carbon Footprints in the Agri-Food Sector and Future Trends for Carbon Sequestration: A Systematic Literature Review

Mariarita Cammarata
Primo
;
Giuseppe TIMPANARO
Secondo
;
Salvatore Incardona;Giovanni La Via
Penultimo
;
Alessandro SCUDERI
Ultimo
2023-01-01

Abstract

The growing need for mitigation of GHG emissions generated by the agri-food sector and the production of sufficient, quality food for the growing population, play a prominent role in the planning of global policies and economies. The determination of damaging practices to be reviewed or avoided is achieved by quantifying their Carbon Footprint (CF). With respect to these needs, our research area is the available literature analysing the CF of agri-food products from a life cycle perspective. The reduced availability of studies using this approach results in the lack of a solid basis for the agri-food sector to make a change from in production processes. Quantifying CFs offers the opportunity to act at the most impactful stages of a product's life cycle. In addition to producing products sustainably, it would allow operators in the sector to integrate additional sources of income, through, for instance, participation in the voluntary carbon market or simply by obtaining a premium price for environmental friendly products. The main objective of the study is therefore to understand how the literature deals with the quantification of food CFs, which methodologies it adopts and what insights it provides for future studies that can help policy makers and the sector in question. The review was conducted by applying the PRISMA methodology, which offers guidelines for proper data collection in a literature review. For this purpose, the search was conducted on the Scopus and Web of Science databases. The literature considered highlighted an important historical path in the world of international CF standards with the transition from the ISO/TS 14067 technical specification to the ISO 14067 international standard. However, the range of products analysed is small and no comparative studies on the results obtained by different standards were found. Again, the literature on the subject does not take into account consumer perceptions of low-carbon products nor the economic perspectives of operators. The information we have obtained from our study provides a solid basis for future research, which should focus on increasing the number of agri-food products analysed and examining which parts of the production cycle need improvement. This also opens the door to future research scenarios concerning possible alternative sources of income for those who produce in a carbon-neutral manner and the benefits for consumers willing to buy them.
2023
sustainability
LCA
CF
consumer
carbon market
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/612429
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