TU.2.B || Future Sustainable Lifestyles – Urban Structure

Porto Costa, Marcela; Saget, Sophie; Zimmermann, Beate; Petig, Eckart; Angenendt, Elisabeth; Rees, Robert; Chadwick, David; Gibbons, James; Shrestha, Shailesh; Styles, David

The consumption of meat and dairy products bring enormous environmental concerns. Most (80%) greenhouse gases emissions (GHG) from the livestock industry originate from beef, milk and pork production. Changing food habits and lifestyles, such as reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products, is seen as an important strategy to achieve the targets of emission reduction set under the Paris agreement. In addition to reducing animal emissions, a lowered demand for meat and milk could reduce the import of soybean meal to Europe from countries where it is linked with deforestation. However, one such action may have environmental consequences in other activities and hence, a wider assessment of impacts of consumption changes is required using consequential life cycle assessment (LCA). For instance, consequential LCA has been used previously to show that reduced soybean meal production is linked with increased demand for palm oil (owing to less soy oil production) which also is connected to deforestation practices. Therefore, consequential LCA is required to assess the wider impact of consumption changes. In this study, we investigated the environmental consequences of individual choices, such as replacing dairy milk and beef meatballs with soy milk and pea balls, respectively, in Germany using consequential LCA. We investigated detailed agricultural rotation changes and land use implications by linking changes in demand to farm scale modelling. As far as we are aware, this is the first time that consequential LCA has been applied to evaluate these important product substitutions in such detail. We included scenarios of replacing both whole and skimmed dairy milk, and also a scenario where the biodiesel demand is reduced through rapid electrification of transport, with implications for important marginal oil production consequences (and illustrating the food-energy nexus).