Dec 13, 2012

Australia – Major Life Cycle Assessment study helps dairy farmers aim for GHG emissions reduction

Dairy Australia worked closely with the Australian dairy industry to measure the carbon footprint of producing a number of dairy foods. This initiative was one of the first carbon footprinting projects to report the emissions of dairy farming on a country level and following the International Dairy Federation sector specific guidelines “A common carbon footprint approach for dairy” (IDF, 2010).

This major Life Cycle Assessment study, carried out by PE INTERNATIONAL, measured the GHG emissions emitted from the production of a number of dairy products to identify the industry’s overall carbon footprint.  An industry cross section of primary data has been analysed from 140 farms across Australia, the life cycle inventory data collection for this project was extensive. A key project objective was to develop a customised software platform which ensures transparency and high data quality during data collection and modelling, which is auditable and can be used by the industry and expanded in future.

This was achieved by developing a linked software platform, combining the benefits of PE’s  SoFi software system including web-based data collection functionality, and the GaBi Life Cycle Assessment software and database package.

Dairy farmers and processors in Australia have a strong track record of working to improve financial, environmental and social outcomes. They understand that sustainability and industry profitability are interdependent. The large number of sustainability initiatives the industry currently undertakes demonstrates this. Dairy Australia invests in a number of key programs and initiatives aimed at helping farmers and processors with GHG emission reduction strategies. One of these initiatives is the Life Cycle Assessment study.

A summary of the final project report is available for download here

Dec 4, 2012

Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics & Life Cycle Assessment

Greenpeace recently published the 18th edition of its Guide to Greener Electronics, which evaluates leading consumer electronics companies based on their commitment and progress in three environmental criteria: Energy and Climate, Greener Products and Sustainable Operations.

It coincides with the publication of PE INTERNATIONAL’s whitepaper ‘Calculating the carbon footprint of electronic products,’ which presents an approach to quantify the environmental impacts of electronic products. Both publications aim to contribute to greener electronics.

The Guide to Greener Electronics by Greenpeace scores companies on overall policies and practices (not on specific products), aiming to provide consumers with a snapshot of the corporate sustainability of the biggest names in the industry.

PE INTERNATIONAL’s whitepaper, on the other hand, has its focus on providing the industry with a framework to quantify and reduce the environmental profile of products. Based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), it presents a methodology for calculating Product Carbon Footprints of electronic products. LCA is a widely-used approach which allows assessing a product’s environmental profile across its entire life-cycle, considering environmental impacts such as global warming potential and resource depletion, as well as other environmental aspects like energy consumption and material efficiency.

An LCA study can help to find out:
1) How a product is currently performing,
2) Where to focus potential improvements and how to measure them,
and 3) How to report product sustainability according to standards.

This framework helps companies to design better products, for example by discarding harmful materials and replacing them with more environmentally friendly ones, or replacing parts and materials which are difficult to recycle (Ecodesign). Besides, companies can use the LCA results to reliably communicate their products’ performance and improvements.

Download your free copy of our whitepaper ‘Calculating the carbon footprint of electronic products’

or contact PE’s Electronics Team: