Understanding the impact of food

The challenge of making the global production and consumption of food more sustainable is becoming increasingly urgent. The growing world population and the even faster growing demand for environmentally intensive products is leading to the destruction of local and global natural capital. Natural areas are being reclaimed, agricultural land and water resources are being degraded, and the climate is changing. This situation is unsustainable. Making the global food production and consumption system more sustainable presents a major challenge to governments, businesses and consumers alike.

The challenge: making the change to a sustainable society

Businesses, governments and civil society organisations are looking for ways to tackle this problem and define the contours of a sustainable society. We see a growing need for a clear, comprehensive assessment of the sustainability of agricultural products and foods.

Growing need for a clear and comprehensive information

Accurate and clear information provides the essential basis for making the agri-food sector more sustainable. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method to assess environmental impacts of products and production chains. It is used to describe the whole life cycle of a product. All phases in the product's life cycle are analysed, from raw materials, packaging and transport to retail, consumption and waste processing – from cradle to grave. An LCA reveals the environmental impacts and where they occur in the chain (hotspots), allowing precise actions to be taken to improve processes and products. This can lead to savings in raw materials and energy use, in turn reducing costs.

Demand for agricultural LCAs

Worldwide, about 25% of all life cycle assessments are related to the agri-food sector. There is growing demand for agricultural LCAs. High quality and accurate data are crucial for conducting reliable life cycle assessments of agri-food products. Good databases have a substantial impact. Therefore, Blonk Consultants developed Agri-footprint®, the LCA food database. The aim of the database is to facilitate transparency and a more rapid transformation to sustainable food supply chains.

Since its release in 2014, Agri-footprint® has been used by various organisations for many interesting applications, from labelling schemes to product design tools.

Agri-footprint®: LCA food database

Agri-footprint is a high quality and the leading life cycle inventory (LCI) database for the agriculture and food sector. It covers data on agricultural products: feed, food and biomass and is used by life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioners. The database contains approximately 5,000 products and processes. In the last years Agri-footprint® is widely accepted by the food industry, LCA community, scientific community and governments worldwide and has been critically reviewed.

 

How to get Agri-footprint®?

Agri-footprint® is accessible via LCA software SimaPro

 

Agri-footprint® helps you with:


  • Carbon footprints
  • Hot-spot analyses
  • Environmental product declarations (EPD)
  • Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) screenings
  • (comparative) product Life Cycle Assessments (LCA)
  • Defining sustainable nutrition

Benefits in a nutshell

Some highlights of Agri-footprint®

3 allocation options

You can choose between 3 pre-defined allocation options: mass, energy and economic allocation.

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Water use

Extensive water use data (based on regional climatic data) is included in the database.

Unit processes

The processes are modelled as unit processes, so you can customize background data (e.g. inputs, outputs, allocation fractions) and recalculate the more specific product life cycle.

Food building blocks

A single database provides you a wide variety of food building blocks.

Detailed new transparent LCIs

Opportunity to get more out of your LCAs, such as:
  • Detailed data for calculating all the impact categories recommended by theILCD
  • Option to include ‘Direct Land Use Change’ (dLUC) in your climate change impact category to comply with PAS 2050 and ENVIFOOD

Efficiency: save time & money

Agri-footprint® makes your comprehensive food LCAs faster to perform. Eventually, it will lead to considerable time and cost savings.

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Consistency

Agri-footprint® makes your comprehensive food LCAs consistent. The database is 100% focused on agricultural products and contains high-quality data.

News

Latest news about Agri-footprint

Agenda

Agri-footprint related activities


12

June 2017

Webinar Series - Online Training: 12, 14, 22 & 28 June 2017

Introduction to Life Cycle Assessment of agri-food products

Blonk Consultants organises an online training on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), focused on agri-food products. A perfect start to gain better knowledge on Life Cycle Assessments. Read more!