Case study: Deforestation and land-use change

Farming and forestry are major drivers of tropical deforestation – and associated carbon emissions and biodiversity loss – due to the expansion of cropland, pasture and forest plantations. However, these impacts are not captured well by the PRINCE land use indicator, because it is not sensitive to land-use change: it does not differentiate between, for example, production that takes place on established agricultural land (or plantation forest) and production taking place on newly cleared forest.


This case study used a land-balance model and data from a variety of sources to estimate the quantity of deforestation and peatland drainage, and the associated influence on carbon emissions, for land-based production in Sweden’s supply chains. It then allocated these emissions to different consumed product groups found in EXIOBASE.

According to this method, in the period 2010–2014 Swedish consumption was associated with the loss of around 7300 hectares of tropical forest every year (averaged). Nearly half of this deforestation occurred in Latin America, the remainder in Asia and Africa. The resulting carbon emissions amounted to 3.9 MtCO2/yr, a substantial contribution to the overall carbon footprint of Swedish food consumption.

Watch Martin Persson present these findings (Swedish)