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Development of an integrated strategy for reducing the carbon footprint in the food industry sector (LIFE FOODPRINT)
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Oct 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background Dealing with the impact of human activities on climate change is one of the biggest challenges and highest priorities of EU environmental policy. The food industry is one of the most dynamic sectors of the European economy, but it also accounts for 15 to 20% of total EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; 5-6% coming from transport, 8-10% from food processing and packaging, 1-2% from refrigeration and an estimated 1-2% from retail. A changing climate also adversely affects food production through, for example, drought or extreme weather events. The Greek food industry sector contributes a 25% share to the annual GDP. The pastry and flour sub-sector accounts for around 60% of food and drink companies in Greece, and the sub-sector is similarly important in Italy. Tackling the impact on climate change coming from this sub-sector can benefit not only strategic planning on GHG emission reductions at national and EU level, but it can also enhance competitiveness through increased efficiency in the use of energy, resources and applied logistics. Objectives The main objectives of the LIFE FOODPRINT project are to evaluate the carbon footprint (CF) of the pastry and flour food industry sector along the production and supply chain, and to increase competiveness through the development of an innovative software tool. Specific project objectives are to: Develop a robust and easy-to-use software tool that will enable the reliable determination and evaluation of the CF of pastry and flour food products, considering direct and indirect activities (e.g. energy consumption, water and wastewater management); Perform a large-scale demonstration of the CF tool in six pastry and flour food companies in Greece and Italy, in order to evaluate the CF of a number of products along the supply chain, to identify the most critical steps in the supply chain that raise a product’s CF and to develop mitigation programmes for each of the food companies and their products with suitable offsetting measures; Implement in one major pastry and flour food company in Greece and in one in Italy the CF offsetting programme of measures, derived from the analysis of the demonstration data; Introduce the first Greek and Italian company that has effectively lowered the CF of their products and successfully labelled them for the Greek and Italian markets; Develop a national strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from the pastry and flour food industries in Greece and Italy, which will also enhance their competitiveness in the future; and Engage key stakeholders to ensure verification and promotion of results such as the uptake and wider use of the software tool and the labelling of food products with their CF. Expected results: Mapping of CO2-equivalent emission sources of pastry and flour-related products; Development of a CF software tool; More than 100 products assessed for their CF, with corresponding CO2 offsetting programmes and measures developed; More than 15% CF reduction potential for each pastry and flour product targeted, by applying the suggested offsetting programmes and measures; Development of national plans for Greece and Italy on CO2 offsetting potential in the pastry and flour food sector; More than 10% overall CO2 offsetting potential for pastry and flour food sector at national level reached; More than five routes in the whole food supply chain – from cultivation, processing, transport, through to final cooking techniques –developed in order to achieve the potential CO2 reduction at national level; Assessment of the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the project; At least 1 000 consumers informed about the carbon labelling initiative; and At least 30 experts trained in the use of the CF software tool.
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