The Energy & Environmental Engineering Research Group will be hosting a webinar on November 30th (International Industrial Ecology Day) from 11am-12pm GMT on research being done at the University of Reading on LCA in food systems. Topics will include LCA application to agroecology, animal welfare, nitrogen & crop rotation, nutritional considerations, and food waste management. Please see the link below for more details and to register.
Abstract: The food system comprises a complex network of activities and actors, navigating convoluted supply chains to deliver energy and nutrients across the globe. In supplying these, it is estimated that agriculture is responsible for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions (Crippa et al, 2021) and 90% of tropical deforestation (Pendrill et al, 2022). Meanwhile, a third of all food produced fails to reach our plates (UNEP 2021), exacerbating these impacts and contributing to food insecurity. In the face of escalating climate and biodiversity crises, a dramatic shift in this system seems increasingly inevitable. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly being used as a tool to understand and reduce our food system’s impact on our planetary support systems, while taking a broader view of its implications on workers as well as the nutritional quality of our diets. Our webinar programme features food-related LCA research being undertaken at the University of Reading that explores small scale agroecological production systems, reviews methodologies to incorporate animal welfare aspects in LCA, impacts of nitrogen use and crop rotation, nutrition in disadvantaged communities, and sustainability analysis of food waste management in developing-world cities.