Showing results for: Life cycle analysis
The Swiss Federal Research Station Agroscope and the consulting firm Quantis, have launched the World Food LCA Database (WFLDB). Launched in 2012, it aims to provide reliable and up-to-date data for more accurate food and beverage life cycle assessments (LCA), decisions and communication. The overarching goal is to bring together experts from all stages in the food chain to develop a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory database for accurate life cycle assessments (LCA).
Achieving food system sustainability is a global priority but there are different views on how it might be achieved. Broadly three perspectives are emerging, defined here as: efficiency oriented, demand restraint and food system transformation. These reflect different conceptualisations on what is practically achievable, and what is desirable, underpinned by different values and ideologies about the role of technology, our relationship with nature and fundamentally what is meant by a ‘good life.’
The FCRN’s Tara Garnett has a new paper published in the Journal of Cleaner Production. In it, she looks at the very different ways in which stakeholders conceptualise the food sustainability problem and what constitutes a desirable ‘solution.’ She argues that these different views are underpinned by different values and ideologies and shows how different stakeholders select and interpret the evidence from life cycle assessment (LCA) to argue their positions.
This evidence review, commissioned by DEFRA and undertaken by the consultancy Best Foot Forward, critically assesses and summarises data around two key objectives:
- What are the ‘hotspots’ (i.e. points of greatest environmental impact) along the food consumer journey?
- What mechanisms are available and most effective for influencing consumer behaviour at those hotspots?
A company wishing to market its product as green in several Member State markets faces a confusing range of choices of methods and initiatives, and might find it needs to apply several of them in order to prove the product's green credentials. This is turning into a barrier for the circulation of green products in the Single Market.
FCRN network member Hannah Tuomisto has co-authored a life cycle analysis of (hypothetical) in-vitro meat production here: Tuomisto H L, Teixeira de Mattos M J (2011) Environmental Impacts of Cultured Meat Production. Environ. Sci. Technol. dx.doi.org/10.1021/es200130u
A lifecycle assessment study, carried out by PE International, measured the greenhouse gas emissions emitted from the production of a number of dairy products in Australia to identify the industry’s overall carbon footprint. An industry cross section of primary data has been analysed from 140 farms across Australia.
This paper, co written by FCRN mailing list member Kurt Schmidinger argues that the ‘missed potential carbon sink’ - - the carbon sequestering opportunity cost of using land for livestock (and presumably for other agricultural commodities as well as for other activities) needs to be taken into account in calculating the CO2eq emissions arising from any activity.
The goals of this study were to: (a) develop a robust, model-based life-cycle GHG emissions comparison of organic and conventional farming methods for a relatively large selection of crop products;
The Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum has published a study on Scottish produced suspended mussels and intertidal oysters.
The study considered the cradle-to-gate impacts of the shellfish, from spat collection in the case of mussels, and hatching in the case of oysters, through growing, harvesting, depuration, and packing ready for dispatch. To illustrate the carbon impacts of the full life cycle, a scenario is included that, based on various assumptions, illustrates the potential impacts of distribution, retail, consumption and disposal of the shells.
This study finds, unlike many LCAs, that the environmental (including GHG) impacts of the grass-based dairy farm are lower than for the farm where livestock are confined. The area of land required is also lower in the grass-based than in the confinement based farm.
This paper looks at the GHG, energy and biodiversity implications of different types of farming systems, taking into account alternative possible uses, and environmental implications of those uses, for any land freed by more intensive production practices (the opportunity cost).
This study, commissioned by the Australian Egg Corporation, investigates the egg industry’s impacts in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water use. It looks at both caged and free range egg production.