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Performing an an environmental sustainability assessment of products and/or operations

Food and drink manufacturing contributes to a range of environmental impacts including greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, waste generation and biodiversity loss. A comprehensive best practice assesses the environmental impact of products and operations using life cycle assessment tools to identify priority areas for action, or 'hotspots'. Overall, it defines a strategy for reducing the environmental impacts.

Several guidelines have been established for the environmental sustainability assessment of specific product categories and organisations through various processes. A number of these which are outlined in this best practice are product-focused tools, namely Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), Environmental product declaration and EcodEX, while others are focused on organisations, such as Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF), the Global Reporting Initiative (GPI) and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

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