Interregional bio-physical connections - A 'footprint family' analysis of Israel's beef supply system

Meidad Kissinger, Shira Dickler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The need to advance bio-physical accounting as a base for sustainability assessment has been acknowledged and advanced in recent years. One approach highly relevant to the 21st century global reality is the 'Footprint' - Ecological, Land, Water and Carbon. While each has merits and limitations, the potential to bring all together under the title of the 'Footprint Family' is emerging. This paper embraces a footprint family approach to analyze beef consumption in the state of Israel over a decade (1999-2010) and explore some tradeoffs between different biophysical components. The research results reveal that on average a tonne of beef consumed in Israel, reflecting a mixture of sources of supply from all over the world requires 9.5 ha of land and 10,000 m3 of water, mostly for grazing in Latin America (in Brazil and Argentina) but also for growing feed in the U.S and the E.U. Enteric fermentation, manure management, farm operations, shipping and slaughtering generate approximately 19.7 t of CO2e and the above can be integrated into an ecological footprint figure of approximately 6 global hectares. The paper also demonstrates the utility of inter-regional biophysical accounting at the detailed commodity level. Inter-regional accounting identifies the geographic locations that contribute resources to, and are affected by, the production of specific consumption products. Comprehensive interregional biophysical accounting can be used to generate a better understanding of the complex ecological impacts associated with most consumption products, and the implications of the relationship between these impacts for sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)882-891
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Indicators
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Beef
  • Consumption
  • Footprint family
  • International trade
  • Interregional sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences (all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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