The EU starch industry to perform an environmental impacts assessment of its products and co-products



Under the pressure of the various initiatives aiming at providing end consumers with information on the environmental impacts of products, the customers of the European starch industry are increasingly interested in developing the environmental footprints of the products they manufacture or market.

AAF as a visionary player in environmental assessment[spacer size="10"]

Back in 2000, the European starch industry association (AAF) commissioned an “eco-profile study for the production of starch and starch derivatives in the EU” to Dr Ian Boustead, a reference in the field. The study was based on a set of data collected throughout the whole EU starch industry that dates back to 1998. The summary report is available via the AAF or its members.

Over the last 10 years, many positive developments have occurred: agricultural practices have improved, the starch industry has significantly reduced its energy and resource consumption, the availability of the background data has increased, the knowledge of Life Cycle Analyses (LCAs) has been extended, and last but not least, AAF members have been receiving a greater number of requests from customers about environmental information on a wider range of starch products.

Looking forward[spacer size="10"]

Taking all of this into account, the AAF has decided to work collectively on a new LCA study, taking a two-step approach:

  1. The pre-testing phase focused on defining the methodology (allocation rules, system boundaries, biogenic carbon, etc.). It was based on a limited dataset and completed in February 2011. The pre-testing phase identified the “mass allocation on a dry substance (DS) basis” as the most appropriate allocation method for the products of the European starch industry.
  2. The complete sector study will apply the defined methodology to generate environmental profiles for families of starch products on a cradle-to-gate basis. The study encompasses the main products[1] of the industry over an array of environmental impacts that go beyond the mere carbon footprint. The European starch industry strives to complete this study by mid-2012.

For more information and or questions, please contact the AAF secretariat.

Download the PDF statement here

[1] e.g. starches, glucoses, dextrins, polyols, fibres, proteins, germs and other liquid products.

June 1, 2011