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Circular economy and industrial symbiosis represent a production and consumption model involving sharing, lending, reusing, and recycling existing materials and products in the most efficient way to increase sustainability and reduce or eliminate waste. Beef production has a high impact on the environment in different impact categories, especially those activities related to livestock breeding and feeding. In this study, a life cycle assessment and a life cycle cost evaluation are carried out investigating potential energy efficiency measures to promote industrial symbiosis scenarios referring to a proposed baseline scenario. Three main potential measures are evaluated: energy recovery from waste via anaerobic digestion, integration of renewable sources at warehouses, including solar PV panels, and the replacement of auxiliary equipment at the retailer. It was found that energy reconversion of food waste through anaerobic digestion and cogeneration provides the most valuable benefits to the supply chain. From the economic perspective, using a conventional life cycle cost assessment, the energy production from the use of wastes for anaerobic digestion proved to be the best potential option.

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Environmental and Climate Technologies 2021, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 343–355

©2021 Fabian Diaz, Jacopo Andreas Vignati, Beatrice Marchi, Riccardo Paoli, Simone Zanoni, Francesco Romagnoli.
This is an open access article licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (

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