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Life Cycle Assessment of agri-food systems

An operational guide dedicated to emerging and developing

by Claudine Basset-Mens (editorial coordination), Angel Avadí (editorial coordination), Cécile Bessou (editorial coordination), Ivonne Acosta-Alba (editorial coordination), Yannick Biard (editorial coordination), Sandra Payen (editorial coordination)
Collection: Savoir faire
december 2021

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DOI : 10.35690/978-2-7592-3467-7

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the internationally recognized method to assess the environmental impacts of products and services. Its application to agri-food systems in developing or emerging contexts is recent and represents many challenges of scientific, partnerial and operational nature. With more than 10 years of scientific and field experience, the CIRAD LCA team has synthesized, with other internationally recognized experts, the best knowledge and approaches available to apply LCA under these conditions. This operational guide is a useful tool for LCA practitioners; it provides best practice recommendations to carry out LCA studies on agri-food products in developing and emerging contexts.

Table of contents


Part 1. Introduction
Chapter 1. LCA within developing and emerging economies

Land tenure issues
Environmental vs. economic development concerns
Most developing and emerging countries are located in the tropical zone
Inadequate input issues
Research and development priorities and capacities
Chapter 2. The purpose of this operational guide
Chapter 3. Standards, guidelines and tools
Chapter 4. Preparation process and intended audience

Part 2. Agri-food LCA in developing and emerging contexts
Chapter 5. State of the art of agri-food LCA

Chapter 6. Specific challenges for agri-food LCA in developing and emerging contexts
Diversity of agri-food systems due to specific natural conditions and combined socio-economic constraints
Data gaps on the systems to be characterized
Varying awareness and capacities of stakeholders
Chapter 7. Established and emerging initiatives

Part 3. Overcoming the challenges for robust agri-food LCA in developing and emerging economies
Chapter 8. Co-designing the study with stakeholders

Overview of the approach
Critical analysis of the demand, constraints and avoidance strategies
The community of the study
Working as a team in the field
Management of ethics and rights for stakeholders
System boundaries, typologies and sampling strategies
Chapter 9. Building life cycle inventories
Foreground data collection
Direct field emissions
Background data collection
Quality management and critical review (CR)
Chapter 10. Performing impact assessment
Overview of available and recommended sets of LCIA methods
Impact categories
Chapter 11. Interpreting the results for each stakeholder category
Accounting for uncertainty in LCA studies
Comparing results with previous studies
Sharing and communicating results to support decisions

Part 4. Conclusions and moving forward
Part 5. Appendices

Appendix A. Guidelines / ISO Norms: a brief overview
ISO, 2006. ISO - 14040:2006 - Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Principles and framework, Environmental Management
ISO, 2006. ISO - 14044:2006 - Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Requirements and guidelines. Geneva
Appendix B. Commonly used direct field emission models
Appendix C. LCA resources

Networks and platforms
Databases and software
Research and universities
Appendix D. Data collection and confidentiality: check list and points of vigilance
Data collection and confidentiality
Points of vigilance
Tools and best practices for data management
Appendix E. Recommendations for designing a sampling protocol according to PAS 2050-1
Appendix F. Best practices for agri-food LCAs at the system level
Appendix G. Free tools to model field emissions for LCI

Emission models online
GHG calculators
Appendix H. Detailed guidance on impact categories
Global Warming or Climate Change impact
Soil quality impact
Human toxicity and ecotoxicity
Biodiversity due to LULUC
Water scarcity footprint

Appendix I. LCIA methods recommended by the Life Cycle Initiative and EF 3.0
Appendix J. Detailed guidance on the use of the qualitative assessment of data in LCA according to the European PEFCR Guidance (EC 2018)

Qualitative diagnosis
Uncertainty approximation
Appendix K. How to display LCA results while avoiding bias due to visualization choices?
Refer to “useful ink” concept
Which type of graph is the most effective for most LCIA results? (histograms)

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Language(s): English

Publisher: Éditions Quae

Edition: 1st edition

Collection: Savoir faire

Published: 17 december 2021

EAN13 eBook [PDF]: 9782759234677

EAN13 eBook [ePub]: 9782759234684

DOI eBook [PDF] : 10.35690/978-2-7592-3467-7

Pages count eBook [PDF]: 210

Interior: Colour

Reference eBook [PDF]: 02818NUM

Reference eBook [ePub]: 02818EPB

Size: 14 Mo (PDF), 7,2 Mo (ePub)

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