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Developing environmental performance indicators for food and beverage processors in the USA
- Fikru, Mahelet G.
- Ecological indicators 2017 v.79 pp. 106-113
- beverages, energy recovery, environmental performance, food industry, recycling, socioeconomics, toxic substances, United States
- Despite consumer and regulatory focus on the quality of final food and beverage (F&B) products, little attention is given to the release and management of toxic chemicals by F&B processors. This study develops five plant-level indicators of environmental performance specific to toxic chemicals. Our findings suggest that (i) only few F&B processors invest in toxic chemical prevention activities; (ii) the major toxic chemical management strategy is treatment rather than recycling or energy recovery; (iii) F&B processors, on average, have improved their toxic chemical management rates between 2001 and 2012; and (iv) there is evidence for homogeneous performance across similar producers in the F&B processing industry but there is no evidence for the role of socio-economic characteristics of surrounding communities on the environmental performance of F&B processors.