EIA of US sugar beet and sugar cane production

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of sugar beet grown in the UK previously undertaken by AERU assessed a total of 13 production systems to the farm gate. They reflected variation in climate, soil type, supplementary nutrient application, crop protection regime, and irrigation. An EIA of sugar beet and sugar cane grown in the United States is currently being undertaken on behalf of Western Sugar with the following objectives:

  1. To apply life-cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental impact of crop inputs (pesticides, supplementary fertiliser, fuel to power machinery) and outputs (emissions to air, soil and water).
  2. Generate environmental impact profiles per unit area and per unit of yield (refined sugar).
  3. Compare the environmental impact of sugar beet and sugar cane to the farm gate, and compare within crop production methods where possible.
  4. Identify strengths and weaknesses with respect to the environmental impact of each crop and production system assessed.

The project will be completed in 2017.


Dr. Doug Warner



University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire, 2017.