Monteiro, Nathalie Barbosa Reis; Moita Neto, José Machado; Silva, Elaine Aparecida
Life Cycle Management (LCM) is a tool that can help commercial and industrial sectors to change their business focus, from a profit-centered approach to a more balanced view, which also includes environmental and social factors. In this research, the potential application of LCM in the bakery segment was investigated, considering the entire value chain related to the sector (for instance, inputs for mass production, product packaging, destination of waste, etc.). Brazilian bakeries were visited to learn about products, services, production processes and socioenvironmental and economic sustainable practices, to identify bottlenecks and to propose alternatives based on LCM. The results show that, although the sector has some environmentally sustainable practices (waste separation, energy savings, reuse of products, inputs purchased locally) the primary intention is to reduce costs and not to mitigate environmental impacts. Regarding social responsibility, they donate breads to institutions, an important attitude, but not the only one for fulfilling the social role within the value chain. They do not consider suppliers that show concern for the environment (certified companies) and marketing does not evoke these issues too. Thus, there is a possibility of implementing LCM in bakeries as long as there is knowledge on the tool and managers’ awareness. A roadmap for this would include a few steps: mapping the life cycle of products/processes/services associated within the sector; analyze factors that can influence the actions towards sustainability; disseminate life cycle information to the entire value chain; efficient waste management, including partnership with recycling companies; treatment of the collected data for improvement proposal, aiming at the search for environmental and economic sustainability and social fair alternatives.