Yearly archive: 2016

The benefits of certified palm oil – measured with LCA?

November 7, 2016 by Jannick Schmidt

This week, I am at the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Annual Meeting. Once again you might say. I have been fortunate enough to also attending the Annual Meeting in Medan in 2013. 2.-0 LCA consultants have a long history of providing data and methodology to enable a more sustainable production of palm oil from 2004 where I started my Ph.D. study on LCA of palm oil and rapeseed oil. You can see my speech at the meeting…

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LCA for decision support

October 21, 2016 by Bo Weidema

Today, I give a keynote presentation to the “LCA Food 2016” conference in Dublin, on the topic of “Potentials and limitations of LCA for decision support”. The below figure is taken from one of my slides. The three circles in the figure show our current knowledge, and the smaller circles within each illustrate how much of this knowledge is typically used by current LCA practice. A wealth of knowledge is available for and from Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as it…

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Memory lane

September 7, 2016 by Bo Weidema

I was recently asked to tell about the experiences we have at 2.-0 LCA consultants with consequential LCA. That question sent me on a long trip down memory lane..... You will therefore find the format of this blog-post a bit unusual, with a ‘fat’ bibliography and a focus on our contributions to the field. I hope you will anyway find it worthwhile to read. All practical applications of LCA are ultimately concerned with potential improvements of the analysed systems. Therefore,…

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Natural capital from an LCA perspective

August 2, 2016 by Bo Weidema

Last month, on July 13th, the Natural Capital Coalition published their Natural Capital Protocol, which is a framework for performing Natural Capital Assessments “designed to help generate trusted, credible, and actionable information that business managers need to inform decisions”. Natural Capital is defined as “The stock of renewable and non- renewable natural resources (e.g., plants, animals, air, water, soils, minerals) that combine to yield a flow of benefits to people”. These flows can be ecosystem services or abiotic services, which…

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Circular economy – where does that leave LCA?

June 22, 2016 by Stefano Merciai

At the end of 2015, the European Commission adopted a Circular Economy Package (European Commission 2015). The intention is to move away from current linear business models (make-use-discard) to a future of circular business models (reduce, reuse, remake, recycle). "Closing the loop" is the objective for the next decades. The concept of a Circular Economy (CE) is that of maintaining the value of products as much as possible within the economic sphere. Therefore, a lot of attention is on the…

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Why a ‘shrinking’ technology will never dominate the marginal

May 10, 2016 by Jannick Schmidt

- The case of electricity mixes in consequential LCA Have you ever doubted what to include in your technology mixes? What happens when a technology is dominating the mix of today, but we know that the technology will be phased out and reduced in the future? To an extent the answer depends on your study. But the studies we perform are for decision support, where our clients need to understand the environmental impacts of a change in demand for the…

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It is not about money!

April 7, 2016 by Bo Weidema

The first working draft for ISO 14008 on monetary valuation of environmental impacts has now been sent out for commenting among the standardisation body members. The chair of the ISO Working Group is Bengt Steen, who already in the early 1990’ies introduced monetary valuation to Life Cycle Impact Assessment with his EPS method. In the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) community there is a growing awareness that valuation is needed, and that the “ban” on weighting for comparative assertions that was introduced in…

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Consequential LCA is not scenario modelling

March 13, 2016 by Bo Weidema

In the discussion on the differences between attributional and consequential modelling for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), it is a common misunderstanding that consequential modelling requires scenario modelling or other form of forecasting, and therefore should be more uncertain than attributional models based on average, allocated data from the recent past. In their pure form, attributional models do not intend to say anything about the future, but it is still very common to find them applied to support claims about what…

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Don’t take zero for an answer

February 25, 2016 by Bo Weidema

I often encounter the idea that some numbers are just too uncertain to use and that it would be better not to quantify the issue and describe it qualitatively instead. Earlier this month I was presented with another example: At the first meeting of the ISO working group on monetary valuation, one of the environmental economists present used the effects of electromagnetic fields near high voltage transmission lines as an example of an impact that should not be quantified because…

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