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Title: Life cycle assessment of pigmeat production: portuguese case study and proposal of improvement options
Author: González-García, Sara
Belo, Sara
Dias, Ana Cláudia
Rodrigues, João Várzea
da Costa, Rosário Roberto
Ferreira, António
de Andrade, Luís Pinto
Arroja, Luis
Keywords: Life cycle assessment (LCA)
Environmental analysis
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: The aim of this study was to provide a detailed environmental evaluation of pigmeat production (the second most widely eaten type of meat) in Portugal, using relevant and good quality data in order to obtain representative results for this production sector. Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology was used for the evaluations from a cradle-toslaughterhouse gate perspective. The system under study was divided in three subsystems: crop and feed production (S1), pigmeat production (S2) and slaughtering (S3). The production system under study considered the Best Available Techniques (BATs) for intensive rearing of pigs. According to the results and in line with other studies, S1 was the most influential subsystem in the environmental profile (ranging from 70% to 100% depending on the impact) mainly due to agricultural activities involved in the production of feed components. Activities carried out on the pig farms (S2) were remarkable in categories such as climate change due to background processes involved in the production of electricity requirements, e.g. emissions derived from slurry management (such as CH4 and N2O), and water depletion. Slaughtering-related contributions were negligible regardless of the category assessed. Different alternatives for the valorisation of animal by-products derived from the slaughterhouse were proposed for energy and feed production. A comparison with other related studies focused on pigmeat production was performed and no remarkable differences were identified. Thus, achievements and environmental hotspots identified in this specific case study for Portugal could be extended to the European production chain.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.03.048
ISSN: 0959-6526
Appears in Collections:CESAM - Artigos
DAO - Artigos

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