Estimation of Carbon Footprint of Honey Production: A Case from China
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Institute of Agricultural Economics and Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
These authors had equal contribution to this work
Submission date: 2024-01-25
Final revision date: 2024-03-23
Acceptance date: 2024-04-13
Online publication date: 2024-05-10
Corresponding author
Jiarong Qian   

Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Institute of Agricultural Economics and Development, No. 12 Zhongguancun South Street, 100081, Beijing, China
The carbon footprint is used to quantify the amount of carbon emitted throughout the production process. It is considered a crucial environmental metric amid global warming concerns, drawing attention from both consumers and producers. Given China’s status as the leading producer of honey worldwide, there is a pressing need for an environmental sustainability metric to assess the life cycle carbon emissions associated with beekeeping with a view to sustainable development. This study assesses the carbon footprint of Chinese honey products from the “cradle” to the “gate”, revealing that the carbon footprint is 0.81±0.106 CO2eq/kg honey. This value is distributed across various stages of honey production, encompassing hive management, long-distance transport for pollination, honey extraction and processing, as well as the transport of processed honey. It is noteworthy that the calculated carbon emissions associated with these stages are 0.054, 0.339, 0.299, and 0.118 kg CO2eq/kg honey, accounting for 6.84%, 40.29%, 37.93%, and 14.92% of the total carbon emissions in honey production, respectively. This indicates that long-distance transport for pollination and the honey extraction process play a pivotal role in the honey production process, with fossil fuels consumed for long-distance transport and electricity consumed for honey extraction and processing being the primary sources.
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