Life cycle management: a new way of doing business

S.J. McLaren
In the last seven years there has been a marked change in the way that a number of large companies throughout the world address environmental management. Companies such as Unilever and Walmart have begun to adopt a product focus in their environmental management systems. This new focus has emerged from a realisation that the environmental impacts associated with these companies' own activities are, in many cases, insignificant compared with the environmental impacts associated with activities in the upstream and downstream supply chains associated with their products. Such insights are gained through Life Cycle Assessment studies that quantify the environmental impacts of product systems at different stages along the supply chain from extraction of raw materials, through production, distribution, use and on to final waste management. Horticultural products have not been exempt from these activities. Indeed, in some cases horticultural products have become a particular focus of attention as has occurred, for example, with the “Food Miles” issue for New Zealand apples exported to Europe. This paper discusses how the emergence and popularisation of the life cycle perspective - supported by Life Cycle Assessment and related environmental footprinting studies - is leading to development of “new ways of doing business” for stakeholders along horticultural supply chains.
McLaren, S.J. (2016). Life cycle management: a new way of doing business. Acta Hortic. 1112, 387-394
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1112.52
Life Cycle Assessment, environmental footprint, sustainable supply chain management

Acta Horticulturae