AusAgLCI - the business case for investment in a national life cycle inventory for horticulture
Over the last decade there has been a significant focus on the environmental impact of products and services across the economy, resulting in environmental product declarations and delivery agreements where the supplier is required to demonstrate an on-going improvement program of environmental sustainability. Once action is required, primary producers need to be able to make an objective assessment of their overall environmental impact using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), so that hot spots in their production system can be identified, and options to reduce these impacts can be investigated. Country-specific Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) for agricultural products is essential for Australian agriculture to undertake environmental impact studies related to food and fibre, especially where differences in management systems and regional climate, soils and vegetation significantly affect LCA results. The goal of inventory collection for AusAgLCI is to provide underlying data to ensure Australian primary producers can readily, and objectively, demonstrate that their products are being produced in a responsible manner, in a system where environmental assessment is used to aid and drive improvements. This will assist producers to meet marketing requirements and to benchmark their production in global markets. This paper explores the relevance for horticulture industries and presents some inventory results for Australian horticultural products.
Eady, S.J., Grant, T., Hercule, J. and Deuter, P.L. (2016). AusAgLCI - the business case for investment in a national life cycle inventory for horticulture. Acta Hortic. 1112, 395-402
life cycle assessment, environmental impact, supply chain