Stone, J., Garcia-Garcia, G. & Rahimifard, S. (2019). “Selection of Sustainable Food Waste Valorisation Routes: A Case Study with Barley Field Residue.” Waste and Biomass Valorization. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12649-019-00816-5 [open access]
It is increasingly accepted in the food and drink manufacturing sector that there is a need to manage unavoidable food waste more sustainably. Yet to do so requires careful balancing of environmental, social and economic performance of any given treatment method alongside its technological maturity and alignment with that company’s wider business goals. The purpose of this article is to apply a novel Sustainable Waste Valorisation Identification (SWaVI) framework which considers these criteria to a case study with Molson Coors to identify whether the current strategy of using In Field Barley Straw Residue as animal feed is the most sustainable.
Data was collected via a series of interviews with Molson Coors in spring 2017. Data analysis used a hybrid approach combining Cost–Benefit Analysis and Life-Cycle Assessment with a weighted summation variant of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to facilitate comparison of supercritical CO2 extraction of wax from straw, with the current strategy of selling that straw as animal feed.
Application of the SWaVI framework suggests that supercritical CO2 extraction of wax from straw offers a slightly worse Net Present Value compared to sale as animal feed (£89.1 million compared to £95.3 million) but superior social impacts, technological maturity and alignment with company goals making it superior overall.
Whilst the supercritical CO2 extraction of wax offers the best sustainability and business case performance for Molson Coors, a range of other factors such as long-term market demand, alignment with relevant legislation, and displacement effects on supply chain stakeholders must be considered.