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Climate impact of alcohol consumption in Sweden
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioscience and Materials, Agrifood and Bioscience.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 201, p. 287-294Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Knowledge about the environmental impact of alcohol is limited and as an effect alcohol is often excluded from environmental studies of diets or included in incomplete ways. This paper describes the climate impact of beer, wine and liquor by using life cycle assessment. The climate impact is quantified per litre of specific alcoholic beverages and per total amount of alcohol consumed based on self-reported data of 50 000 individuals from 2009 within two population-based cohorts in Sweden. The results show that alcoholic beverages generate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the range of 0.73–2.38 kg carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per litre. Alcohol consumption in the population studied generates on average 52 kg CO2e per person and year. Within the 10% of the population with the highest intake of alcohol GHG emissions are up to 202 kg CO2e per person and year. Consumption of wine is responsible for the largest share of GHG emissions from alcoholic beverages (61%) followed by beer (33%), while liquor and strong wine account for a smaller share (6%). Alcohol consumption among men generates 90% higher GHG emissions than among women. Alcohol consumption and in consequence alcohol-related emissions are decreasing with increasing age of men and women. Our results indicate that alcohol consumption in Swedish men and women is responsible for an average of 3% of total diet-related GHG emissions and in sub-populations with the highest consumption up to 6–11%. Limiting alcohol could be an effective option to reduce the climate impact of diets, especially among men.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 201, p. 287-294
Keywords [en]
Alcohol, Beer, Climate impact, LCA, Liquor, Wine, Alcohols, Carbon dioxide, Environmental impact, Gas emissions, Life cycle, Population statistics, Alcohol consumption, Climate impacts, Environmental studies, GHG emission, Sub-populations, Swedishs, Using life, Greenhouse gases
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-35031DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.07.295Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85051273064OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-35031DiVA, id: diva2:1242183
Note

 This study was supported by FORMAS-The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (grant number 2016-00308 )

Available from: 2018-08-27 Created: 2018-08-27 Last updated: 2018-08-28Bibliographically approved

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