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Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820

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Supply chain sustainability assessment of the U.S. food manufacturing

sectors: A life cycle-based frontier approach
Gokhan Egilmez a, , Murat Kucukvar b , Omer Tatari b , M. Khurrum S. Bhutta c
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, North Dakota State University, Civil and Industrial Engineering, 202K, 1410 14th Avenue North, Fargo, ND
58102, United States
Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering, University of Central Florida, United States
Management Department, College of Business, Ohio University, United States

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 27 April 2013
Received in revised form 2 September 2013
Accepted 13 October 2013
Economic input-output analysis
Life cycle assessment
Data envelopment analysis
Food manufacturing
Supply chain

a b s t r a c t
Due to the fact that food manufacturing is one of the major drivers of the global environmental issues,
there is a strong need to focus on sustainable manufacturing toward achieving long-term sustainability
goals in food production of the United States. In this regard, current study assessed the direct and indirect environmental footprint of 33 U.S. food manufacturing sectors by using the Economic Input-Output
Life Cycle Assessment (EIO-LCA) model. Then, a non-parametric mathematical optimization tool, namely
Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), is utilized to benchmark the sustainability performance of food manufacturing sectors by using the results of the EIO-LCA model. Next, sustainability performance indices
(SPIs), rankings, target improvements, and sensitivity of environmental impact indicators are presented.
The average SPI score of U.S. food manufacturing sectors is found as 0.76. In addition, 19 out of 33 food
sectors are found as inefcient where an average of 4571% reduction is indicated for various environmental impact categories. Analysis results also indicate that supply chains of food manufacturing sectors
are heavily responsible for the impacts with over 80% shares for energy, water and carbon footprint, shery and grazing categories. Especially, animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering and processing
sector is found as the most dominant sector in most of the impact categories (ranked as 2nd in shery
and forest land). Sensitivity analysis indicated that forest land footprint is found to be the most sensitive
environmental indicator on the overall sustainability performance of food manufacturing sectors.
2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Manufacturing of goods has changed the quality and speed
of daily life tremendously since the industrial revolution. Even
though, 21st century humanity is beneting from the advantages
of living in a high-tech environment, this payoff comes with severe
environmental deterioration in many impact domains such as
air and water pollution and toxic and hazardous waste. Since,
the manufacturing activities are one of the major drivers of the
entire situation; there is a direct need to focus on manufacturing
initiatives that emphasize sustainability. In this regard, sustainable
manufacturing can be understood as the creation of manufactured products that use processes that are non-polluting, conserve
energy and natural resources, and are economically sound
and safe for employees, communities and consumers (Dept.
of Commerce, 2012). In recent decades, rising environmental

Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 701 231 7286; fax: +1 701 231 7195.
E-mail addresses:,
(G. Egilmez).
0921-3449/$ see front matter 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

concerns throughout the world have encouraged stakeholders to

integrate sustainable manufacturing initiatives into the decision
making processes in several industrial and government projects
(OConnor and Spash, 1999). However, there is still more work to
be done in terms of industry specic overview and policy making.
As the major contributor to the overall environmental impacts
(e.g. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions), food manufacturing could
be performed in a more sustainable way to achieve a reduction of
the overall environmental impact. Indeed, food manufacturing is
an integral sector of U.S. economy with a 10% share of total GDP
when the production, transportation and export are also taken into
consideration (Antle, 2009). Despite contributing to U.S. economy
from several dimensions, food manufacturing has considerable
environmental impacts. For instance, in terms of water consumption, irrigation activities within food manufacturing industry
account for 33.6% of nations water withdrawals (Blackhurst et al.,
2010). In terms of per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, food
manufacturing industry has slightly lower environmental impact
with a 8% share of total emissions (Hertwich and Peters, 2009),
which would increase the impact contribution after the population
impact is also included compared to other sectors. In this regard,

G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820

food transportation has a considerable impact on air pollution and

overall climate change.
In parallel with any life cycle based sustainability assessment, food manufacturing sectors sustainability assessment has to
include both onsite and supply chain impacts to be able to have the
basic understanding about the complete picture of environmental impacts associated with manufacturing sectors. According to a
recent survey conducted globally with 335 C-level executives from
world -including 95 from United States of America-, manufacturers
believe that supply chains have to be at the center of their business
strategies (KPMG, 2013). However, half of the executives (49% globally and 54% USA) also admit that their visibility of supply chains is
limited by onsite and only the 1st tier suppliers. In fact, to be able
to cope with the environmental problems associated with manufacturing practices, broader scoped assessments that consider the
entire supply chain can only bring us the necessary information
regarding the overall environmental impacts. Additionally, supply
chain of food unfortunately consists of 9000 t-km/year per household indirect and 3000 t-km direct CO2 equivalent GHG emission
impact (Weber and Matthews, 2008), which creates a necessity of
focusing on the supply chain of food from an environmental impact
point of view along with its manufacturing impacts. While manufacturing rms work to optimize the supply chains to minimize the
travel times, the food travel in the United States raises concerns
about the overall quality of available food. For instance, while the
average travel for the nal delivery of food was around 1020 miles,
the average travel for the whole supply chain of food requires
4200 miles of transportation, which puts a heavy burden on social
and environmental sustainability of nation (Weber and Matthews,
2008). Such results also point out the necessity of sustainable food
manufacturing and supply chain.
To be able to achieve sustainable manufacturing goals of energy
and natural resource conservation, waste and pollution minimization, the life cycle impacts of manufacturing processes and
distribution activities have to be measured systematically. In this
context, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a well-known and widely
used method to assess the potential environmental impacts and
resources used throughout the life cycle, including raw material
acquisition, production, use, and end-of-life phases (Finnveden
et al., 2009). LCA was proposed in the early 1990s as practical
method to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of products and processes, and has to be utilized to create polices for
reducing the overall undesirable impacts of supply chain practices
(Rebitzer et al., 2004).
Among the LCA models, process-based LCA (P-LCA), economic
input-output LCA (EIO-LCA), and hybrid LCA are mainly used in
the environmental analysis of products or processes. In the P-LCA,
every process that is included from the supply chain of the product
analyzed needs to be properly inventoried. As the system boundary becomes broader, the life cycle results analysis becomes more
complicated. However, with narrowly dened systems boundaries,
some important environmental impacts in the full production chain
can be overlooked. The EIO-LCA model combines environmental
data with the economic input-output matrix of the U.S. economy
to form a comprehensive system boundary. This model quanties the environmental impacts of the products or processes of
direct and indirect suppliers at economy level (Hendrickson et al.,
2006). When compared to process-based LCA, EIO analysis considers interrelations between the sectors which form the structure of
the nations economy. On the other hand, current EIO methodology does not allow for specic product comparisons which make
process assessments difcult. In order to take advantage of both
the process-based LCA and EIO-LCA models and provide a more
accurate and holistic LCA methodology, hybrid LCA models were
developed (Suh and Huppes, 2005). The combination of the EIO-LCA
and process-based LCA enabled the researchers to analyze specic

processes with details while considering the entire supply chain,

simultaneously (Acquaye et al., 2011). Furthermore, the hybrid LCA
is useful for minimizing the aggregation and uncertainty related
errors commonly encountered when both the P-LCA and EIO-LCA
are used independently.
In terms of food manufacturing sustainability assessment, literature is abundant with works that consider certain processes or
products. For example, meat (Caldern et al., 2010), non-wood ber
production (Gonzlez-Garca et al., 2010), canned food (Iribarren
et al., 2010) and (Hospido et al., 2006). While LCA models are utilized for environmental impact assessment of industrial sectors,
results usually provide insights about the selected environmental indicators. Even though such an assessment is crucial in terms
of quantifying the environmental burdens, it is also important
to compare industrial sectors from an overall sustainability performance perspective. In this context, since LCA results provide
different environmental impact categories with different units of
measurement, comparing industrial sectors sustainability performance in terms of environmental impacts and total production
output becomes a complicated task.
As a nonparametric linear programming based benchmarking
model, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) has been successfully
applied to various environmental impact assessment studies to
assess the overall sustainability performance (Zhou et al., 2008).
Unlike many other approaches, DEA does not require any subjective weighting procedure while benchmarking similar units (often
called decision making units) and generating an overall sustainability performance score (Egilmez and McAvoy, 2013). In a typical
DEA model, the motivation is to assess the productivity of a decision making unit using a ration based on the amount of output
per given input (Sarkis and Weinrach, 2001). In this case, the efciency score can be dened as a measure of how well the inputs are
utilized toward producing the outputs for the preliminary dened
scope. In the context of sustainability performance assessment,
the inputs are considered as the environmental impact categories
such as energy, carbon footprint, etc. and the output is the production of goods through manufacturing processes. Incorporating
environmental impacts and production outputs of industrial sectors into a single sustainability performance score is a very critical
due to increasing environmental concerns and global competition.
A more detailed review about the usage of DEA in sustainability
performance assessment is also given by Sarkis and Talluri (2011).
Literature is abundant with works that utilized a joint application of LCA and DEA. For example, Barba-Gutirrez et al. (2008)
used a combined application of LCA and DEA to analyze the SPI
of household electric appliances. In another study, Munksgaard
et al. (2008) used the Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment
(EIO-LCA) to analyze the environmental impacts of consumption,
and developed a benchmarking DEA model for assessing the relative efciency of commodities and household types. Lozano et al.
(2009) applied DEA as a benchmarking tool to the assessment of
the operational efciency of mussel cultivation in rafts along with
LCA. Vzquez-Rowe et al. (2012) combined LCA and DEA in a hierarchical methodology to quantify the operational efciency of grape
production. In another work, Tatari and Kucukvar (2012) used an
input-oriented DEA model to rank the SPI of different construction
materials. In their study, they used the BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) software to quantify the
life cycle impacts and costs of exterior wall nishes, and used the
results in conjunction with the developed DEA model for SPI analysis. As one of the recent works, Egilmez et al. (2013) used the
hierarchical LCA and DEA approach to the sustainability assessment
of the U.S. manufacturing sectors sustainability performance.
The overarching goal of this paper is to develop an analytical
tool that can be used to analyze and compare the sustainability
performance of the U.S. food manufacturing sectors. In this case, a


G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820

joint application of two robust approaches is considered as the basis

of methodology. First, the sustainability assessment of food manufacturing sectors is performed with the EIO-LCA considering the
entire supply chain of each sector. Then, DEA models are developed
to compare the sustainability performance of U.S. food manufacturing sectors. It is believed that the hybrid usage of EIO-LCA and
DEA will enable us to make sound interpretations about each sectors environmental impact contribution and later on the proposed
synergistic hierarchical application will also provide signicant
insights about individual sectors performance with benchmarking
all food manufacturing sectors among each other based on the SPI
score, which is a normalized ratio of total production output to the
overall environmental impact. The rest of the paper is organized as
follows. Section 2 introduces the mathematical structure of the EIOLCA model, data collection, and input-oriented DEA approach. The
results are presented in Section 3. Finally, conclusions and future
work are explained in Section 4.

2. Methodology
2.1. Joint EIO-LCA and DEA approach
In this paper, a two-phase hierarchical methodology is developed to assess the environmental impacts of nations food
manufacturing sectors and compare them based on the performance metric, sustainability performance index (SPI). The
methodology basically consists of a joint application of the EIO-LCA
and DEA. The rst part quanties the environmental footprints of
selected sectors and the second part compares by determining the
efciency value of each sector, which is considered as SPI. In this
regard, the SPI is dened as the ratio of total production output to
the overall environmental impact. The SPI indicates how efcient
the production of food is with regard to the environmental impacts.
For a sector with higher SPI, higher production output is expected
to be provided with proportionally lower environmental impact.
To determine the SPI, DEA is employed due to its robust applicability to multiple input and output data. DEA measures the efciency
by utilizing the normalized input(s) and the normalized output(s)
as a single efciency score {output(s)/input(s)} without a need of
subjective weighting for inputs and outputs.
The rst phase of the hierarchical framework, LCA, consists of
two steps. First, the scope and goals are dened. The scope includes
the cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment of 33 major U.S. food manufacturing sectors based on their total production output (tons).
In addition, the goals are evaluating each sectors environmental impacts based on the selected impact categories, and nding
the top contributing sectors based on the highest shares in the
total environmental impacts. Then, EIO-LCA model is utilized to
determine environmental impacts of 33 U.S. food manufacturing
sectors including four land footprint categories: shery (gha), grazing (gha), forest land (gha) and cropland (gha) and three mid-point
indicators: water withdrawal, energy consumption and carbon
footprint based on total production output of each sector.
After developing LCA model to analyze the environmental
impacts of each manufacturing sector based on aforementioned
impact categories, the results are used as input in the second phase,
the DEA model. And later on, the selected environmental impacts
form the inputs of DEA model. On the other hand, the output is
the amount of food products produced by each food sector. After
integrating the results of the EIO-LCA model into DEA model and
solving the associated linear programming models, SPI scores and
rankings, target, and percent improvement potential values of each
manufacturing sector are presented and in the nal part potential
policy implications are discussed. The hierarchical methodology of
the EIO-LCA + DEA is summarized in Fig. 1.

2.2. Mathematical framework of EIO-LCA

The EIO framework is employed to analyze the
sustainability impacts of the U.S. food manufacturing
sectors from a holistic perspective. The EIO analysis
is a well-known and widely used sustainability impact assessment
method, which was theorized and developed by Wassily Leontief
in the 1970s, based on his earlier works of late 1930s, which were
recognized with the Nobel Prize (Leontief, 1970). The EIO-LCA
model enables to calculate the environmental impact data with
the EIO tables of the nations economy by using environmental
impact multipliers and the theory of linear algebra. EIO methodology has been used to analyze a wide range of policy issues in
environmental, economic and social areas, and several researchers
utilized the EIO model for analyzing the sustainability impacts
of infrastructures, energy technologies, sectors, international
trade, and household demand (Egilmez et al., 2013; Huang et al.,
2009; Huppes et al., 2006; Kucukvar and Tatari, 2011; Weber and
Matthews, 2007; Wiedmann et al., 2011).
In this paper, industry-by-industry EIO model has been utilized
(Kucukvar and Tatari, 2013). Then, a vector of total sustainability
impacts is formulated as follows:
r = Edir [(I DB)1 ] f


In Eq. (1), r is the total impacts vector that represents total sustainability impacts per unit of nal demand, and Edir represents
a diagonal matrix, which accounts for the direct environmental
impact values per dollar of output, I refers to the identity matrix,
and f is the total nal demand vector for industries. In addition,
B is the input requirements for products per unit of output of
an industry matrix, and D is the market-share matrix. Also, the
term [(I-DB)1 ] represents the total requirement matrix, which is
also known as the Leontief inverse and DB is the direct requirement matrix, which is denoted as A matrix in the Leontiefs model
(Leontief, 1970). For more explanation about the integration of
the supply and use tables into industry-by-industry input-output
model and calculation of the cumulative environmental impacts,
please see the research paper published by Kucukvar and Tatari
2.3. Data collection and mean normalization for DEA
The aforementioned EIO model was used for calculating direct
and indirect environmental impacts of 33 food manufacturing sectors, including carbon, energy footprint and water withdrawals and
land footprint categories as shery, grazing, forest land and cropland are then calculated by using the EIO model presented before.
Economic input-output table supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA, 2002) has used to calculate total production
output of each food sector. In addition, the EIO-LCA model has been
utilized to obtain energy, water and carbon footprint per dollar
output of each U.S. sector. Global Footprint Networks database is
also used to quantify the direct and indirect ecological land use of
food manufacturing sectors in terms of shery, grazing, cropland,
forest land and CO2 uptake land for carbon sequestration (GFN,
2010). These environmental sustainability indicators are dened
as follows:
The carbon footprint is a measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2 ), nitrogen oxides (N2 O), methane (CH4 ), and
hydrouorocarbon (HFC) emissions from fossil fuel combustion.
Also, direct CO2 and CH4 emissions related to animal feedstock production and direct CO2 emissions related to fertilizer
applications are included with in the scope of carbon footprint
calculations (CMU, 2002). In this analysis, all possible direct
and indirect emissions from food manufacturing sectors are

G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820


Fig. 1. Hierarchical framework of the proposed EIO-LCA + DEA methodology.

considered. All carbon footprint results are presented in terms

of metric tons of CO2 equivalents (t CO2 -eqv.).
The water withdrawals impact category is a measure of direct
and indirect water withdrawal by each food sector. The EIOLCA model uses the United States Geological Survey (USGS)
data to estimate direct water withdrawals for each consumption category such as power generation, irrigation, industrial,
livestock and aquaculture, mining, public supply, and domestic water use. Some of these USGS categories are then allocated
to different industrial sectors that are in the U.S. input-output
table (Blackhurst et al., 2010; CMU, 2002). The polluted water
is not included within the scope of water withdrawal calculations. Power generation and supply sectors water withdrawal is
primarily for cooling water and it is included in the water multiplier. All water withdrawals results are presented in terms of
kilo-gallons (kgal).
The energy footprint of each sector is calculated by summing
the energy content of different fuel types such as coal, natural gas, petroleum, biomass, waste and non-fossil electricity
(Hendrickson et al., 2005). The consumption values of major fuels
by industrial sectors are obtained from the U.S. input-output
tables (Joshi, 1999; CMU, 2002). The quantities of fuel consumptions are based on the average producer price of individual fuels
and are presented in terms of tera-joules (TJ).
The cropland footprint represents the most bio-productive of
all the land use types and includes areas used to produce food
and ber for human consumption, feed for livestock, crops, and
rubber (GFN, 2010). The National Footprint Accounts calculate
the cropland footprint according to the production quantities
of 164 different crop categories. The total ecological footprint
of cropland use (1.08 gha per capita) is obtained from GFN
and proportionally allocated to the agricultural sectors of the
U.S. economy using the U.S. Census Database which shows the
total harvested cropland for each agriculture sector (U.S. Census,
The grazing land footprint is calculated by comparing the amount
of livestock feed available in a country with the amount of
feed required for the livestock produced in that year, with
the remainder of feed demand assumed to come from grazing land (GFN, 2010). The total ecological footprint of grazing
use (0.14 gha per capita) is allocated to the U.S. agricultural

The forestland footprint is calculated based on the amount of lumber, pulp, timber products, and fuel wood consumed by a country
on a yearly basis (GFN, 2010). The total ecological footprint of
forest use (1.03 gha per capita) is allocated to the U.S. forestry
nurseries, forest products, and timber tracks sector.
The shery land footprint, in other words, shing grounds footprint is calculated using estimates of the maximum sustainable
catch for a variety of sh species. Marine areas outside continental shelves are currently excluded from the ecological footprint
accounts. Global footprint network used the catch data from the
UNs Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which is used to
estimate demand on shing grounds. Current accounts track both
sh catch for direct human consumption and catch for sh meal
(Kitzes et al., 2007). The EIO results calculate the direct and indirect consumption of shing ground based on nal demand of food
manufacturing sectors in U.S. (GFN, 2010). Assigned completely
to the U.S. shing sector is the total ecological footprint of shing
ground (0.10 gha per capita). See Wackernagel (1995) for more
information about the sustainability footprint indicators.
Table 1 presents the results of LCA model for 33 food manufacturing sectors. Since there is an imbalance in the data magnitude
due to multiple units, the mean normalization procedure has been
applied for the dataset obtained from the LCA model prior to
benchmarking. Similar normalization method was also applied in
previous DEA research conducted by Talluri and Paul Yoon (2000).
The mean normalization is simply conducted by calculating the
mean for each input and output category and dividing each input
or output data element by the respective mean.
2.4. Explanation of DEA model
In this paper, DEA is utilized as the linear programming based
mathematical optimization method to determine the SPI of U.S.
food manufacturing sectors. Merging LCA results including six environmental impact categories into a single efciency measure (SPI)
is the main reason of the complexity for performance assessment.
To combine multiple impact categories into a single value, SPI measurement requires assigning weights to each category to obtain
an overall score. To do so, prior studies have mostly used arbitrary equal weighting schemes or weights based on subjective
valuations (Huppes and Ishikawa, 2005). On the contrary, DEA


Table 1
EIO-LCA Results.
Energy FP (TJ)

Water withdrawals

FP (t)





Total production
output (tons)

Dog and cat food manufacturing

Other animal food manufacturing
Flour milling and malt manufacturing
Wet corn milling
Soybean and other oilseed processing
Fats and oils rening and blending
Breakfast cereal manufacturing
Sugar cane mills and rening
Beet sugar manufacturing
Chocolate and confectionery manufacturing from cacao beans
Confectionery manufacturing from purchased chocolate
Nonchocolate confectionery manufacturing
Frozen food manufacturing
Fruit and vegetable canning, pickling, and drying
Fluid milk and butter manufacturing
Cheese manufacturing
Dry, condensed, and evaporated dairy product manufacturing
Ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturing
Animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering, and processing
Poultry processing
Seafood product preparation and packaging
Bread and bakery product manufacturing
Cookie, cracker, and pasta manufacturing
Tortilla manufacturing
Snack food manufacturing
Coffee and tea manufacturing
Flavoring syrup and concentrate manufacturing
Seasoning and dressing manufacturing
All other food manufacturing
Soft drink and ice manufacturing

1.31E + 05
2.85E + 05
1.59E + 05
3.65E + 05
2.61E + 05
1.33E + 05
9.70E + 04
1.53E + 05
8.13E + 04
6.77E + 04
1.14E + 05
8.40E + 04
2.92E + 05
3.99E + 05
3.54E + 05
3.23E + 05
1.40E + 05
9.87E + 04
1.28E + 06
5.39E + 05
1.19E + 05
3.96E + 05
1.95E + 05
1.87E + 04
2.11E + 05
6.31E + 04
4.69E + 04
1.33E + 05
1.82E + 05
4.57E + 05
2.61E + 05
8.63E + 04
4.47E + 04

1.74E + 09
5.77E + 09
4.10E + 09
3.66E + 09
1.20E + 09
6.78E + 08
9.19E + 08
1.19E + 09
8.54E + 08
3.47E + 08
5.08E + 08
3.21E + 08
3.09E + 09
2.28E + 09
1.64E + 09
1.71E + 09
5.95E + 08
3.92E + 08
8.86E + 09
4.92E + 09
1.56E + 08
2.79E + 09
1.81E + 09
2.05E + 08
1.06E + 09
6.42E + 08
2.02E + 08
5.69E + 08
1.40E + 09
1.08E + 09
1.41E + 09
9.71E + 08
3.03E + 08

1.48E + 07
3.68E + 07
2.02E + 07
3.36E + 07
3.38E + 07
1.53E + 07
8.16E + 06
9.52E + 06
5.92E + 06
4.40E + 06
7.65E + 06
5.80E + 06
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3.09E + 07
5.51E + 07
5.29E + 07
1.93E + 07
9.55E + 06
3.36E + 08
5.46E + 07
9.96E + 06
3.22E + 07
1.63E + 07
1.68E + 06
1.70E + 07
4.70E + 06
3.15E + 06
1.13E + 07
1.64E + 07
2.99E + 07
1.83E + 07
5.76E + 06
2.95E + 06

7.72E + 04
2.04E + 05
3.09E + 03
2.98E + 03
6.50E + 03
4.81E + 03
1.37E + 04
1.17E + 03
5.79E + 02
1.22E + 03
3.53E + 03
2.63E + 03
2.04E + 05
5.05E + 05
2.84E + 04
6.13E + 04
1.04E + 04
4.79E + 03
6.37E + 05
4.35E + 05
5.91E + 06
1.96E + 04
1.42E + 04
7.02E + 02
1.01E + 04
1.43E + 03
6.16E + 03
4.61E + 04
1.93E + 04
2.45E + 04
2.93E + 03
1.61E + 03
4.47E + 02

4.12E + 05
4.67E + 05
3.36E + 04
2.02E + 04
4.06E + 04
1.10E + 05
1.86E + 04
7.78E + 03
5.26E + 03
1.06E + 04
3.80E + 04
1.15E + 04
8.91E + 05
5.37E + 05
4.13E + 05
4.44E + 05
1.41E + 05
4.86E + 04
4.83E + 07
1.12E + 06
9.79E + 04
1.02E + 05
5.51E + 04
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7.34E + 04
8.90E + 03
9.45E + 03
7.00E + 04
1.65E + 05
3.57E + 04
8.97E + 03
6.74E + 03
1.27E + 03

3.78E + 04
4.15E + 04
2.33E + 04
2.53E + 04
3.72E + 04
2.28E + 04
5.02E + 04
1.76E + 04
1.17E + 04
2.51E + 04
9.76E + 04
6.71E + 04
1.06E + 05
1.66E + 05
9.55E + 04
7.69E + 04
3.94E + 04
7.16E + 04
1.91E + 05
1.32E + 05
2.63E + 04
1.23E + 05
9.67E + 04
5.63E + 03
1.01E + 05
2.82E + 04
9.58E + 04
8.01E + 04
8.34E + 04
2.94E + 05
9.86E + 04
2.90E + 04
3.01E + 04

8.16E + 06
2.76E + 07
1.50E + 07
1.38E + 07
4.21E + 07
1.50E + 07
5.12E + 06
6.40E + 06
4.64E + 06
3.22E + 06
4.07E + 06
2.35E + 06
1.84E + 07
1.65E + 07
1.09E + 07
1.06E + 07
3.94E + 06
2.25E + 06
6.08E + 07
2.02E + 07
6.89E + 05
1.26E + 07
8.48E + 06
8.23E + 05
1.48E + 07
6.09E + 06
1.44E + 06
7.64E + 06
1.02E + 07
4.26E + 06
4.58E + 06
4.75E + 06
6.50E + 05

9.59E + 03
1.70E + 04
8.57E + 03
8.16E + 03
1.33E + 04
7.02E + 03
8.67E + 03
4.18E + 03
2.24E + 03
3.86E + 03
8.37E + 03
5.70E + 03
2.17E + 04
3.11E + 04
2.43E + 04
2.10E + 04
9.10E + 03
7.69E + 03
8.22E + 04
3.70E + 04
7.98E + 03
3.67E + 04
1.56E + 04
1.46E + 03
1.71E + 04
5.24E + 03
8.01E + 03
1.08E + 04
1.44E + 04
3.22E + 04
2.14E + 04
9.61E + 03
7.58E + 03

FP: Footprint.

G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820

Food manufacturing sector

G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820

compares alternatives solely based on mathematical optimization

theory, which does not require any prior subjective intervention
and weight assignment. The weighting of each impact category
is assigned by DEA through rigorous mathematical programming
that aims to compare the sustainability performance of each food
manufacturing sector with others.
As a result, this study integrates DEA as a benchmarking method
by aggregating undesirable environmental impacts of food manufacturing sectors into a single sustainability performance score.
In this regard, the literature is abundant with similar approaches
which utilized DEA models for sustainability performance measurement such as Korhonen and Luptacik (2004), Kuosmanen and
Kortelainen (2005). The notation for the general input-oriented
DEA multiplier model proposed by Charnes et al. (1978) is as follows.
Objective function:
max q =


r yro




Subject to


i=1 i



j = 1...M


vi 0


where j represents the total production output of DMU (food

manufacturing sector) j , that is being analyzed. Since total production output is the only output, output multipliers are not
needed for the proposed model. Due to the fact that corresponding DEA model does not force any weight restrictions
on environmental impact categories, the optimal weights (vi )
for the impact categories are enabled to maximize the relative
efciency of the DMU with respect to other compared DMUs
(Kortelainen, 2008). To solve this model as a linear program,
it is linearized by taking the inverse of the efciency ratio as
Objective function:

Subject to:


1 m

vi xij


j = 1...M


Subject to:

vi xio = 1




vi xij


j = 1...M




r yrj



vi xij 0 j = 1, ..., n



r , vi 0


where r is the output multiplier, vi is the input multiplier, o is

the DMU which is being evaluated, k represents the number of
outputs, m represents the number of inputs, j is the number of
decision making units, yrj is the amount of output r produced by
DMU j, and xij is the amount of input i used by DMU j. The objective function q is the weighted sum of outputs for the DMU under
The proposed DEA model consists of multiple inputs and output, which seeks to minimize the inputs to produce the desired
output. If the output cannot be produced by the combination of
the input of all the other DMUs (food manufacturing sectors, the
DMU in consideration is deemed on the efcient frontier and the
efciency value is measured as 100%. An efciency value of 100%
indicates that the corresponding sectors SPI score is 1. In cases
where the inputs of the other DMUs produce the output of DMU
in consideration, that DMU is considered as inefcient, which
indicates an efciency measurement that is less than 100% so that
an SPI score of less than 1. An efcient sector, in other words a
sector with an SPI score of 1, indicates that its overall environmental impact is proportionally less according to its production
output compared to other sectors input-output proportionality.
Similar application of sustainability scoring can also be found
in Korhonen and Luptacik (2004), Kuosmanen and Kortelainen
In this study, an input oriented DEA multiplier model was utilized, since the primary focus is to minimize the aforementioned
environmental impacts while obtaining the same level of total production output. Following is the formulation of the DEA model
Objective function:
max z =



i=1 i



j = 1...M


This mathematical model is solved through linear programming

and the efciency ratio is derived by taking the inverse of z. The linearized model is run 33 times to determine the optimal efciency
(SPI) for all food manufacturing sectors. After analyzing the SPI of
each sector, the sensitivity analysis is also conducted to understand the how each input category affects the SPI score in terms of
magnitude of change in SPI score, which is explained by the variations in specic DEA input variables. For sensitivity analysis, the
super-efciency DEA model was used to conduct sensitivity analysis (Zhu, 2001).
3. Results and discussion
3.1. Results of life cycle assessment
LCA results consist of 33 food manufacturing sectors environmental impact assessment results. Since the LCA results include a
large amount of data, graphical representation is preferred instead
of the conventional tabulated format to enhance the comparability
of the LCA results. LCA results are shown in Fig. 2 for top ten food
manufacturing sectors based on the highest contribution to total
environmental impact. In Fig. 2, the orange colored bars represent
the individual shares as percentages and the blue lines illustrate
the cumulative impact share of the top ten sectors.
3.1.1. Energy footprint
In terms of energy footprint (see Fig. 2a), animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering and processing sector is the dominant
sector with 16.9% share in total energy footprint. The remaining
sectors energy footprint ranges between 0.1% and 8%. And the top
ten sectors account for 80% of the total energy footprint.
3.1.2. Water withdrawals
Similar trend observed in energy footprint is also observed in
water withdrawals category. Animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering and processing sector are the dominant sectors with
15.4% share in total energy footprint. Remaining sectors have less
than 10% footprint and the top ten sectors account for 85% of the
total water withdrawals.


G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820

Fig. 2. LCI Results of top ten sectors for the selected environmental impact categories.

3.1.3. Carbon footprint

In carbon footprint category, animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering and processing sector has the greatest and most
dominant effect on the overall footprint compared to previous footprint categories as shown in Fig. 2c. The share of this sector is 35.2%
while the total share of top ten sectors is 87.3%. It is important
to note that in carbon footprint category, CO2 emissions (fossil and
process related), methane (CH4 ), nitrous oxide (N2 O), and hydrouorocarbons (HFCs) are also included.

3.1.4. Fishery
As one of the ecological indicators, expected results are observed
in shery (see Fig. 2d). The seafood product preparation and packaging is the dominant sector with 71.5% share. Remaining sectors
have less than 10% share. Animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering and processing sector follows the dominant sector with 7.7%
contribution. And, the rst ten sectors account for almost 100% of
the total shery.

3.1.5. Grazing
In grazing category, the overall ecological implication is dominated by animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering and
processing sector with a share of 89.9%, which was the dominant
sector in all three footprint categories (See Fig. 2e). The total share
of rst ten sectors is observed as almost 100%.
3.1.6. Forest land
Soft drink and ice manufacturing sector has the highest share
with 12.1% in forest category, as shown in Fig. 2f. The rst ten sectors shares range between 4% and 13%, which accounts for a total
share of 81.4%. It is also important to note that, in forest land category, individual sectors impacts are evenly distributed in terms of
% share values.
3.1.7. Cropland
As shown in Fig. 2g, the results associated with cropland category indicate that animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering
and processing sector is responsible for 16.5% of the overall impact

G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820




Wet corn milling



Beet sugar manufacturing






U.S. Average

















Tortilla manufacturing




Snack food manufacturing

Frozen food manufacturing


0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00


Cheese manufacturing


Poultry processing

0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00

Fig. 3. SPI scores and ranks.

in cropland category, which is the highest share. Remaining sectors

impacts range between 0.1% and 12%. The rst ten sectors account
for 85% of the total ecological impact.

are measured with least SPI scores. For instance, animal (except
poultry) slaughtering, rendering and processing is the major driver
of carbon, energy footprint and water withdrawals, grazing and
cropland categories and its SPI is found to be 0.47.

3.2. Results of data envelopment analysis

3.2.1. SPI results
DEA approach provides signicant insights into the sustainability performance of different sectors. The SPI results provide an
understanding about how food manufacturing sectors affect the
environment while producing food. In this regard, the total production output (K-ton) is determined as a positive indicator, whereas
the selected environmental impact categories are negative indicators. In this context, how the environment is affected? or how
environmentally efcient are the manufacturing sectors? are the
main subjects of interest in this research with the focus on the U.S.
food manufacturing sectors. Indeed, such a sustainability performance measurement can provide vital guidance to stakeholders
for a more effective policy making. This section presents the SPI
analysis results (See Fig. 3).
First of all, U.S. food manufacturing sectors are ranked based on
the SPI scores as shown in Fig. 3. The results indicate that the SPI
scores range between 0.13 and 1.0. Among the sectors, 14 food manufacturing sectors are found to be efcient whereas the remaining
19 food manufacturing sectors sustainability performance is classied as inefcient, which indicates that half of the food industrys
environmental impact is more severe compared to its benet to the
economy. It is important to note that more than 50% of total U.S.
food manufacturing sectors are found to be inefcient, and require
signicant improvements in their life cycles. The average SPI of 33
food manufacturing sectors is found to be 0.76 and over 40% of the
sectors sustainability performances are found to be below the U.S.
average. The most environmentally damaging sector is found to be
poultry processing compared to its total production output with
an SPI of 0.13.
It is important to note that there is a parallelism between
EIO-LCA and DEA results in terms of life cycle impacts and SPI
scores. The sectors with the signicant environmental impacts

3.2.2. Improvement potentials

DEA also provides quantitative guidance to inefcient sectors
in terms of percent improvements to reduce the environmental impacts while the production output is kept the same. The
projected percent improvements for inefcient sectors are summarized in Table 2 based on each environmental and ecological
impact indicator.
For example, based on DEA results, for Poultry Processing to
become 100% efcient, reductions of 88.7% in energy footprint,
89.0% in water withdrawals, 86.8% in carbon footprint, 96.4% in
shery, 91.1% in grazing, 86.8% in each of forest land and cropland
have to be achieved. The projected improvements for the 19 inefcient food manufacturing sectors are given in Table 2. Analysis
results also indicate that food manufacturing sectors, in average,
need to reach reduction of 54.8% in energy footprint, 54.9% in water
withdrawals, 53.2% in carbon footprint, 52.3% in shery, 48.1% in
grazing, 45.9% forest land and 70.3% in cropland, which dramatically points out that current food manufacturing processes cause
signicant environmental impacts.

3.2.3. Sensitivity analysis

This section provides insights about the average sensitivity
of each environmental impact category on the SPI of food manufacturing sectors. The sensitivity analysis provides an overall
understanding about the magnitude of change in the SPI, which
is explained by the variation in specic environmental impact
category. The sensitivity analysis is conducted with Zhus super
efciency DEA model (Zhu, 2001). Higher sensitivity indicates that
a relatively small change in an environmental input category will
have a relatively higher impact on the SPI score. The analysis results
indicated that the average sensitivity ratios ranged from 20.1%
to 49.2% (See Fig. 4). Forest land has the highest (49.2%) average


G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820

Table 2
Improvement Potentials.
Industrial sector

Energy FP


Carbon FP



Forest land


Poultry processing
Cheese manufacturing
Animal (except poultry) slaughtering,
rendering, and processing
Fluid milk and butter manufacturing
Frozen food manufacturing
Fats and oils rening and blending
Wet corn milling
Seasoning and dressing manufacturing
Snack food manufacturing
Ice cream and frozen dessert
Confectionery manufacturing from
purchased chocolate
Nonchocolate confectionery
Chocolate and confectionery
manufacturing from cacao beans
Cookie, cracker, and pasta
All other food manufacturing
Breakfast cereal manufacturing
Bread and bakery product
Flour milling and malt manufacturing
Coffee and tea manufacturing
































































Average of Inefcient Sectors

sensitivity ratio in comparison with other input categories, contrary

cropland is found to be the least sensitive (20.1%) input category.
Fig. 4 reveals crucial information about the relationship between
average improvement potential and sensitivity. According to Fig. 4
and conducted correlation analysis results shown in Table 3,
environmental impact categories with a lower sensitivity score
generally require higher percentage improvements to become
100% efcient and the indicators with higher sensitivity needs relatively less% reduction for the inefcient sectors to become 100%
efcient. In fact, according to the correlation results, there is a signicant negative correlation (p = 0.014 < 0.05, Pearsons r = 0.858)
between improvement potential and average sensitivity of environmental impact indicators (See Table 3). For example, forest land
has the highest average sensitivity ratio (49.2%) compared to other
inputs, whereas it requires relatively lower average improvement
potential (45.9%) compared to other impact categories.
Among the environmental impact categories, forest land, water
and energy footprint categories are found to be responsible for the
highest sensitivity. These three footprint categories indicate a high
impact on SPI with sensitivity values over 37%. In addition, animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering, and processing used
a high amount of water for production process. Hence, water use

When dealing with the policy making toward reducing environmental impacts of food manufacturing sectors, it is crucial
to consider both onsite and supply chain shares and signicant
contributor sectors with the average percent shares on the overall
sustainability footprint for each indicator category. To have an
overall understanding about the insight dynamics of life cycle
assessment, supply chain decomposition analysis is used as a
robust method. Studying EIO based life cycle impacts of food manufacturing sectors is important from the fact that supply-chain
and onsite impacts are both considered. Therefore, it is also crucial
to take a more detailed look into the supply chains of 33 food
manufacturing sectors. This section reveals the results of supply
chain decomposition analysis (See Table 4) for the top ten sectors
whose impacts are given as percentages in Fig. 2. The supply chain
decomposition analysis is performed considering the average percentage shares of the top ten sectors onsite and their supply chain




Carbon Foot print






Energy Foot print





3.3. Supply chain decomposition analysis


Forest Land
Water With drawals


category, which has the second largest sensitivity, should denitely

be considered to improve the relative SPI of this food manufacturing






Avg. Performance Improvement


Fig. 4. Sensitivity analysis and average improvement potential.



G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820

Table 3
Correlation analysis.



Pearson correlation
Sig. (2-tailed)




Pearson correlation


Sig. (2-tailed)


Correlation is signicant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

sectors environmental impact shares. A more detailed analysis is

also performed to show the top three contributor sectors in the
supply chains of top ten sectors for each environmental impact
category. The analysis results are highlighted as follows.
In energy footprint category, the average shares of the sectors
that are in supply chains accounted for a signicant amount with
82.1% share. On the other hand, onsite manufacturing energy
footprints are found relatively insignicant with an average of
17.9% share. The top contributing sector is found as electric power
generation, transmission and distribution (23.2% average share).
Cattle ranching and farming and wet corn milling sectors follow
with 19.6% and 17.2% shares.
In water withdrawals category, supply chains signicantly dominate the water withdrawals with an average share of 96.8%.
Further analysis results indicate that grain farming accounts for
an average of 76.2% share for the top ten contributing sectors supply chains. Remaining two sectors have relatively smaller percent
shares that range between 5% and 9%.
Similar to water and energy footprint categories, supply chains
are observed as the dominating part with 90.8% share compared
to onsite carbon footprint impacts. In specic, dairy cattle and
milk production sector has the greatest share with an average of
53.6% in the top ten contributing sectors supply chains.


In shery category, onsite shares of top ten contributing sectors

accounted for an average of 67.6%. The top three contributing
sectors in the supply chains are seafood product preparation and
packaging; fruit and vegetable canning, pickling, and drying; and
poultry processing with percent shares as 39.3%, 26.6% and 22.6%,
The ecological impact of grazing is also observed as heavily on
the supply chains of the food manufacturing sectors. The average percent share of supply chains is 93.4%. The most signicant
contributing sector in the supply chains is found to be animal
(except poultry) slaughtering, rendering, and processing with an
average percent share of 46%. Cattle ranching and farming sector
dairy cattle and milk production are following with 33.5% and
27.3% shares, respectively.
With regard to results of forest land category, supply chains of
food sectors signicantly dominated the overall forest land with
98.8% share. The top three sectors with the greatest average share
in the supply chains of the food manufacturing sectors are lodging
(32.2%), sawmills and wood preservation (17.7%) and paperboard
mills (15.9%).
In terms of cropland category, the total cropland usage is shared
between onsite and supply chains of the ten sectors with approximate shares of 60% and 40%, respectively. Soybean and other
oilseed processing sector is observed as the only signicant contributor in the supply chains with an average share of 22.9%.
The overall decomposition of LCA results by top ten sectors are
also illustrated in Fig. 5. The sectors in supply chains indicated over
80% share in all footprint, forest land and grazing impact categories.
On the other hand, in shery and cropland categories, over 60% of
impacts are attributed to the industries at the end of the supply
3.4. Discussion
The ndings of this paper reveal signicant insights to policy makers toward improving the overall supply chain-linked
sustainability performance of food manufacturing sectors, which
will require more detailed analysis of processes and consumption
behaviors. In fact, food consumption is estimated to have 2030%

Table 4
Supply Chain Decomposition Analysis.
Avg. Onsite Energy Footprint


Avg. Onsite Carbon Footprint

Avg. Supply-Chain Energy Footprint


Avg. Supply-Chain Carbon Footprint



Top Three Sectors in Supply-chains

1 Dairy cattle and milk production
2 Oilseed farming
3 Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution


Top Three Sectors in Supply-chains

1 Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
2 Cattle ranching and farming
3 Wet corn milling
Avg. Onsite Water Withdrawals
Avg. Supply-Chain Water Withdrawals
Top Three Sectors in Supply-chains
1 Grain farming
2 Cattle ranching and farming
3 Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution


Avg. Onsite Grazing

Avg. Supply-Chain Grazing
Top Three Sectors in Supply-chains
1 Animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering, and processing
2 Cattle ranching and farming
3 Dairy cattle and milk production


Avg. Onsite Cropland

Avg. Supply-Chain Cropland
Top Three Sectors in Supply-chains
1 Soybean and other oilseed processing
2 Flour milling and malt manufacturing
3 Wet corn milling






Avg. Onsite Fishery

Avg. Supply-Chain Fishery
Top Sectors in Supply-chain Fishery Impact
1 Seafood product preparation and packaging
2 Fruit and vegetable canning, pickling, and drying
3 Poultry processing


Avg. Onsite Forest Land

Avg. Supply-Chain Forest Land
Top Three Sectors in Supply-chains
1 Logging
2 Sawmills and wood preservation
3 Paperboard Mills





G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820

Fig. 5. The overall analysis of supply chain decomposition.

impact share on the overall environmental impacts of private consumption (Weidema and Wesns, 2008); (Tukker et al., 2009).
In this regard, grain farming and animal production-related sectors are found to have the greatest shares in the supply chains
in various impact categories including carbon, water and land
footprint. Similar ndings were also provided and more detailed
assessments are made for livestock and dairy products in several
works such as Lesschen et al. (2011), Leip et al. (2010), Weidema
and Wesns (2008). To improve the sustainability performance
of in these sectors, the food waste reduction, mobile combustion
impacts associated with food shopping, agricultural improvements
such as copper and methane reducing diets for dairy cattle, biogasication for water, land and carbon footprint reduction and power
saving improvements can be highlighted for specic improvement
areas to focus on. In this context, U.S. household consumptionfocused input-output LCA studies are also required for a more
holistic decision making (Kucukvar et al., 2013).
4. Conclusion and recommendations
In this paper, the U.S. food manufacturing sectors sustainability performance is analyzed considering seven environmental
impact categories and the production amounts as the output category. A hierarchical methodology is developed to quantify the
environmental impacts of 33 food manufacturing sectors and
benchmark them based on the SPI score. This study introduces a
new sustainability benchmarking methodology by taking various
environmental sustainability indicators into account and combining them into a single sustainability performance score with a
linear programming based benchmarking model (DEA). In this context, using DEA to compare the sustainability performance of food
manufacturing sectors by considering environmental impacts and
production outputs is also vital from sustainability assessment
perspective, since environment, ecosystem and economy are integral elements of the sustainable development.
The overreaching goal of this study is to contribute to the body
of knowledge on the sustainability performance analysis, represented with SPI of 33 U.S. food manufacturing sectors. The proposed
sustainability performance benchmarking model provides significant insights for the holistic sustainability assessment of U.S.
food manufacturing and offers vital guidance for decision makers,
regarding the relative SPI. LCA approach uses a set of useful sustainability assessment metrics such as carbon, water and energy
footprint, which enables us to see the overall picture about the
current scheme from an environmental perspective. On the other
hand, it would be interesting to create a sustainability performance index (SPI) as a combination of all sustainability assessment
metrics, which enables an overall comparison across the food manufacturing sectors. In doing so, the multidimensionality can be
summarized and total sustainability assessment picture can be presented for all food manufacturing sectors. Hence, this paper lls this

important research gap by providing a hierarchical approach that

consists of the EIO and SPI analyses.
Based on LCA ndings, animal (except poultry) slaughtering,
rendering and processing sector is found to have the greatest
impact on the energy, carbon, water withdrawals and grazing
and cropland categories. The same sector is also responsible for
the second greatest impact share on the forest land and shery
indicators. To improve the overall sustainability performance, the
processes performed in this sector has to be analyzed with a more
detailed process-based LCA to determine the potential improvement areas. Additionally, a supply chain decomposition analysis is
also conducted to analyze the driver sectors in each impact category
considering onsite and supply chain components. Results indicated
that supply chains of food sectors have over 90% shares in energy,
carbon and water withdrawals, forest land and grazing categories,
whereas a more balanced pair of shares is observed in shery and
cropland. To enable a successful policy making, the top three contributing sectors with the greatest impact shares are also provided
for each environmental impact category. For instance, grain farming drives the water withdrawal with average percent share of
73% on supply chains. According to the results of DEA model, the
average SPI score is found as 0.76, where 19 out of 33 sectors are
found as inefcient. The sensitivity analysis indicated that forest
land is the most sensitive input to the sustainability scores of food
manufacturing sectors. In fact, forests are the integral parts of the
ecosystems balance and millions of people depend on forests for
their livelihoods directly through the consumption and sale foods
harvested in forests, and indirectly through forest-related employment and income generation. Role of ecosystem services provided
by forests and trees include the integral support to agricultural production, protection of water and soil resources, contribution to soil
development processes, including increasing soil fertility, regulating climate and providing habitat for animals. From these aspects,
it is crucial to focus on forest land sustainability as one of the key
policy areas.
This research provides an overall understanding about the supply chain sustainability assessment of 33 U.S. food manufacturing
sectors. The authors believe that the ndings of this research will
provide an accurate guidance to stakeholders, scientists, and policy makers to improve the overall sustainability performance of
food manufacturing. If the limited resources and projects budgets
are considered, it is very important to prioritize the most problematic areas in terms of sustainability performance based on
the environmental impact areas prior to taking action. However,
this research needs to be extended with process-based LCA for a
more detailed impact assessment and potential improvement suggestions for the observed top contributor sectors. Especially, the
environmental implications of U.S. food manufacturing sectors are
not limited to the ndings of this research. Especially, excessive use
of fertilizer for crop cultivation and animal production can have
substantial adverse effects on environmental quality in terms of
eutrophication and acidication of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (Leip et al., 2011). In addition, imported products related to
food manufacturing are assumed to be produced with domestic
technologies. As economic input-output tables at national level
assume domestic production of imports, bringing input-output
tables in global dimension eliminates those errors. Thus, multiregional EIO models can be developed to link international trades
into single region EIO models. Studies pointing out the importance
of applying multi-regional EIO models can be found in literature
(Weber and Matthews, 2008; Hetwich and Peter, 2008).
For future research, a supply chain network focused sustainability performance assessment can extend the ndings (especially
the improvement paths) to a more detailed level. To add the time
dimension to sustainability policy making framework, a dynamic
modeling approach to food manufacturing sectors sustainability

G. Egilmez et al. / Resources, Conservation and Recycling 82 (2014) 820

policy making (similar to the system dynamics modeling application to holistic transportation sustainability policy making, Egilmez
and Tatari, 2011) can be useful to simulate the current results
and apply quantitative policy making alternatives for the long run
to stabilize the impacts. Additionally, more advanced DEA models such as cone ratio DEA and multi criteria decision making
approaches can be utilized to reect predetermined weights on the
inputs and can be compared with the results of current research.
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