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Forskningsartikel2021Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

A life cycle sustainability assessment of organic and conventional pork supply chains in Sweden

Zira, Stanley; Rydhmer, Lotta; Ivarsson, Emma; Hoffmann, Ruben; Röös, Elin


Most existing life cycle assessment studies that have compared the sustainability of organic and conventional pork supply chains are environmental assessments. The economic and social sustainability dimensions of pork supply chains are currently under-researched. The study reported here was designed to assess the environmental, economic and social sustainability of conventional and organic pork in Sweden. Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment was undertaken using 20 indicators expressed per unit product (1000 kg pork fork weight) and per unit area (1000 ha of farmland) for the four main subsystems in pork supply chains: (1) farm and feed production, (2) slaughter, (3) wholesaling and retailing, and (4) consumption. The organic pork supply chain out-performed the conventional chain in 11 of the 20 indicators expressed per unit product and 18 of the 20 indicators expressed per unit area. It was therefore the more sustainable of the two chains in nearly all the indicators expressed per unit area. However, the organic supply chain was less sustainable in some of the indicators expressed per unit product because, more feed per kg of pork was required in organic pork production. Pig welfare improvement leads to higher production costs and environmental impacts. Assessment of all three sustainability dimensions – environmental, economic and social – helps to identify trade-offs between these three pillars of sustainability. However, the selection of indicators influences results, and obtaining environmental, economic and social data simultaneously is challenging.


Life cycle sustainability assessment; Environmental life cycle assessment; Life cycle costing; Social life cycle assessment; Organic pork supply chain; Conventional pork supply chain

Publicerad i

Sustainable Production and Consumption
2021, Volym: 28, sidor: 21-38