Editor's note: This page was updated on 15 November 2019 with a summary report covering the key findings of the study, and integrates key discussion points from an Ecosperity Conversations session based on the study findings.
Globally, the food we eat is responsible for almost a third of planet-warming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that humans produce in a year. Red meat - in particular, beef - has the biggest carbon footprint per kilogram of protein. However, the environmental impact of our food is also affected by where our food comes from, and consumption trends locally.
For example, Singapore imports over 90% of its food. The transportation of food by air significantly increases its environmental impact. However, most existing studies on the environmental impact of our food systems are either US or Europe-centric, and do not consider unique export-import pairs.
This study by A*STAR and Deloitte quantifies the global environmental impact of 13 key food items in Singapore. It takes a life-cycle approach to quantify the GHG emissions, energy consumption and water consumption associated with a given food item in three stages: production, processing and transportation. The report also offers pathways which could meaningfully reduce the environmental impact of our food.
This report will provide insights for different stakeholders; policy makers, businesses and consumers: