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Sundin, Emelie, 2020. Carbon footprint and energy use of transport in the supply chain of pulses for Swedish human consumption. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Energy and Technology



Transport play a key role in the global economy. Through international trade characterized by large scale, long distances and complex distribution systems, consumers have access to a wide range of products from all over the world. Transport is associated with use of fossil energy and climate impacts and to lower the emissions from foods, a holistic perspective of product’s life cycles is of large importance. The aim of this study was to quantify the energy use and carbon footprint for transport of imported and domestic dry and industrially cooked (canned) pulses from origin to a grocery store in Stockholm, Sweden. Thus, to begin with, origin, typical transport modes and routes were mapped for 100 products found in Swedish grocery store in 2020. Information was obtained through contact with 12 food actors who market prevailing brands in Swedish grocery stores as well as contact with several other actors within the supply chain of pulses such as sourcing and traffic managers. Energy use and carbon footprint was calculated for 38 routes based on the most frequently stated transport routes from six countries including Swedish products. The tool NTMCalc Advanced 4.0 was used to calculate emissions and energy use for transport by truck, container ships, ro-ro ships, electrical and diesel trains. Furthermore, a literature study was carried out to compare energy use and carbon footprint of transport with the cultivation stage in the supply chain to further discuss the role of transport. The result showed that the Swedish consumption of pulses is heavily dependent on long-distance supplies from China followed by USA, Canada, Turkey and Italy. Typical routes for pulses to be sold canned were transport via Italy to Sweden whereas dry produce was often transported to the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany or England. Trucking was the most common stated mode of vehicle for transports within Europe for both canned and dry pulses. Canned produce was shipped more frequently by boat and train to Sweden compared to dry produce. Transport of pulses from China and USA canned in Italy had the highest carbon footprint and energy use whereas dry domestically produced Swedish beans and lentils had the lowest contribution. The carbon footprint from transport varied from 0.014-0.49 kg CO2e and 0.20-7.0 MJ per kg cooked product. Large variations depended on whether the product was transported dry or canned and which mode of transport that was used. Fairly small distances on mainland, in relation to the whole distance from origin to point-of-sale, can contribute significantly to the greenhouse gas emissions and energy demand. Therefore, a shift towards less polluting vehicles (e.g. trains) can make a large difference for the total impacts of a route. Other important measures for reducing the impact of current distribution system were: consolidated shipments, collaboration between actors, vehicles with large loading capacity, high vehicle utilization (weight and volume) and the usage of rectangular shapes of primary cartons to increase space utilization. Moreover, the most important measure for less impacts in terms of carbon footprint and energy use from transport is short efficient transport of dry pulses from origin to point-of-sale and thus, local sourcing of pulses is by far the most efficient way to lower the impacts of transport.

Main title:Carbon footprint and energy use of transport in the supply chain of pulses for Swedish human consumption
Authors:Sundin, Emelie
Supervisor:Tidåker, Pernilla
Examiner:Röös, Elin
Series:Examensarbete / Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU
Volume/Sequential designation:2020:13
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM028 Sustainable Food Systems - Master's Programme, 120.0hp
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Keywords:transport, pulses, carbon footprint, energy use
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Food science and technology
Deposited On:17 Nov 2020 12:12
Metadata Last Modified:18 Nov 2020 02:00

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