Category-Level Product Environmental Footprints of Foods
Environmental footprinting of foods is at a critical and exciting stage of development: public and corporate interest in the information is at an all-time high, and the quantity and quality of completed assessments are such that broader directives can be drawn. Still, inconsistencies in methodology and nuances introduced by regional modeling require that expert judgment be used in interpreting and extrapolating results. We see the current Request for Proposals as an opportunity to apply and enhance our fifteen plus years of study into the food and agricultural applications of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies to generate aggregated information that is truly useful to a broader stakeholder group. We will draw on lessons learned over 14 years of developing the Center for Sustainable Systems' popular (over one million downloads) Sustainability Fact Sheets to create comprehensive yet concise food product environmental footprint summaries. Rather than promise a large number of commodity summaries, we have chosen to focus on ten commodities while enhancing the literature review by providing corrections to transport and regional performance parameters in order to provide information that is more directly applicable to the Pacific Northwest.