Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an investigation of the full range of environmental impacts that result from the existence of a given product or service, and is sometimes referred to as 'cradle-to-grave’ analysis. In terms of agricultural produce, this refers to the impact of a crop (for example) at all stages of its growth, processing, transport, use (consumption) and waste disposal; although where elements of the system are the same regardless of the production system (e.g. the energy used in cooking), these are often omitted from studies for the sake of simplicity (unless they are key to the purpose of the work).

In recent years, AERU have carried out a number of projects that have adopted elements of a LCA approach, and have developed an extensive database of relevant emission factors etc, that makes us ideally placed to carry out this type of work quickly and economically. Example projects include:

Our LCA work has also been used by clients outside of the agricultural sector, including as part of a wider project examining the environmental implications of adopting a PSS (Product Service System) based approach to the supply of car seats, as part of the Re-engineering Business for Sustainability (REBUS) project.

Information on other relevant projects can be found on our Projects page.

University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire, 2017.