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Environmental impacts in global value chains : using hot spot analysis to identify priorities for improving the sustainability of German coffee production and consumption

Lam, David LU (2013) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20131
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The current patterns of consuming and producing German coffee cause environmental impacts. Identifying the most relevant environmental impacts (hot spots) along the global value chain of German coffee is the first step to improve its environmental performance. Hot spots need immediate attention from companies, practitioners, and scientists in order to create sustainable solutions.
The purpose of this study was to identify the hot spots of German coffee by conducting an environmental Hot Spot Analysis (eHSA), and to discuss the contribution of the eHSA method from a sustainability science perspective.
The eHSA involved a literature review, six interviews with experts from the German coffee industry, and a calculation of hot spots based... (More)
The current patterns of consuming and producing German coffee cause environmental impacts. Identifying the most relevant environmental impacts (hot spots) along the global value chain of German coffee is the first step to improve its environmental performance. Hot spots need immediate attention from companies, practitioners, and scientists in order to create sustainable solutions.
The purpose of this study was to identify the hot spots of German coffee by conducting an environmental Hot Spot Analysis (eHSA), and to discuss the contribution of the eHSA method from a sustainability science perspective.
The eHSA involved a literature review, six interviews with experts from the German coffee industry, and a calculation of hot spots based on expert rankings of seven environmental impact categories within each of the four phases of the coffee value chain. The focus was on environmental impacts along the value chain of German coffee. A survey with German coffee consumers was conducted to see which impacts of coffee they perceive as hot spots.
German coffee has six hot spots along its value chain, of which five are located in producing countries, and one is caused in Germany. The five hot spots of the agriculture phase are the environmental categories energy resources, water resources, land use and biodiversity, emissions to air, and emissions to water. The category emissions to air had the highest agreement among the experts to be a hot spot. The hot spot of the use phase is the category energy resources. Consumers agreed with the expert assessment of hot spots for the categories energy resources, water resources, land use and biodiversity, emissions to air and emissions to water in the agriculture phase. However, they assessed also the category raw materials in the agriculture phase as a hot spot, but not their own use of energy resources in the use phase.
Five out of six hot spots are caused in producing countries in the global South. Most of the impacts are related to the use of agrochemicals and untreated wastewater. Companies and consumers in Germany need to take environmental responsibility for their actions to address and reduce the increasingly globalized impacts of consumption in industrialized countries.
To tackle the hot spots, coffee roasters and retailers need to collaborate with farmers, unions, associations, non-governmental organizations, consumers, and scientists. Transdisciplinary or action research projects could support the creation of legitimate sustainable solutions to make coffee consumption in Germany less environmentally harmful and more socially and economically beneficial. (Less)
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author
Lam, David LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
sustainable consumption and production, sustainability science, supply chain, food chain, life cycle assessment
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2013:003
language
English
id
3812308
date added to LUP
2013-06-14 10:31:29
date last changed
2013-06-14 10:31:29
@misc{3812308,
  abstract     = {The current patterns of consuming and producing German coffee cause environmental impacts. Identifying the most relevant environmental impacts (hot spots) along the global value chain of German coffee is the first step to improve its environmental performance. Hot spots need immediate attention from companies, practitioners, and scientists in order to create sustainable solutions. 
The purpose of this study was to identify the hot spots of German coffee by conducting an environmental Hot Spot Analysis (eHSA), and to discuss the contribution of the eHSA method from a sustainability science perspective. 
The eHSA involved a literature review, six interviews with experts from the German coffee industry, and a calculation of hot spots based on expert rankings of seven environmental impact categories within each of the four phases of the coffee value chain. The focus was on environmental impacts along the value chain of German coffee. A survey with German coffee consumers was conducted to see which impacts of coffee they perceive as hot spots. 
German coffee has six hot spots along its value chain, of which five are located in producing countries, and one is caused in Germany. The five hot spots of the agriculture phase are the environmental categories energy resources, water resources, land use and biodiversity, emissions to air, and emissions to water. The category emissions to air had the highest agreement among the experts to be a hot spot. The hot spot of the use phase is the category energy resources. Consumers agreed with the expert assessment of hot spots for the categories energy resources, water resources, land use and biodiversity, emissions to air and emissions to water in the agriculture phase. However, they assessed also the category raw materials in the agriculture phase as a hot spot, but not their own use of energy resources in the use phase.
Five out of six hot spots are caused in producing countries in the global South. Most of the impacts are related to the use of agrochemicals and untreated wastewater. Companies and consumers in Germany need to take environmental responsibility for their actions to address and reduce the increasingly globalized impacts of consumption in industrialized countries. 
To tackle the hot spots, coffee roasters and retailers need to collaborate with farmers, unions, associations, non-governmental organizations, consumers, and scientists. Transdisciplinary or action research projects could support the creation of legitimate sustainable solutions to make coffee consumption in Germany less environmentally harmful and more socially and economically beneficial.},
  author       = {Lam, David},
  keyword      = {sustainable consumption and production,sustainability science,supply chain,food chain,life cycle assessment},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Environmental impacts in global value chains : using hot spot analysis to identify priorities for improving the sustainability of German coffee production and consumption},
  year         = {2013},
}