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Analys av blått och grönt vattenfotavtryck för nötkött från ICA:s sortiment
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
2010 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Analysis of blue and green water footprint for two types of beef from ICA (English)
Abstract [sv]

ICA vill utveckla sitt miljöarbete i vattenfrågor. Denna rapport syftar till att öka medvetenheten hos ICA om verksamhetens miljöpåverkan genom att analysera vattenfotavtrycket – vanligen kallat Water Footprint – för ett livsmedel. Vattenfotavtryck är ett verktyg inom miljösystemanalys som används för att kartlägga sambandet mellan produktion och konsumtion av produkter och vattenanvändning. Studien visade att vattenfotavtrycken är ungefär 14 500 liter/kg och 16 500 liter/kg för svensk respektive irländsk nötfärs. Ursprunget till fodret samt vilka sorters vatten som används visade sig vara avgörande för vilka konsekvenser vattenfotavtryck ger upphov till. Utvärdering av de negativa konsekvenserna är en genomgående svårighet med vattenfotavtryck, en lösning kan vara att relatera vattenfotavtryck till den lokala vattenstressen samt hushållens vattenkonsumtion.

Abstract [en]

ICA is one of the leading companies in retail trade in northern Europe and is established in Sweden, Norway and the Baltic countries. ICA is interested in developing the business environmental management by taking into account water-related issues. The purpose of this study is to illuminate the link between company activities of ICA and water use, by applying the tool of water footprint. It is an environmental systems analysis tool that was developed by Professor Arjen Y. Hoekstra at University of Twente and the Water Footprint Network and it is mainly used to calculate the consumption of fresh water that is linked to the consumption of a product. The water footprint concept covers three different types of water; blue, green and grey water, where the green water is rain water, blue water is fresh water and groundwater, and grey water is a theoretical volume of water consumed as a consequence of emission of pollutants.

In this study, the blue and green water footprint of Swedish and Irish minced beef has been analyzed. The results showed that the total water footprint of Swedish minced beef is about 14 500 liters per kg, of which about 14 200 liters is green water and 200 liters is blue water. About 98% of the water footprint is domestic since the majority of feed materials origins from Sweden. The total water footprint of Irish minced beef is about 16 500 liters per kg, of which about 15 000 liters is green water and 1 500 liters is blue water. Approximately 21 % of the total water footprint is external due to imports of water intense feed materials.

Assessing the environmental and social impacts of the water footprint showed to be difficult because they are multidimensional. As an example, the consequences of a relatively small water footprint in countries with extremely scarce water may be severe, while a much larger water footprint in countries such as Sweden has a relatively small impact. In order to identify water footprints with the potential of causing major environmental and social impacts, data on regional water stress and water availability was used. For example, total household water consumption in water scarce Pakistan is about 58 liters per person and day, roughly 10 times lower compared to the U.S. This water is almost equivalent to the water footprint (52 liters per kg) in Pakistan caused by the production of Irish minced beef.

The analysis section also showed that there are substantial difficulties in comparing water footprints of foods in order to identify products with minimum environmental impact. This has two main reasons: First, green water, i.e. evapotranspiration, is a part of the natural cycle of water which varies regionally. Secondly, foods are not always comparable, because different foods provide different nutrients. One solution would be to compare foods on the basis of a common denominator, e.g. animal based foods could be compared on the basis of protein content.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trita-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2010:09
Keyword [en]
blue water footprint, green water footprint, beef
Keyword [sv]
blått vattenfotavtryck, grönt vattenfotavtryck, Water Footprint, nötkött
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-58632OAI: diva2:473616
Available from: 2012-01-25 Created: 2012-01-06 Last updated: 2012-01-25Bibliographically approved

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