Food production is recognised as one of the major drivers for global environmental pressure. In the last years, changes in consumption models result in an increasing population consuming food out of home that pose the catering service sector at the centre of the European Union policies aimed at improving the environmental sustainability of the food sector. In this framework, better technical knowledge on the environmental impacts of catering service is essential in order to identify potential actions towards amore sustainable food sector. This article presents an environmental assessment of a school catering service operating in Italy and delivering approximately 2,518,128 meals per year. Starting from primary data on the amount of each food consumed in the catering service examined, we perform an environmental analysis of an equivalent meal ready to be consumed in the schools canteens by using the Life Cycle Assessment methodology consistent with ISO 14040 standard. The system boundaries include food and tableware production, food transport, food storage and cooking and waste treatment. Due to a lack of primary data tableware production, food storage, cooking andwaste treatment are modelled using literature data or models. The results of the analysis show that the food production phase is relevant to almost all assessed impact categories (contribution higher than 65%). The exception is represented by photochemical oxidation impact categories inwhich the larger impact is linked to the transportation phase. The environmental impacts associated to the tableware production, food storage and cooking are relevant to global warming and global energy requirement (contributions higher than 7%). The scenario analysis of potential actions aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of the catering service shows that, to obtain amore sustainable food sector, strategiesmust be implemented along the entire food supply chain and considering a wide range of environmental impact categories.

Energy and environmental life cycle assessment of an institutional catering service: An italian case study

MISTRETTA, Marina
2019-01-01

Abstract

Food production is recognised as one of the major drivers for global environmental pressure. In the last years, changes in consumption models result in an increasing population consuming food out of home that pose the catering service sector at the centre of the European Union policies aimed at improving the environmental sustainability of the food sector. In this framework, better technical knowledge on the environmental impacts of catering service is essential in order to identify potential actions towards amore sustainable food sector. This article presents an environmental assessment of a school catering service operating in Italy and delivering approximately 2,518,128 meals per year. Starting from primary data on the amount of each food consumed in the catering service examined, we perform an environmental analysis of an equivalent meal ready to be consumed in the schools canteens by using the Life Cycle Assessment methodology consistent with ISO 14040 standard. The system boundaries include food and tableware production, food transport, food storage and cooking and waste treatment. Due to a lack of primary data tableware production, food storage, cooking andwaste treatment are modelled using literature data or models. The results of the analysis show that the food production phase is relevant to almost all assessed impact categories (contribution higher than 65%). The exception is represented by photochemical oxidation impact categories inwhich the larger impact is linked to the transportation phase. The environmental impacts associated to the tableware production, food storage and cooking are relevant to global warming and global energy requirement (contributions higher than 7%). The scenario analysis of potential actions aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of the catering service shows that, to obtain amore sustainable food sector, strategiesmust be implemented along the entire food supply chain and considering a wide range of environmental impact categories.
2019
Institutional catering, Food energy consumption, Life cycle assessment
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/3043
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