Energy and environmental assessment of the institutionalcatering in Lombardy (Italy).

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Climate change calls for decisive actions to match sustainable development goals, among which key factors are thereduction of energy consumption and carbon footprint.Agri-food sector is one of the main priority areas contained in the European Sustainable Production and Consumptionpolicies, aiming to create more sustainable consumption and production patterns and pushing for environmentalinternational agreements for climate change mitigation and national laws for the efficient use of resources.Public restoration plays a central role in the food consumption sector, at least in developed countries. In particular,institutional catering is playing a relevant role in outdoor meals provided in schools, hospitals, prisons and seniorhousings, significantly affecting the local food sector. On average in Italy one third of the total meals provided byinstitutional catering are supplied in schools, where 380 millions of daily meals per year are provided. This consumptionis constantly increasing at least in the North/Center Italy. Thus, it becomes of crucial importance to assessthe environmental impacts along the production chain, from the cultivation phase, the food processing and thedistribution phase to the end-of-life. At international level, it is well recognized that an integrated sustainabilityassessment must be based on a life cycle approach, that allows to deeply analyse the whole system or supply chain,thus avoiding burden shifting.The presented paper starts from the results of a previous research, in which a tool was developed to evaluate theimpacts of food production and to define possible scenarios to improve institutional catering in the school sector inLombardy Region.The paper here presented reports the further developments of the previous research in order to verify the robustnessof the architecture and of the dataset and to make the tool able to assess institutional catering also in terms ofenvironmental effects.In details, the CED (Cumulative Energy Demand) and the GWP (Global Warming Potential) are investigated in depthfor the selected food products, according to a life-cycle approach. Particular attention is paid in relation to thesources considered and to the boundary of the analyses, following the scheme of upstream, core and downstreamprocesses for the food chain taken into account.Further improved institutional catering scenarios are defined taking into account both the production and consumptionsystems and assessing the main energy and environmental items.The authors hope that their contribution could provide a systemic approach of energy and environmental assessmentfor the stakeholders involved in the institutional catering sector, in order to support the development of newmodels of food policy.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018


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