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Tools for sustainability assessment and management : food chains and household waste case studies

By Ray Jacobsen

Abstract

Sustainability is the ability of a system to overcome shocks and stresses in seeking a balance upon the interactions of ecological, economic and social systems. Many countries have set national strategies for pursuing higher sustainability, including sustainability targets and indicators. Several attempts were undertaken to make the agricultural sector in general and the food sector in particular more sustainable. However, there is no harmonized standard defining what sustainable production should involve. Moreover, there is no agreement on which set of indicators to include when measuring sustainability performance in order to create more sustainable food chains. The commonly used measure for sustainability is the ecological footprint. Literature proves that this measure has a lot of limitations and there should be better ones. The doctoral research is divided in three major parts, comprising sustainability assessment tools. Part 1 of the doctoral research focuses on the carbon footprint as a potential alternative for the ecological footprint. Part 2 thoroughly investigates the factors influencing waste generation, a huge sustainability problem. Part 3 examines the possibility and necessity to measure sustainability as 1 composite indicator by creating a tool covering the 3 main sustainability systems. Soy is one of the main feed compound ingredients and Brazil is one of the main producers and exporters of soymeal. Given Brazil’s position in the soy world market on the one hand and accompanying sustainability issues on the other hand, assessing the sustainability performance of this global value chain is of utmost importance

Topics: Earth and Environmental Sciences, sustainable development, sustainability, carbon footprint, sustainable Household waste management, sustainability assessment tools
Publisher: Ghent University. Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:archive.ugent.be:7178021
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