Environmental sustainability assessment of the primary school catering sector

De Laurentiis, Valeria (2018). Environmental sustainability assessment of the primary school catering sector. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (6MB)


Current food production and consumption practices are depleting natural resources and polluting ecosystems at a rate that is unsustainable and are one of the main causes of anthropogenic climate change. If this trend does not change, externalities of food production will be exacerbated in future decades due to population growth and increasing living standards. A shift towards low impact diets has been proposed as part of the solution. The public food sector offers tremendous potential for influencing such a shift; however currently in the UK this potential is only partially exploited as national guidelines for public food procurement avoid promoting the adoption of low impact menus. This doctoral research aims at addressing this shortfall by creating a procedure for the design of low impact primary school menus. This is informed by a life-cycle based tool (the Environmental Assessment Tool of School meals, EATS) that enables catering companies and local authorities to self-assess the environmental impact of a meal in terms of its carbon and water footprint, with the purpose of identifying hotspot meals and comparing alternatives in the design of new menus. The data underlying EATS includes the results of a meta-analysis of the existing literature on the carbon footprint of 110 food products commonly used in the preparation of primary school meals in the UK. To validate EATS, a statistical analysis of the underlying data was performed, feedback from its potential users was collected, three case study analyses were developed, and the results provided were compared with existing studies.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Subjects: T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8183


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year