At the request of the Dutch animal welfare group ‘Varkens in Nood’ CE Delft has determined the environmental impact of 98 protein chains. For each of these chains a life cycle assessment (LCA) was carried out, with particular focus on climate and biodiversity impacts. Compared with earlier studies, a very wide range of protein chain variants were examined: 10 for chicken, 17 for cheese, 14 for beef and 9 for vegetarian products. While the analysis confirms there are major differences between the various types of protein source (with beef scoring relatively low and vegetarian relatively high), it also points to substantial differences within individual product groups with regard to environmental impact. The report includes an extensive, critical discussion of the data sources employed. There is also a comparison with other studies on protein sources and an analysis and explanation of the differences encountered.
Varkens in Nood’ subsequently added a score on aspects of animal welfare and, in collaboration with Greenpeace, drew up a product database enabling consumers to use the ‘SuperWijzer’ (an app for android and iphone) in the supermarket to assess how protein products score on biodiversity, environment and animal welfare.
See also the report Product Expansion for the Superwijzer