Presentation on theme: "LCA of Food including Land Use issues: A challenge to be met Ulrike Bos, Matthias Fischer University of Stuttgart, Dept. Life Cycle Engineering Sabine."— Presentation transcript:
LCA of Food including Land Use issues: A challenge to be met Ulrike Bos, Matthias Fischer University of Stuttgart, Dept. Life Cycle Engineering Sabine Deimling, Torsten Rehl PE INTERNATIONAL
Plants – Animals – Land Use
Characteristics of agrarian (crop and animal) systems Differences of agrarian systems compared to industrial processes: No technically determined border to the environment Complex and indirect dependence of the output (harvest, emissions) from the input (fertilizers, location conditions, etc.) The variety of different locations, climatic regions etc. Soil variability within and between locations The large amount of farms The variety of agricultural and animal husbandry practices Variable weather conditions within and between different years Great variation in pests and parasites, diseases, weeds Different crop rotations (to consider especially in LCAs for annual crops) New generic plant and animal model were required
The plant model within the software GaBi 4 Can model different locations worldwide farming systems; it accounts for variations in rainfall and temperature, soil chemical fertiliser and manure use use of agrochemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc.) mechanical operations (ploughing, seeding, harvesting, irrigation, etc.) Covers a range of environmental issues considers land use changes (deforestation, slash and burn) carbon balance is properly assessed covers impacts such as eutrophication, which play a major role in agricultural production systems The model is technically robust and comprehensive; accounting for all renewable energy in the biomass (particularly relevant for crops grown for energy) emissions from erosion, fire clearing and background emissions the balance of nutrient transfers within crop rotations and the use of cover crops
The plant model within the software GaBi 4 The model also accounts for the nitrogen cycle: This is the most complex aspect of the model and affects a number of key emissions having environmental relevance in most LCA studies including NO 3 - in water and N 2 O, NO and NH 3 into air. Many forms of N involved N-based emissions affect several important impact categories Small differences of inputs can lead to large variations in LCA-relevant emissions and outputs Important balance numbers are known only imprecisely Coupled over mass balance
The plant model within the software GaBi 4 How does it work? General agricultural process Clearing process Agro- chemical processes Adaptation of nutrients Reference system Land use Fertilization
The animal model within the software GaBi 4 A model for animal processes was developed and implemented in the GaBi software: Can model different locations worldwide farming systems; it accounts for variations in climate conditions life stock husbandry systems (pasture, stall) Covers a range of environmental issues considers direct and indirect emissions methane emissions from digestion and respiration methane, nitrous oxide, ammonia, etc. emissions from storage and field application of solid and liquid manures The model is technically robust and comprehensive; accounting for the balance of carbon and nitrogen between fodder input and output products and wastes
Milk Production Overview
Land Use Methodology Land use changes the quality of the land and the ecosystem services provided by the land Land use indicator value flows can be defined for five land use indicators Based on the calculation of changes between the quality of the land in different stages of use (before use, during use, after regeneration) To calculate land qualities, quantitative site-specific input parameters have to be provided Calculation Tool: LANCA ® (Land Use Indicator Calculation Tool) Lindner, LBP, 2009 Land Use method developed by LBP-GaBi Basic Overview
Land Use Indicators Whats included? Using Land Use data in GaBi Enter land use indicators as inputs when creating a new process View the results in the balance view under quantities drop down menu Land Use IndicatorDescription Erosion resistancecapability of soil to prevent soil loss (kg of erosion) Physicochemical Filtrationability of soil to absorb dissolved substances from the soil solution to prevent pollutants entering the soil matrix (characteristic value: cation exchange capacity) Mechanical Filtrationmechanical ability of soils to clean a suspension through the binding of pollutants on soil particles (soil permeability) Groundwater Replenishmentcapacity to regenerate groundwater (ground water replenishment rate) Biotic Productionability of the ecosystem to produce biomass (net primary production)
Key findings 1/4 Consideration of the methods of production – conventional / ecological Ecologically / biological produced raw materials are not per se more eco-friendly. Ecologically produced raw materials have not generally a lower Carbon footprint. Within some types of agriculture an ecological production of crops has to be questioned. Toxicities are not considered. Individual case studies are essential.
Key findings 2/4 Consideration of the consumer styles - seasonality AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAI JUNE JULY Apple harvest Germany Apple harvest New Zealand Apple consumption Long transportation distances do not play the decisive role from an ecological point of view – rather the transport type, capacity utilization etc. More crucial for the production of fresh products is the moment of consumption in comparison to the moment of manufacture.
Key findings 3/4 Consideration of the consumer styles – local production Scenario 1: Cultivation in Spain Purchase in the Supermarket Consumption in Germany Scenario 2: Cultivation in Germany (regional) Purchase in the farm shop Consumption in Germany Often the consumer behavior is crucial. The individual transports of the end consumer can compensate the benefits of the local production.
Key findings 4/4 Consideration of land use aspects - Production of 1 kg wheat flour Land use effects are mainly caused by the use of the land in order to produce 1 kg of wheat flour ( the actual agricultural process). Significant contributions are also caused by the upstream processes (lignite, hard coal) to produce the energy that is used in the mill.
Conclusions and outlook Various studies were done so far using the plant and animal model as well as analyzing land use effects. The plant and animal model (and the associated databases) within GaBi 4 allows the user to map the raw material production of any plants and meat/diary products manufactured worldwide for direct use in food products or used as fodder in animal production for final products (such as milk, cheese, meat etc.). Land use effects are integrated in the database and can be analyzed. Further development is in progress to integrate other issues into the software such as: Biodiversity Water
Contacts Dipl.-Geoökol. Ulrike Bos University of Stuttgart Chair of Building Physics Department Life Cycle Engineering Hauptstrasse Echterdingen Germany Tel.: +49(0) Fax: +49(0)