Agri-footprint®: a keystone database for sustainable food worldwide
Worldwide, about 25% of all life cycle assessments are related to the agri-food sector. Good databases such as Agri-footprint therefore have a substantial impact. Agri-footprint has been available to the LCA community since May 2014. Since its release, Agri-footprint has been used for many interesting applications, from labelling schemes to product design tools. I’d like to take a moment to give you an overview of the most representative developments.
Product design toolNestlé, a leading nutrition, health and wellness company, has developed and implemented throughout its research and development functions EcodEX, a simplified product ecodesign tool. As part of Nestlé’s commitment to continually expand the scope of the agricultural LCI database in EcodEX by using publicly available databases, the tool will integrate Agri-footprint 2.0. The results of product design scenarios will influence the development process of new products.
Scientific LiteratureVarious scientific publications are based on Agri-footprint input. An interesting example is a paper from Washington State University, which claims that a 12.4% reduction in the environmental impact of beef is feasible if genetic and reproductive technologies are widely implemented in the US.
Nowadays, many companies measure or want to measure the environmental performance of their products and organisation. To do this, they must choose from several methods and even more labels. In addition, mapping this performance costs a lot of money. Therefore, the European Commission proposed to develop two methods to measure environmental performance throughout the life cycle. The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) is one of these methods. Its aim is to increase reproducibility and consistency of product environmental footprint studies. Currently, the PEF project is in its pilot phase.
Product-specific Labelling Schemes
- Dairy products
- Cat and dog food