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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Sustainability Assessment of Food Redistribution Initiatives in Sweden

Bergström, Pauline; Malefors, Christopher; Strid, Ingrid; Hanssen, Ole Jørgen; Eriksson, Mattias;

Abstract

Food banks that redistribute surplus food from retailers and the food industry to people in need are not a new concept globally, but their connection to food waste prevention is new. As a result, new types of food redistribution units are emerging and diversifying to find new target groups and distribution methods. The aim of this study was to identify and study surplus food redistribution units in Sweden,and then to assess the impact on several sustainability indicators for selected redistribution units, in order to increase knowledge on the types of values these redistribution concepts generate. The methods used for analyzing the scenarios were Environmental Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Costing and Social Life Cycle Assessment. The results showed that providing food bags to socially exposed people generated the largest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions per kg of redistributed food (−1.2 kg CO2eq./FU). Reprocessing surplus food to a high-quality end-product was attributed a high social value, due to job creation effects in the high number of working hours required per kg of redistributed food. With regard to economic impacts, all but two scenarios studied had monthly financial losses,and therefore needed other sources of financial support.

Keywords

sustainable development; food waste; life cycle assessment; environment; society; economy

Published in

Resources

2020, volume: 9, number: 3, article number: 27

Authors' information

Bergström, Pauline
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology
Hanssen, Ole Jørgen
Ostfold Research
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG2 Zero hunger
SDG8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
SDG12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9030027

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/104727