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Food, energy and the environment from a Swedish perspective
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [sv]

Det särskilda sektorsansvaret är en ordning inom miljöpolitiken som innebär att varje sektor har ansvar för att hantera de miljöproblem som orsakas inom sektorn. På grund av detta ansvar finns ett behov av att kartlägga miljöproblem från sektorer, att identifiera de viktigaste problemen och att hitta strategier för att minska miljöpåverkan. Jordbrukssektorn och energisektorn är två sektorer som orsakar stor miljöpåverkan, vilket gör dem intressanta som fallstudier.

För att undersöka miljöpåverkan och möjligheten att minska denna i de båda sektorerna används ett systemanalytiskt perspektiv. Ett sådant angreppssätt ger möjlighet att analysera frågorna på ett mer genomgripande sätt, så att problemen inte endast förflyttas och istället skapar problem på andra håll i världen eller för framtida generationer, eller att ett problem reduceras medan ett annat istället ökar. Med ett systemperspektiv kan även indirekta effekter inkluderas när strategier för minskad miljöpåverkan i sektorn analyseras. De indirekta effekterna omfattar påverkan som sker uppströms och nedströms produktionskedjan, liksom påverkan från konsumenter.

En metod för att bedöma miljöpåverkan från en sektor har utarbetats och testats på jordbruks- och energisektorn (Artikel I och II). Metoden är en hybridmetod baserad på miljöexpanderad input-output analys (IOA) och livscykelanalys (LCA). IOA-data från Miljöräkenskaperna används som utgångspunkt för inventeringen. Dessa data ger information om både direkt och indirekt miljöpåverkan från sektorn. För att fånga även sådana miljöaspekter som inte omfattas av miljöräkenskaperna används sedan de svenska miljökvalitetsmålen som en checklista, och information om den miljöpåverkan som inte finns med i IOA hämtas från litteraturen. För vidare hantering av den insamlade informationen om utsläpp och resursanvändning används karaktäriserings- och värderingsmetoder från LCA-metodologin. Därigenom kan s.k. hotspots, dvs de viktigaste problemen, identifieras.

Baserat på denna hybridmetod blev resultatet att i jordbrukssektorn är de viktigaste frågorna biologisk mångfald, växthuseffekt, övergödning, användning av icke-förnybara resurser och troligen även toxicitet genom användningen av bekämpningsmedel. I energisektorn är de viktigaste problemen luftkvalitet, växthuseffekt, användning av icke-förnybara resurser och toxicitet.

En analys av policies inom sektorerna (Artikel III) visar att både jordbruks- och energisektorn fokuserar delvis på de problem som identifierats som hotspots i sektorsanalyserna, men att vissa av de viktiga problemen inte ägnas så stor uppmärksamhet. I jordbrukssektorn är fokus huvudsakligen riktat mot biologisk mångfald och toxicitet, medan energisektorn framför allt fokuserar på växthuseffekt och användning av icke-förnybara resurser.

En andra IOA-LCA hybridmetod, Energy Analysis Programme, har använts för att studera hushållens direkta och indirekta energianvändning (Artikel IV och V). Genom en kombination av IOA och processdata kan energiintensiteten (dvs. energi per monetär enhet, MJ/SEK) beräknas av ett stort antal varor och tjänster. När dessa beräkningar kombineras med information om hur ett hushåll spenderar sin inkomst kan hushållens totala energianvändning beräknas. Beräkningarna ger också information om hur inkomsten kan spenderas på mer energisnåla sätt. En ytterligare studie gjordes för att visa på betydelsen av minskat livsmedelssvinn som strategi för minskad miljöpåverkan inom livsmedelssektorn (Artikel VI). Resultaten från studierna med konsumentperspektiv kan användas för att identifiera strategier för hur konsumenterna kan bidra till minskad miljöpåverkan i de båda fallsektorerna. För jordbrukssektorns del kan konsumenterna bidra till minskad miljöpåverkan framför allt genom en minskad konsumtion av animalier. När det gäller energisektorn är minskad energianvändning en viktig strategi, liksom att fortsatt sträva efter att ersätta fossila bränslen och uran med förnybara bränslen.

Abstract [en]

National sector responsibility legislation places specific obligations on Swedish sector authorities to handle environmental issues within their sector. Because of this responsibility, there is a need to map environmental impacts from sectors and to identify key problems and strategies to reduce impacts in each sector. Agriculture and energy are two sectors causing severe environmental impacts, and these are therefore interesting as case studies.

Employing a systems perspective when exploring impacts and options for their reduction ensures that problems are not simply shifted in time or space or between problems, but are considered in a holistic manner. Using this perspective, indirect effects such as changes upstream or downstream of the production chain, as well as among consumers, can be considered when seeking strategies to reduce environmental impacts in a sector.

A method to investigate environmental impacts from a sector was developed and tested in the cases of agriculture and energy (Papers I and II). The method was based on environmentally extended Input-Output Analysis (IOA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). IOA-data from Swedish Environmental Accounts were used as the starting point for the inventory. Such data provide information on direct and indirect impacts from the sector. To capture those aspects not included in the Environmental Accounts, the Swedish Environmental Quality Objectives were subsequently used as a checklist, and information on the missing aspects was obtained from literature. For further processing of the data, characterisation and weighting methods from LCA methodology were used to identify hotspots, i.e. the most important problems.

The results showed that biodiversity, greenhouse effect, eutrophication, use of non-renewable resources and toxicity were potential hotspots in the agriculture sector. In the energy sector, the hotspots were air quality, greenhouse effect, use of non-renewable resources and toxicity.

Analysis of sector policies (Paper III) showed that both sectors are focusing on some of the hotspots identified, but other important problems are not receiving sufficient attention. In the agriculture sector, the focus is principally on biodiversity and toxicity, while the energy sector mainly focuses on issues of climate change and non-renewable resources.

A second hybrid IOA-LCA method (Energy Analysis Programme, EAP) was employed to study direct and indirect use of energy carriers in households (Papers IV and V). Through a combination of IOA and process data, the energy intensity (energy per monetary unit, e.g. MJ/SEK) of a large number of goods and services was calculated. When combined with information on household expenditure, these data provided information on total household use of fuels and electricity and provided insights into spending patterns that could result in lower energy intensity. A final study investigated the significance of reducing food losses as a strategy to reduce environmental impacts from the food sector (Paper VI). The results from the studies with a consumer perspective were used to identify how consumers can contribute to reducing environmental impacts in the two sectors investigated. For agriculture, consumers can help reduce impacts through reduced consumption of animal products, while for energy, reduced energy use in households is important, as is further substitution of fossil fuels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , 74 p.
Series
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 06-009
Keyword [en]
Input-Output Analysis, Life Cycle Assessment, Sector, Consumption changes, Energy Analysis, Food Losses
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4109ISBN: 91-7178-438-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4109DiVA: diva2:10772
Public defence
2006-10-06, M3, Brinellvägen 64, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20110124Available from: 2006-09-21 Created: 2006-09-21 Last updated: 2011-01-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Environmental assessment of Swedish agriculture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental assessment of Swedish agriculture
2007 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 60, no 3, 550-563 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article describes an environmental assessment of Swedish agriculture, including upstream and downstream effects. The analysis is based on environmentally extended input-output analysis, but it is also supplemented with data from other sources. The analysis shows that direct effects by the Swedish agriculture are the most important, while indirect effects from other sources including mobile and impacts abroad are also considerable. The most important impacts from Swedish agriculture according to the analysis are eutrophication, global warming and resource use. The agricultural sector produces a large share of the Swedish emissions causing both global warming and eutrophication. In addition, current agricultural practice causes problems with loss of biodiversity. The most important actors in the sector are agriculture itself, but also all actors using fossil fuels: primarily the transport sector and the energy sector. In addition, consumers are important since they can influence the composition of agricultural production. The analysis shows the importance of including upstream and downstream effects when analysing the environmental impacts from a sector.

Keyword
Agriculture, Environmental systems analysis, Environmentally extended input-output analysis
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6139 (URN)10.1016/j.ecolecon.2005.12.013 (DOI)000243741500009 ()2-s2.0-33845643203 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100913. Uppdaterad från Accepted till Published (20100913)Available from: 2006-09-21 Created: 2006-09-21 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Environmental impact from a sector: Production and consumption of energy carriers in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental impact from a sector: Production and consumption of energy carriers in Sweden
2006 (English)In: Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal, ISSN 1476-8917, E-ISSN 1478-8764, Vol. 3, no 5, 451-470 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Environmental impacts from the Swedish energy sector, including upstream and downstream effects, were investigated using a hybrid IOA-LCA method. Use of abiotic resources, climate change, air pollution and toxic effects were identified as environmental hotspots in the sector. On the production side, power, gas and heat production were found to cause many environmental effects, but impacts abroad from imported energy carriers, mainly oil, also contributed significantly to total impact. However, impacts from use of energy carriers overshadowed impacts from their production, and the cumulative impact from many small users of energy carriers was shown to be as important as emissions from large industries. The assessment provides a basis for sector policymakers and shows, e.g., the importance of not focusing solely on climate change, and the significance of including upstream and downstream effects.

Keyword
Energy, Environmental systems analysis, Environmentally extended input-output analysis
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6140 (URN)10.1504/PIE.2006.012271 (DOI)
Note
QC 201110124. Uppdaterad från submitted till published(20110124)Available from: 2006-09-21 Created: 2006-09-21 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Which environmental problems get policy attention? Examining energy and agricultural sector policies in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Which environmental problems get policy attention? Examining energy and agricultural sector policies in Sweden
2008 (English)In: Environmental impact assessment review, ISSN 0195-9255, E-ISSN 1873-6432, Vol. 8, no 4-5, 241-255 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Not all environmental problems get the same level of policy attention. An interesting question is thus why certain aspects receive attention and others do not. This paper studies the level of policy attention given to different environmental aspects in agriculture and energy policy in Sweden and explores empirically some factors that can explain the level of attention. The first step was to explore the link between environmental issue characteristics and the level of policy attention. The level of policy attention was measured through a content analysis of Swedish government bills. The results from the content analysis are clear and stable over the studied time period. In the agriculture sector biodiversity and toxicity are in focus whereas in the energy sector climate change and resources are given the attention. Besides these aspects, the attention is limited. These results were compared with the results from sector-wide environmental assessments of the same sectors. These assessments were based on hybrid input-output analysis and life cycle assessment methodologies. A main finding from the study is that issue importance is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for policy attention. Other explanations are needed to understand which environmental issues get attention in sectoral policy. Our assessment showed that while the level of knowledge does not provide an explanation, the presence of strong and well-organised stakeholders within the sector, with an interest in having a certain issue on the agenda, might be decisive for issue attention. Path dependency and limited attention capacity are other important factors.

Keyword
Agriculture, Energy, Environmental systems analysis, Policy attention
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6141 (URN)10.1016/j.eiar.2007.10.001 (DOI)000255579300002 ()
Note
QC 20110124. Uppdaterad från submitted till published(20110124). Tidigare titel: Characteristics and policy attention of environmental issues in two Swedish sectors - agriculture and energy Available from: 2006-09-21 Created: 2006-09-21 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Indirect and Direct Energy Requirements of City Households in Sweden: Options for Reduction, Lessons from Modeling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Indirect and Direct Energy Requirements of City Households in Sweden: Options for Reduction, Lessons from Modeling
2005 (English)In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, E-ISSN 1530-9290, Vol. 9, no 1-2, 221-235 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The objective of this article is to explore the potential for lowering household energy use given existing local support systems, in this case in the Stockholm inner city with the aid of the Dutch energy analysis program (EAP) that was adapted to Swedish conditions and that portrays total energy use for 300 consumption categories. Previously such modeling for Sweden was carried out using only Dutch databases. Our case-study area is well equipped with food stores, local markets, public transportation, and entertainment, facilitating some energy-efficient consumption choices. With maintained expenditure levels but changed consumption patterns, current reduction potentials are on the order of 10-20%. Options concerning diet can lower food indirect energy use by up to 30%, whereas options in other areas have a lower potential. Further reductions will require enhanced local support systems, external as well as internal. The results indicate that it is risky not to use nationally adapted figures for energy efficiency in the production sectors when modeling household energy use, because potential for change may be overlooked. Future work should include foreign energy intensities when modeling imported goods; otherwise, results may be less reliable. The Swedish EAP needs further work before it can be put to use as a modeling tool for everyday behavior but it is already generating important possibilities for producing reliable data that can be used by local energy counselors.

Keyword
Change options, Consumption patterns, Direct and indirect energy, Household energy demand, Local support systems
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6142 (URN)10.1162/1088198054084590 (DOI)000231609200017 ()2-s2.0-21244478596 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100920Available from: 2006-09-21 Created: 2006-09-21 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. Pursuing More Sustainable Consumption by Analyzing Household Metabolism in European Countries and Cities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pursuing More Sustainable Consumption by Analyzing Household Metabolism in European Countries and Cities
Show others...
2005 (English)In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, E-ISSN 1530-9290, Vol. 9, no 1-2, 259-275 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bringing about more sustainable consumption patterns is an important challenge for society and science. In this article the concept of household metabolism is applied to analyzing consumption patterns and to identifying possibilities for the development of sustainable household consumption patterns. Household metabolism is determined in terms of total energy requirements, including both direct and indirect energy requirements, using a hybrid method. This method enables us to evaluate various determinants of the environmental load of consumption consistently at several levels - the national level, the local level, and the household level. The average annual energy requirement of households varies considerably between the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Sweden, as well as within these countries. The average expenditure level per household explains a large part of the observed variations. Differences between these countries are also related to the efficiency of the production sectors and to the energy supply system. The consumption categories of food, transport, and recreation show the largest contributions to the environmental load. A comparison of consumer groups with different household characteristics shows remarkable differences in the division of spending over the consumption categories. Thus, analyses of different types of households are important for providing a basis for options to induce decreases of the environmental load of household consumption. At the city level, options for change are provided by an analysis of the city infrastructure, which determines a large part of the direct energy use by households (for transport and heating). At the national level, energy efficiency in production and in electricity generation is an important trigger for decreasing household energy requirements

Keyword
Cross-national comparisons, Energy, Energy Analysis Program (EAP), Environmental load, Industrial ecology, Materials flow analysis (MFA)
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6143 (URN)10.1162/1088198054084662 (DOI)000231609200019 ()2-s2.0-21244454044 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20110124Available from: 2006-09-21 Created: 2006-09-21 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
6. Food losses in food service institutions: Examples from Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Food losses in food service institutions: Examples from Sweden
2004 (English)In: Food Policy, ISSN 0306-9192, E-ISSN 1873-5657, Vol. 29, no 3, 203-213 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 Lowering food losses is a potential measure to overcome hunger and reduce the ecological side effects from the food system. However, few observations of food losses have been reported in the literature during recent years. We studied food losses in four food service institutions in Stockholm, Sweden. The results show that about one-fifth of the food is lost. Plate waste is the single largest source of loss, at 11-13% of the amount of food served. Losses in food service institutions can be of significant economic value, and arable land equivalent to 1.5% of the area under cultivation in Sweden may be used to produce food eventually lost in food service institutions. The results indicate that the economic and environmental consequences of current levels of food losses may be substantial. More research is needed in order to better estimate levels, devise prevention strategies and identify policy implications.

Keyword
food losses, food service institutions
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6144 (URN)10.1016/j.foodpol.2004.03.004 (DOI)000223520100001 ()2-s2.0-3442897410 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100915Available from: 2006-09-21 Created: 2006-09-21 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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