The EU starch industry contribution to the EU sustainable consumption and production policies

In the framework of the increasing concerns of the manufacturing and retailing industry to provide information on the environmental impact of products to the final consumers and of the Commission’s action plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy, the European starch industry is pleased to put forward its own contribution and provide information on the eco-profile study for the production of starch and starch derivatives in the EU.

This eco-profile study was commissioned by the European starch industry association (AAF) and conducted by Dr. Ian Boustead, a recognized authority in the field of eco-profiles and life cycle analyses. It takes a “cradle-to-gate” approach, with a dry basis allocation between products and co-products.

Despite the fact that the data reference year is 1998, this report was published in 2001, the attached summary report is an essential contribution that the European starch industry considers valid today because the balance between the raw materials used by the industry and the processes in place have not changed significantly. It is worth noting though that major progress has been made in the field of energy efficiency on the plant sites since 1998. If anything, these improvements reduce the quantitative environmental impacts of starch products described in the study.

The participating plants were located in the EU-15 and the outcome of the study reflects the status of the European starch industry at that time. It is structured by category of products, taking into account the main agricutural raw materials used by the European starch industry (i.e. maize, wheat and potato).

For instance, in this summary report you will find data gathered on starch production such as cumulative gross energies and relative energy contribution, net consumption of carbon dioxide, air and water emissions as well as solid waste.

It is also worth noting that the AAF has contributed towards the CIAA “Code of practice for the measurement and communication of environmental information on food and drink products”, which is a widely-accepted standard in the EU food and drink industry. We will continue to monitor and positively contribute to this topic that will no doubt increase in intensity over the next few years.

Please find here the summary report of the Eco-profile of starch and related products [1].

Update (August 2012): the EU starch industry since then performed a new and more complete study on the environmental impacts of its products. For more information on the new study, please click here.

[1] Please note that the report was in fact commissioned by the AAC (Association des Amidonniers de Céréales de l’UE), and that AAC no longer exists today but has been replaced by the AAF, which covers the cereals and potato starch producers.  This explains why the only reference in the report is the AAC, and not the AAF. The contact details remain valid.

December 1, 2008