Environmental and Economic Life Cycle Assessment of a Spanish whisky

Paper ID: 
Life cycle analysis (lca)
Published under CEST2023
Proceedings ISBN:
Proceedings ISSN: 2944-9820
Cely-Parra P., (Corresponding) San Miguel G., Beltrán M.
A considerable literature has been dedicated to evaluating the carbon footprint of fermented beverages such as wine and beer. However, far fewer studies have been committed to assess the environmental and economic sustainability of spirit distillates. The aim of this paper was to compile a complete life cycle inventory of a commercial whisky produced in Spain and to identify environmental and economic hotspots from a streamlined LCA. The system boundaries covered a cradle-to-gate approach, which included production and transport of raw materials (barley and corn), whisky manufacturing including distillation, packaging and distribution. Two functional units were considered: 100 l of whisky and one degree of alcohol content. The analysis considered four impact categories including climate change, acidification, eutrophication, and tropospheric ozone formation, calculated using the EF 3.0 impact assessment method. The results described that most of the impacts associated with this product were attributable to packaging, followed by grain alcohol and cereal production. Environmental impacts generated by the fabrication were very limited, although this stage contributed significantly to the life cycle cost of the final product. Packaging burdens (mainly from the glass bottle) can be minimized through reuse or recycling strategies.
whisky, spirituous, LCA, life cycle assessment, carbon footprint