In this project, in collaboration with EBP, we analysed the ecological impact of the average sugar beet cultivation and of the average beet sugar production in the EU as a basis for PCR (Product Category Rules) development of sugar. We focussed on the following three aspects:
inventory and data collection: the study answers the question of which data in which quality is needed to guarantee high quality results.
Relevant impact categories: the four common single- methods – ILCD v1.04, ReCiPe 2008, Ecological Scarcity 2013 and Impact 2002+ – were chosen for a detailed relevance analysis of the individual environmental impact categories. This allowed formulating a recommendation on which environmental impact categories should be mentioned in a PCR in order to display the largest part of environmental impact of beet sugar in the most meaningful way.
Allocation method: the modern beet sugar production can generate up to 11 by-products. This raises the question: which form of allocation is the best representation of the real environmental impact? Next to the substitution approach („credit“) and the economic allocation, various physical allocation were considered and evaluated (mass, dry mass, digestible energy, caloric content, sucrose content).
The conclusions of the study will be used for the continuation of PCR development as a basis for EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) and PEFs (Product Environmental Footprint).