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SENSE PROJECT SUMMARY

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The food and drink industry in Europe, of which 99% are SMEs, is highly fragmented, and food chains are very complex. Hence, to assess the environmental sustainability of a product there is a need for applying integrated, harmonised and scientifically robust methodologies, together with appropriate communication strategies for making environmental sustainability understandable to the market. However, there are difficulties in developing a commonly agreed methodology for environmental impact assessment that still need to be overcome, notably: complexity of food chains, large number of agents involved, different indicators depending on the business sector, regional differences related to biodiversity among other challenges, including climate change and complexity of the actual sustainability assessment tools - high data intensity, costs and expertise required.

SENSE will deliver a harmonised system for the environmental impact assessment of food&drink products. The research will evaluate existing relevant environmental impact assessment methodologies, and consider socio-economical, quality and safety aspects, to deliver a new integral system that can be linked to monitoring and traceability data. The system will integrate: (a) (regionalised) data gathering system; (b) matrix of key environmental performance indicators; (c) methodology for environmental impact assessment; and (d) a certification scheme. The methodology will be transferred to food&drink sectors and stakeholders by means of specific communications strategies.

The sustainability information collected along the production cycle of any food stuff and reflected into the EID (Environmental Identification Document) will be accessible by the EID-Communication Platform, contributing to make the environmental sustainability part of the usual purchasing behaviour of consumers and provide a competitive advantage to those products (and companies) which choose to use the EID. By means of a comprehensive environmental communication between the industry and consumers will lead those to choose for the food products communicated as being environmentally friendly.

General Information

  • Project start date: 01/02/2012
  • Project duration: 36 months
  • Contract no: 288974
  • Funding scheme: Collaborative Project (small or medium-scale focused research project)
  • Research topic: KBBE. 2011.5-01: Environmental sustainability in the European food and drink chain
  • Free Keywords: EID, Food&Drink Chain, CSC, Sustainability, communication platform, policy road map, environmental performance indicators

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Environment: Helping companies and consumers navigate the green maze

(EC Press Release, April 2013). The European Commission is proposing EU-wide methods to measure the environmental performance of products and organisations, and encouraging Member States and the private sector to take them up.

Sustainable supply seen as emerging future risk for food companies

Food safety, quality and financial issues are considered the top three risks to business for most food companies, but sustainable supply is emerging as a growing area of concern, according to a new survey from DNV Business Assurance.

Kick-off meeting of The Fruit Juice CSR Platform. The Platform is co-initiated by the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN)

Date: 
Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 11:30

Place: Brussels (Belgium)

The 6th International Conference on Life Cycle Management

Date: 
Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 11:30 - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 18:30

The 6th International Conference on Life Cycle Management
http://lcm2013.org/

Place: Gothenburg (Sweden)

Posters "SCIENCE, LCM AND COMMUNICATION TOOLS FOR HARMONISED
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE EUROPEAN FOOD
AND DRINK CHAIN – THE SENSE PROJECT"

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 288974.