Examination of the resource efficiency of organic food based on the Product Enviromental Footprint and integration into a sustainability strategy

The food industry is characterised by a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises, both in conventional and organic food production. Larger corporate structures generally manage to develop more efficient structures more often, which in the best case even include a more efficient use of resource inputs such as energy, water or agricultural raw materials. The exploitation of further potentials for a more efficient use of resources is therefore primarily seen in the many smaller companies in the food industry. The aim of this research project is to identify this potential for more sustainability in the context of ecological living and to make recommendations for implementation.

The identification of optimisation potentials with regard to a more efficient use of resource inputs is carried out exemplarily in two companies of organic food production. The method used is the Product Enviromental Footprint (PEF), a uniform tool throughout Europe for measuring, communicating and comparing the environmental footprint of products throughout their entire life cycle. The PEF is a methodology developed by the EU Commission. It enables the identification of hotspots of environmental impacts and optimization potentials by comparing them with defined benchmarks.