Background Information

Food and Drink Industry is a major contributor to the overall pollution of Europe, being a major energy user (~10-15% of total energy in industrialized countries) and a major user of water (~ 8% of all water used by the entire industrial sector).

To address the big challenges of securing green growth on the path towards a greener economy in Europe, EuropeFoodDrink established in the report “Environmental Sustainability Vision Towards 2030” the following objectives for Food and Drink producers:

  • Identify and face up to environmental hotspots through continuous interaction with suppliers.
  • Promote life-cycle thinking in food and drink businesses, and look beyond operations to improve resource efficiency along the food supply chain.
  • Reduce waste and use natural resources more efficiently, not only as food producers but also as providers of inputs for other industries.

At this regard, two important initiatives addressed by Life RENDER project must be highlighted:

  • Product Environmental Footprint released by the European Commission as a single metric for a single market, thus enhancing transparency and fair competition.
  • As a founding member of the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table, FoodDrinkEurope has driven the development of ENVIFOOD Protocol as an environmental assessment methodology for Food and Drink products for the voluntary provision of scientifically reliable information to consumers and other stakeholders.

Despite the efforts done, the implementation of the Product Environmental Footprint Method is often too complex for SMEs mainly due to the challenges related to robustness and availability of the input data required for the calculations.

Life-RENDER will assist F&D SMEs in achieving their objectives of improving the environmental performance of their production processes under a life-cycle thinking approach by provided a decision support tool specifically designed for SMEs and providing effective approaches to streamline the primary life cycle data collection process in supply chains without degrading data quality.