Environmental Pressures Embodied in the French Cereals Supply Chain

Abstract : France is the second largest exporter of cereals in the world. Although the cereals supply chain is an asset for the country's economy and employment, it is at the same time responsible for a number of pressures on the local and global environment including greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and stresses on water quality and quantity. This article aims at evaluating this situation from an environmental point of view by linking productions occurring in French regions with consumption occurring in France and abroad. Based on previous work on Material Flow Analysis, we use an Absorbing Markov Chain model to study the fate of French cereals and link worldwide consumption to environmental pressures along the supply chain, that is, induced by production, transformation or transport. The model is based on physical supply and use tables and distinguishes between 21 industries, 22 products, 38 regions of various spatial resolution (22 French regions, 10 countries, 6 continents) and 4 modes of transport. Energy use, GHG emissions, land use, use of pesticides and blue water footprint are studied. Illustrative examples are taken in order to demonstrate the versatility of the results produced, for instance: Where and under what form does local production end up? How do regions compare relatively to their production and consumption footprints? These results are designed to be a first step towards scenario analysis for decision-aiding that would also include socioeconomic indicators. Examples of such scenarios are discussed in the conclusion.
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Jean-Yves Courtonne, Pierre-Yves Longaretti, Julien Alapetite, Denis Dupré. Environmental Pressures Embodied in the French Cereals Supply Chain. Journal of Industrial Ecology, Wiley, 2016, 20 (3), pp.423-434. ⟨10.1111/jiec.12431⟩. ⟨hal-01150067v2⟩

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