EU agrees law to fight global deforestation – does it reduce deforestation?

December 7, 2022 by Jannick Schmidt

Yesterday, the European Parliament and the Council agreed on a law to fight global deforestation caused by EU production and consumption[1]. The initiative to reduce deforestation is the most welcome! But is the EU actually reducing deforestation with the new regulation? In short, the EU wants to fine companies who imports or produce products from crops grown on land that was subject to deforestation after 31st December 2020. This means that products exported to the EU will have to be sourced from land that has not recently been subject to deforestation. This would imply that countries such as Brazil and Indonesia would have to make sure that their export to the EU comes from land deforested longer ago than 31 December 2020 – which is easy because more than 85% Brazil’s and 70% of Indonesia’s agricultural land would comply with this. Deforestation frontier countries such as Brazil and Indonesia just need to make sure to export from the recent deforested land to countries outside the EU, that’s the only thing needed – no need to halt deforestation. The EU basically just makes sure that deforestation can be blamed to countries outside the EU, while making no difference for the forests we want to protect.

If the EU wants to reduce deforestation, the most effective means are:
– Spend money on nature conservation.
– Impose import toll on all products from countries with high deforestation rates.
– Compensate countries for their protection of nature. Protection of nature poses an opportunity cost compared to cultivating the land. The EU cannot just ask the countries with high forest cover to bear the costs of deforestation.
– Support initiatives to increase yields – especially in countries with low yields and areas very prune to deforestation.

The current proposed regulation:
– Impose a ban on products from producers and countries, who have the option to make a big difference. A ban means that the EU is looking the other way and loses the opportunity for contributing to a green transition.
– This loss of opportunities actually means that the new regulation potentially has a higher environmental impact than business as usual.

Read more here:


LCSA database and method

September 28, 2022 by admin

This summer we published our new fully quantitative Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) method and database, all open access. We call it the 2021 Social Footprint method. Social as in welfare economics: ‘An accounting that encompasses the entire societal economy’, not limited to Social as one of the triple bottom lines. And 2021 to signal a significant update from the first 2018 publication.

This month, I presented the method at the 8th International Social Life Cycle Assessment Conference in Aachen, and you can now view the presentation on our YouTube channel. Some important highlights:

  • The impact categories are now based on the ‘capitals’ approach, which ensures complete coverage of impacts on all global assets: natural, manufactured, intellectual, human capabilities, and social networks, while still being quantifiable in the same unit of Quality-Adjusted person-Life-Years (QALYs).
  • Data are available for 163 countries (> 99% of the World in terms of GDP, population, and impacts), bounded by the subjective wellbeing data from the annual UN Happiness reports.
  • Low requirement for company-specific data.
  • 78% of the global impacts are related to inequality in income, which means that results are very easy to interpret and act upon: The more even the income levels are in the product life cycle, the better the social footprint. Once you have identified the hotspots in the life cycle in this way, the database provides ample options for identifying which impacts contribute the most to social impacts in each country, so that you can target your improvements towards the most important problems (and even quantify them).

Consequential social event

May 18, 2022 by Bo Weidema

Yesterday we hosted a very enjoyable Consequential LCA social event in relation to SETAC in Copenhagen for 60 engaged LCA practitioners.

We took this opportunity launch the new playlist on our Youtube channel. So over yummy food, strawberry cakes and wine (including seriously good non-alcoholic alternatives) we shared the new series of 10 videos on Consequential Modelling – in Life Cycle Inventory Analysis.

This series is a small part of an on-going effort to provide the LCA community with freely available education materials on very specific details of Life Cycle Assessment. We regularly teach on-site university courses at Aalborg University (Denmark), at the International Life Cycle Academy (Barcelona), and at in-house courses for companies, where this series of online lectures provides the foundation for QA sessions and targeted exercises.

Below video begins the series:

Consequential LCA is the new trend

April 25, 2022 by admin

During the last two years, we have experienced an exponential increase in the demand for consequential Life Cycle Assessments. This is a welcome development, since we have always regarded consequential LCA as the most efficient way to achieve real improvements in environmental impacts. We pride ourselves of a history of more than 20 years of active contributions to the development of the research field of LCA.

Since it appears that consequential is the new trend in LCA, we are currently seeking new colleagues for our offices in Aalborg, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Copenhagen, both at entry level and with challenges for the more experienced management consultants. We work in small teams, so we all learn on the job as we continually strive for excellence in all we do. Does this sound like you? Check out our generic page for job openings and see a small selection of our recent projects.

Consequential LCA social event

If you happen to be in Copenhagen at the time of the SETAC conference, and you have a strong interest in consequential LCA, why not come and meet us for a snack and a drink at the Consequential LCA social at the Copenhagen Campus of Aalborg University (close to the conference venue) on Tuesday 17th at 19:00-21:00? The event is sponsored by 2.-0 LCA consultants together with the Danish Centre for Environmental Assessment.