LCA-Food: A Database for Basic Foods

A database on the environmental impacts from basic food products was produced in 2000-2003 for the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, as part of the project "Lifecycle Assessment of Basic Food". The database is available free of charge.

The client

Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries – Denmark


Our role

The LCA-food database was created by 2.-0 LCA consultants with the assistance of colleagues from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University. Several industries and public organizations, supported the project with data and dialog on production processes and market situations. Project completed March 2004.

A consequential LCA database on food products

This database on the environmental impacts of basic food products, as produced and consumed in Denmark, covered all steps from agriculture and fishery through industrial food processing to retail and cooking. The database is available free of charge at The database is based entirely on consequential modelling according to the ISO 14040 series (i.e. the models include those processes that are influenced by a marginal change in demand, and uses system expansion to model the emissions related to co-products). Marginal producers of agricultural products have been determined by econometric modelling.

The basic data could be used for many purposes, e.g. benchmarking, environmental labelling, and identification of improvement options. The database included a number of examples of how food industries have used the database for life cycle assessments, to answer specific questions about their products. Data are also relevant when introducing a product-oriented environmental management system, as we did in the project “LCA as a tool in the learning bakery”.

You can find some of our other studies where we apply LCA for policy support in the food sector here.