Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain" (REFRESH) is an EU research project taking action against food waste. Ecologic Institute is one of 26 REFRESH partners from 12 European countries and China. They work towards the project's goal to contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 of halving per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level and reducing food losses along production and supply chains, reducing waste management costs, and maximizing the value from unavoidable food waste and packaging materials.
Evaluating the life cycle costs (LCC) of food waste is a challenging task and few examples of previous LCC exist. This REFRESH report reviewed existing measures and methods for the evaluation of LCC of food waste. It conducted a comprehensive literature review to identify major methodological challenges related to cost modelling and externalities. The report contributes to the development of recommendations for a standardized system approach.
The aim of this report is to review methodologies for evaluating the environmental sustainability dimension of food waste. Results from the review were analysed, paying special attention on several methodological aspects: functional unit, system boundaries, cut-off criteria, allocation, environmental impact categories, end-of-life, land use change, ecosystem services.