Projects

Sustainable Eaters is a four-year project with support from the Research Council.

Senior Researcher Valérie Lengard Almli at Nofima is the project manager.

The research project is led by Nofima, in collaboration with 26 partners from research, industry, the public sector and non-profit organizations.

Participants in the project: BaRe, Grønt Punkt Norge AS, GS1 Norway, INN – Høgskolen i Innlandet, Karlstad University, Keep-it Technologies AS, Loop, Matprat (Nortura SA), Matvett AS, Mills AS, Multivac AS, NIBIO, NMBU, Nofima, NorgesGruppen ASA, NORSUS, Nortura SA, Orkla Foods Norge AS, OsloMet, Rema Distribusjon Norge AS, Rema 1000, Ruralis, Tromsø Kommune, Tromsø Matsentral, Vitenparken Campus Ås, Wipak Norway og Æra Strategic Innovation AS.

The main goal of the project is to enable and strengthen consumers’ contribution to achieving a sustainable Norwegian food system.

Background

The entire value chain for food must be re-evaluated. The use of resources must be more efficient, food waste must be reduced, and the diet must be adjusted. Reports such as “Klimakur 2030” have pointed to specific measures aimed at consumers to meet these challenges. There is no way around it; consumers must contribute to the shift toward a sustainable food system. To achieve this, we must re-think. There is a need to make changes in consumer behaviour related to food choice, food waste and recycling of packaging materials.

Goal

The main goal of the project is to enable and strengthen consumers’ contribution to achieving a sustainable Norwegian food system.

To enable this, the project aims to:

  • Develop intervention strategies, industry- and policy recommendations for reduced food waste, healthy and sustainable diets, and increased recycling of food packaging.
  • Refine scientific knowledge on what sustainable food means in the Norwegian agroindustry context.
  • Develop knowledge, awareness, and new sustainability habits in the younger generation.
  • Elaborate on industry solutions that support consumers in embracing sustainable behaviours.
  • Optimize the dynamics of the online shopping value chain toward higher resource efficiency, lower food waste, and lower climate impact from producer to consumer.

Organization

The project will carry out the following tasks:

  1. Identify consumer typology and behaviour change
  2. Evaluate behavioural effects on the value chain
  3. Educate young generations and connected citizens
  4. Develop industrial innovations
  5. Project communication and dissemination

The project consists of five work packages and four cases. These are outlined in the figure over this text.

Siden det norske dyrkbare arealet er begrenset, er det et klart potensial i økt produksjon og verdiskaping fra veksthusnæringen. Det er et spesielt potensial for både økt norskandel på tomat og økt forbruk, gitt at produksjonen blir mer konkurransedyktig mot import og at smakene treffer den norske forbrukeren. En forutsetning for økt, norsk veksthusproduksjon er at dette foretas på en stadig mer bærekraftig måte. Ny kunnskap om teknologiske løsninger for redusert energibruk, bedre utnyttelse av naturlig og kunstig lys for økt produksjon, miljøfotavtrykket fra veksthusproduksjon samt gode verktøy for å ta de rette beslutningene, er viktig for at BAMA skal nå sine mål. Den overordnede ideen er å skape verdivekst i norsk veksthusproduksjon med mål om økt norskproduksjon og økt forbruk av viktige veksthuskulturer, på en stadig mer bærekraftig måte.Dette skal oppnås gjennom bedre kunnskap om bruk av lys og hvordan man aktivt kan øke produksjonen ved bruk av lys, samt ved å få vurdert og utviklet et verktøy for å sammenlikne miljøfotavtrykket til ulike produksjoner av veksthuskulturer i Norge sammenliknet med import. Prosjektet vil være i tråd med og som en klar oppfølging av Grøntutvalgets rapport.

NORSUS will, on behalf of Matvett, carry out the project "A system for food waste in the public sector", which, as the title suggests, will develop a system for receiving food waste data from the public sector. In addition to looking at the way in which food waste should be mapped in business, and the means by which data should be reported, it will develop a system for receiving the data and for upscaling it to national food waste statistics.

"Power distribution with sustainability" will provide transmission system operators (TSOs) with a framework for the mapping and documentation of environmental sustainability, in the establishment, operation and maintenance of components, together with their dismantling for reuse or recycling.

This framework must be suitable for the production of both data and results for anything, from major, broad analyses of the energy system, to extremely detailed analyses and the selection, for example, of individual components in a transformer.

The project results will contribute to an overview for the TSOs, when identifying the relevant environmental challenges. This will enable them to develop strategies and set goals for their work on internal environmental sustainability.

There is an increasing requirement for the documentation of sustainability, both in the case of individual actors within the energy sector, and for the energy sector as a whole.

The framework must be capable of being used in communicating with customers, suppliers and the authorities. This will be achieved through the specific selection of robust and scientifically based indicators for the environmental and resource effects of the distribution grid.

As a result of this innovation, environmental sustainability will become an important component in the business management of participating TSOs. It will enable them to make changes in their distribution and transformation systems, and thus lead them in a sustainable direction.

The framework must also be suitable for use in the documentation of the overall sustainability of network operations in Norway.

Among the research questions the most important will be:

  • Which components in the network contribute environmental challenges relating to network operations?
  • How can land use and land changes be quantified, alongside the possible effects on biodiversity from the distribution of electricity?
  • Which environmental indicators with their associated calculation methods, are relevant in assessing the environmental impact of network operations?
  • How can these environmental indicators be employed in the strategy development of TSOs?

The results from the project will be in constant use in establishing the strategic goals of the TSOs, being implemented as assessment criteria in business management and strategy plans, as well as in the reporting of environmental and climate accounting.

The project manager is Energi Norge AS. Project leader Ketil Sagen.

R&D suppliers are NORSUS, NMBU and Geodata.

The transmission system operators participating in the project are: Agder Energi Nett AS, BKK Nett AS, Elvia AS, Lede AS and Tensio TN AS.

The NewTools project aims to provide both producers and consumers with a greater understanding of the impact of the food we eat, its nutritional quality and its climate and environmental impact. Working with integrated indicators for the health and environmental aspects of food production and consumption, the project will support a shift towards a more sustainable food sector. Among other measures, two scoring systems for food will be developed: one providing scores for nutritional quality and one for the environmental impact of each individual food. The goal of NewTools is to define relevant and accurate indicators. In addition to being useful tools for consumers, they can be employed as guidelines in product development, the formulation of policy, purchasing schemes and more. The project will place a major emphasis on the food culture and production conditions that are specific to Norway, while at the same time striving to create a result that is flexible enough to be used internationally. In order to achieve this, it is important that the various actors within the food system are able to collaborate. The project is led by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Other participants include research bodies, representatives from the entire value chain – from land and fjord to the table - and dialogue partners. NORSUS will, together with NMBU and its partners, be developing a scoring system for environmental impact.

NORSUS, in collaboration with SINTEF, will compile food waste statistics and document the methodological basis for the Norwegian Environment Agency, so that Norway is able to report in accordance with the EU’s revised waste directive (2008/98 / EC). This new requirement for annual reporting of the amount of food waste occurring at different stages in the value chain in each EU / EEA country is linked to the objective of reducing food waste by at least 50% by 2030. IVL and PlanMiljø will provide professional input.

The project aims to find and analyse case studies on the measuring of reuse and digitisation throughout the Nordic region.

In 2019, the City of Oslo local authority took the decision to phase out all unnecessary disposable plastic items from its operations. In addition, a disposable plastics directive is to be introduced nationally in 2021, which will concern one of many disposable plastic articles. There is a need within the local authority for a body of knowledge that identifies the most environmentally friendly alternatives to disposable plastic items, with a focus on the 10 most purchased products in this category. This concerns all those working within the municipality's operations who buy in disposable products, and particularly those at service locations. Life cycle analysis (LCA) as a tool is well-suited for comparing the environmental presentation of different materials and products. In this project, LCA will be employed as a basis for creating this body of knowledge. This will be achieved by first identifying and defining the functions to be fulfilled by the various products, and then calculating the environmental footprint throughout the life cycle of the products for the different materials (current disposable plastic as well as alternative solutions / other materials) as a comparison.

There is great interest in carbon footprints of food and therefore NORSUS in collaboration with RISE in Sweden has carried out a project to establish a climate database for Norwegian foods. Currently, RISE has a climate database that contains carbon footprints for just over 750 foods on the Swedish market. The Norwegian list will be included as part of this database, so that it is adapted to the Norwegian market. In this database, Swedish foods have been replaced with Norwegian foods and imported goods will be the same for both Norway and Sweden. The carbon footprints for the Norwegian products are based on life cycle analysis carried out by NORSUS and literature data for Norwegian conditions. 

Read more about the collaboration here.

Read more about RISE Climate database here.

To meet ambitious recycling targets for plastic packaging, there is an urgent need to solve scientific and technilogical challenges to meet both the legislative food safety requirements and the plastic packaging recycling requirements, while enabling the use of recycled plastics in food packaging. The project investigates the promising options of closed loop polyolefin recycling and the use of recycled plastics in food packaging with a functional barrier. NORSUS will carry out an environmental assessment of the case products and recycling systems. In addition, LCA will be used to quantify the projects’ contribution towards the sustainable development goals.