Environmental and economic impacts of food waste prevention in Estonia
GHG emissions to atmosphere and cost savings due to food waste prevention in the Estonian target areas – Harju and Lääne-Viru Counties have been estimated by generalizing the initial data gathered and the results calculated in Finland in the frame of W-Fuel project.
This analysis has been made by Nea Teerioja from Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY) in cooperation with the Estonian project teams and considering also the results of the Estonian WP2 (Biowaste and sludge prevention) report. Taking into account the aspect of generalizing the results presented here should be considered only as directional.
All of the main factors used in the analysis depend on the national biowaste composition. It should be mentioned that according to the relevant Estonian studies this essential assumption – share of food waste among biowaste is in Estonia quite similar to that in Finland (also around 80%).
Emission savings per prevented food waste volume depend also on the national agriculture structure and imports and they include all life cycle emissions. Moreover, the cost savings per prevented food waste volume are mainly based on the national price level and are calculated from the waste generator’s point of view. They include the purchase costs, usage cost (eg. transporting, cooking and storing) and waste fees.
Four scenarios compared
According to the Estonian WP2 report the environmental and economic impact analyses are conducted in three different waste prevention scenario options B1, B2 and B3 that are compared to the situation where waste prevention is not enhanced in 2020 (BAU – business as usual scenario A). The scenarios are introduced in Table 1.
In the environmental impact analysis it has been directly applied the emission savings value used in Finland (4.6 tCO2eq/t). The economic impact analysis, however, takes into account the lower price level in Estonia – it has been assumed that the price level in Estonia will be ca 75 % compared to the price level in Finland in 2020 (Kiander, 2012). The results are given in Tables 2 and 3.
Preventing food waste saves money and emissions
The results in Table 2 show that achieving the food waste prevention target in Harju County (incl. Tallinn) will save 30 000–127 000 tCO2eq/t emissions and 29–122 M€ (59–246 €/capita) in 2020 depending on the target level.
Table 2. Environmental and economic impacts of food waste prevention in Harju County (incl. Tallinn) in 2020.
* Population forecast in Harju County is 497 113 in 2020 (Statistics Estonia; Siseministeerium 2009).
Table 3. Environmental and economic impacts of food waste prevention in Lääne-Viru County in 2020.
* Population forecast in Lääne-Viru County is 64 006 in 2020 (Statistics Estonia; Sisemininteerium 2009).
The results in Table 3 indicate that achieving the food waste prevention target in Lääne-Viru County will save 5 000–17 000 tCO2eq emissions and 5–17 M€ (75–264 €/capita) in 2020 depending on the target level.
Kiander 2012. Virosta Euroopan Unionin jäsen. Downloaded on 16.1.2012. http://www.hel2.fi/tietokeskus/suunnat/ss204/Artikkeli.html
Siseministeerium 2009. Uuringu Eesti regioonide majandus-struktuuri muutuste prognoos. Lopparuanne. Vastutav täitja: Tartu Ulikool. http://www.siseministeerium.ee/public/SIREG_lqpparuanne_2_.pdf