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A sustainability assessment framework for the Australian food industry: Integrating life cycle sustainability assessment and circular economy
chapterposted on 12.10.2021, 00:02 by Murilo Pagotto, Anthony Halog, Diogo Fleury Azevedo CostaDiogo Fleury Azevedo Costa, Tianchu Lu
Integrating life cycle techniques and modelling with other approaches to evaluate the eco-efficiency and sustainability of industries and entire supply/value chains has been widely discussed. Life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) techniques and modelling capabilities comprehensively evaluate the three sustainability dimensions of complex systems and are able to assess how changes in the system primarily based on circular economy (CE) and other sustainability-based principles will affect the functionality of the system’s processes and the effects of those variations in the system as a whole. A systematic literature review was undertaken to analyse the background, the issues and knowledge gaps related to the proposed methodologies as well as the context-specific sustainability aspects faced by the Australian food industry. The systematic review analysed 89 selected studies, and the results demonstrated that sustainability assessment remains a highly complex challenge for the scientific community. Specifically, the development of effective and reliable methods is a nuanced task, particularly when analysing multifaceted systems such as a food supply chain. However, many efforts have been made to extend the focus of the sustainability assessment of industrial systems; but, there is still a lack of approaches that holistically and comprehensively address the triple sustainability dimensions. This chapter draws on peer-reviewed published literature to explore the potential integration of the aforementioned approaches into a holistic and systematic framework for analysing the sustainability of the Australian food industry. The framework assesses environmental, social and economic benefits and effects of implementing sustainable production and consumption processes in the food production system.