Users

Agri-footprint® is developed by Blonk Consultants. The aim of the database is to facilitate transparency and a more rapid transformation to sustainable food supply chains. The first version of the database has been released in 2014, followed by an update in 2015.

The database is available in LCA software SimaPro

The database will help you to:

  • Perform food specific agri-food Life Cycle Assessments (LCA);
  • Access agri-food building blocks not offered by current databases;
  • Manage your own agri-food LCA data like other sectors (e.g. plastics industry, glass industry);
  • Use high quality data.

A little bit of history

The early years of Agricultural LCAs

In the 1970s and 1980s, most LCAs concentrated on food packaging (e.g. beverage containers, milk packaging, one-way versus returnable). The first agricultural LCAs were performed in the early 1990s.
Pioneering food LCA case studies include the following:
  • Tomatoes, by Gysi and Reist (1990)
  • Ice cream, by Bolliger and Zumbrunn (1991)
  • Margarines, by Unilever (Vis, Krozer, van Duyse & Koudijs, 1992)
The LCA of margarines was based on the first internal LCA study by Unilever in 1990. The system boundaries of this LCA are from the cultivation of oil crops to final product packaging (including crushing and oil refining). Software written specially for Unilever was used to conduct this LCA.

Learn more about the history of agricultural LCAs

Agri-footprint® timeline


Methodology

Methodology reports of Agri-footprint® 2.0

The methodology report of Agri-footprint® contains background information on the methodology, calculation rules and data that are used for the development of the data published in Agri-footprint® 2.0.

The background report is split in two documents.

  • Part 1 describes the overall methodology and basic principles like allocation, system boundaries, reviews and limitations;
  • Part 2 describes the data that is used to model the processes.

Download methodology reports


Products

Products included in Agri-footprint®

Agri-footprint® contains many inventories of food, feed and beverage related ingredients.


In total the database contains approximately 3,500 products and processes. Some examples:

  • Fertilizer industry: Calcium ammonium nitrate, Ureum, Di ammonium phosphate, NPK fertilizers
  • Vegetable Oil and Protein meal industry: Soybean oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, palm oil
  • Sugar industry: Beet sugar, Cane sugar
  • Starch industry: Maize starch, flour, potato starch, tapioca
  • Dairy industry: Milk, cream, milk powder
  • Meat industry: Beef, veal, broilers, pork

Environmental impacts

For several products of Agri-footprint® various environmental impacts are released.


The following environmental impacts are included:

Climate
Change


Climate Change from Land Use Change (LUC)*
Freshwater
eutrophication


Marine
eutrophication


Agricultural
land occupation


Water scarcity index
(Pfister et al., 2009)
* As there is yet no scientific consensus on suitable methods to address Land Use Change (LUC) it shall be reported separately

Pfister, S.; Koehler, A.; Hellweg, S. (2009) Assessing the environmental impacts of freshwater consumption in LCA. Environmental Science and Technology, 43(11), 4098–4104; DOI: 10.1021/es802423e

Land Use Change

Land Use Change is fully integrated

The impact of Land Use Change (LUC) on climate change is included in Agri-footprint® 2.0 as a separate flow. This allows you to choose to include LUC or not in your sensitivity analysis.

The comprehensive model used is the PAS 2050-1: Direct Land Use Change Assessment Tool. This direct land use change (dLUC) is based on country averages modelled in the tool.

Direct Land Use Change Assessment Tool

The ‘Direct Land Use Change Assessment Tool’ provides a predefined way of calculating greenhouse gas emissions from land use change. These emissions arise when land is transformed from one use to another. A well-known example is deforestation for the cultivation of crops such as soybean and oil palm. The tool gives insights in the emissions for a specific country and crop combination and attributes them to the cultivated crops. However, not in every case the previous land use is known. In this case the tool uses averages of land use change in the specific country, based on data from the database of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAOSTAT).

More information about the Direct Land Use Change Assessment Tool

Webinars

Learn more about Agri-footprint®: watch our free webinars

Regularly we organise webinars to inform you about Agri-footprint® and introduce you to new developments and their implications for the agricultural sector and the LCA community.

2016: Agri-footprint® 2.0 and SimaPro: Towards Sustainable Food and LCA Development

On 14th and 19th of January 2016 Blonk Consultants (developer of Agri-footprint®) and PRé (developer of SimaPro) organised a webinar about the updated version of Agri-footprint®.

2014: Introduction Agri-footprint®

On the 18th of June 2014 a webinar was held about Agri-footprint®.