Greenhouse gases reduction potential through consumer's behavioral changes in terms of food-related product selection

Naoki Yoshikawa, Natsumi Fujiwara, Junko Nagata, Koji Amano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable consumption plays an important role in the mitigation of global warming and the conservation of energy. Promoting more environmentally responsible consumer behavior, especially through open communication between stakeholders, is one way to achieve low-carbon consumption. This study evaluates the potential for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through behavioral transformation of consumers in terms of their daily shopping habits. In this context, the behavioral transformative actions pertain to certain foods and daily necessities, and are analyzed from a life cycle assessment perspective. We developed multiple product-selection scenarios to evaluate GHG emissions related to the daily purchase of commodities. Based on the life cycle assessment, we estimated the GHG emissions that result from the production and distribution of these commodities, pertaining to both the current product selection and to a possibly improved selection. The results of our study show that because of seasonal consumption patterns and energy conversion, there is a substantial potential to reduce GHG emissions resulting from out-of-season produce cultivation. The GHG reduction potential is not high for each individual commodity because diverse commodities are needed on a daily basis. However, various actions in combination could have substantial potential for reducing emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1564-1570
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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