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W w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 1 Environmental impact indicators and potential applications to food.

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Presentation on theme: "W w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 1 Environmental impact indicators and potential applications to food."— Presentation transcript:

1 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 1 Environmental impact indicators and potential applications to food supply chains Benoît GABRIELLE INRA - AgroParisTech Environment and Arable Crops Research Unit Grignon, France Benoit.Gabrielle@agroparistech.fr

2 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 2 Outline of talk Environmental impacts: what do we want to assess and why? A host of available methods Applications to production systems and food chains Conclusion and challenges ahead

3 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 3 The world as a bio-refinery ? Seeking synergies between the biosphere and technosphere to: 'Loop the loops' Reduce waste outputs Minimize adverse environmental impacts

4 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 4 Environnemental labelling Proposal for product labelling according to the 'Grenelle' Environment round table in France (Erns & Young, 2009) Overall score Wildlife Natural resources Climate

5 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 5 What is environmental performance ? One of the sustainability criteria for agricultural systems and food supply chains May be achieved by minimizing impacts per 'unit function' of a given system: –Biomass (food) output ? –Hectare of cultivated land ? –Number of employees ? –Other ecosystem services ? (eg, landscape quality, biodiversity)

6 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 6 Example: energy optimum for wheat yields Here, the performance indicator is the amount of fossile energy expended per ton of wheat grains.

7 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 7 From management practices to environmental impacts Practices State Emissions Impacts Fertilizer N inputs Catch crop Manure management Nitrate leaching NH 3 emissions N 2 O emissions Groundwater pollution, Atmospheric N deposition Enhanced greenhouse effect Human health Eutrophication Biodiversity loss Climate change Depletion of natural resources Source: C. Bockstaller

8 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 8 The 'indicator industry' (Y. Rydin, LSE) CASDAR PLAGE Source: F. Vertès, INRA Rennes

9 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 9 A typology based on the systems and functions assessed Chains/end-products: life-cycle assessment, ecological footprint, food-miles Production site (incl. Agricultural farm): 'Carbon Budget' (ADEME), PLANETE, DEAG... Field/landcape-scale: agri-environmental indicators, biophysical models, monitoring of proximate impact variables … and all possible combinations depending on the particular objectives at hand!

10 Life Cycle Assessment for biofuel (or food) chains Goal and scope definition Inventory of extractions and emissions Impact assessment Uncertainty analysis Interpre- tation Agricultural inputs agricultural production conversion distribution /storage combustion system boundary Indicator i =Σ j (substance j x factor i,j ) Source: C. Bessou (ISO standards 14040) Environment

11 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 11 Main purposes of LCA Chain optimization –Detection of 'hot-spots', and mitigation –Eco-design Strategic planning Decision support in public policies Marketing (labelling)

12 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 12 Application to agricultural products A broad range of environmental impacts : CO 2 Water bodie s NO 3 P Fertilizers Pesticides Manure So il Soil organic matter N 2 O, CH 4, NH 3, NO, Pesticid es Eutrophication Global warming Air pollution Pesticides, Trace contaminants Acidification Human health Ecotoxicity Depletion of resources

13 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 13 Outline of talk Environmental impacts: what do we want to assess and why? A host of available methods Applications to production systems and food chains Conclusion and challenges ahead

14 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 14 Past examples (not comprehensive!) Whole-chain approaches –Bio-energy chains, green chemistry products –Management of organic waste (urban waste composts) –Food supply chains (organic bread) 'Step-by-step' approach –Changes in pesticide products, fertilizer management Systems approach –Cropping systems (organic, integrated pest management – FAL Agroscope, Switzerland) –Cattle and swine farming, aquaculture (eg, INRA Rennes)

15 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 15 Example 1: Production of pig meat (C. Basset-Mens and H. van der Werf, INRA Rennes) 1. Good agricultural practices (GAP) (aka conventional) 2. Red Label (RL) (« Porc fermier Label Rouge ») 3. Organic Farming (OA) Overall goal: comparison of 3 production scenarios:

16 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 16 The pig production system Animal feed, pig meat Fertilizers, machinery, pesticides Production of soybean, sunflower, sugarcane (overseas) Fuel and electricity Production of oilseed rape and sugar-beet (France) wheat, corn, barley, pea, and triticale (Brittany) Production fo pulps et cakes Production of feed Mineral supplements Storage of manure Production of piglets Production de charcutiers Hogs End-product Production of cakes and molasses Fuel and electricity Diapo: Hayo van der Werf Atelier 'animal'

17 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 17 Contribution of system components, hectare basis B: Good agric. Practices L: Red LabelA: Organic farming

18 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 18 Normalized impacts (per kg of meat) Y = Impact/54,4 kg porc Impact/european inhabitant X 100 GAP: Good agric. Practices RL: Red LabelOA: Organic farming

19 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 19 Example 2: bread supply 1/3 Source: G. Reinhardt Organic or conventional Industrial or domestic milling Industrial, bakery or home baking

20 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 20 Example 2: bread supply 2/3 Source: G. Reinhardt Baking

21 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 21 Example 2: bread supply 3/3 Source: G. Reinhardt

22 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 22 Filière courte Colza Crop Production Transformation Cattle Production Oilseed rape (OSR) Pays de Loire, Centre SOYBEAN BRAZIL Farm crushing Industrial crushing OSR Ration SOYBEAN Ration Inputs Transport Filière longue Soja Comparison of locally-produced rapeseed cake vs soy cake as protein concentrate in dairy farms in Pays de Loire (Western France). Lehuger et al., J. Cleaner Prod., 2009 33.3 kg milk/d 29.6 kg milk/d Example 3: local vs global feed supply chains

23 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 23 Relative impacts of the two rations (per kg milk) Le colza consomme plus d'engrais de synthèse – et l'écart avec le soja n'est pas compensé par les transports transatlantiques.

24 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 24 Breakdown of the Acidification impact (per kg milk) Possible improvement: using rapeseed oil as biofuel in tractors (which reverses the trend between soybean and oilseed rape rations).

25 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 25 Conclusion on the application of LCA Ranking of systems varies across impact categories. Thus, there is often no fully optimal system. There is a trade-off between global and local impacts, and land-use. Indicators are more contrasted for supply chains than agricultural production systems. Few examples of use in decision-making as yet (but certification and labelling offer rapid prospects). Despite its advantages in principle, the methodology faces a series of limitations.

26 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 26 Pros & cons of LCA LCA is a relatively complex method Some of its components are highly uncertaint (eg field emissions) Its indicators are usually not normalized It is not suitable to score 'qualitative' impacts (eg soil quality or biodiversity) The method is transparent and repeatable LCA can respond to system management scenarios (inasmuch as emissions may be predicted) It is one of the most comprehensive methods It is increasingly used in environmental management (industry, also in the agricultural and food sectors)

27 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 27 How to improve the reliability of LCA Kaiser et al., 2000 Compilation of N2O emissions data across crops, locations, and climatic years in Germany, in relation to fertilizer N rates. LCAs carry uncertainties on the emissions fluxes, and their variability in relation to soil/climate conditions and management practices (and their interactions within cropping systems). Envelope of the 'IPCC (1996)' relationship

28 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 28 Consequences of uncertainties on emissions Uncertainty in the CO2 emissions of biofuels Fossil fuels uncertainty  4g CO 2eq /MJ Biofuels uncertainty  10-40g CO 2eq /MJ => due to N 2 O JRC/EUCAR/CONCAWE 2008

29 w w w. a g r o p a r i s t e c h. f r Séminaire Filières Courtes 19 Novembre 2009 29 Future research on environmental assessment (and food supply chains) Taking into account local characteristics in: –Environmental emissions (farm scale) –Fate and damage of pollutants (regional scale) Applying LCA to real farm systems (internalizing the decision components when exploring scenarios) Using LCA as an eco-design tool (reverse engineering?) Combining LCA with socio-economic assessment (and foresight scenarios) How do we assess multi-functional systems ? Transferring evalution methods to stakeholders –Construction of (open-access) data bases –Develop simplified, screening tools

30 Life Cycle Assessment for biofuel (or food) chains Goal and scope definition Inventory of extractions and emissions Impact assessment Uncertainty analysis Interpre- tation inputsagricultural production conversion distribution /storage combustion system boundary Indicator i =Σ j (substance j x factor i,j ) Impact categories: -Global warming -Consumption of non-renewable ressources -Eutrophication of ecosystems -Air quality (ozone) -Toxicity, ecotoxicity -....


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