PR Consultants and Blonk Consultants are proud to announce the exclusive release of the agricultural life cycle assessment (LCA) database Agri-footprint in SimaPro, the worlds leading LCA software.
May 28, 2014 (Newswire) - This collaboration opens up the field of agricultural LCA to practitioners from the food industry, and offers new options for companies in the chemical and energy industries looking to incorporate bio-based production methods.
>Growing Demand for Agricultural LCAs
"Environmental impacts of agriculture are becoming an urgent issue everywhere," says Hans Blonk, CEO of Blonk Consultants. "Countries are enacting sustainability policies on agricultural production and consumption, and companies need to understand their products' life cycles to meet demands for reporting. Agriculture is the most important source of impacts for a large number of environmental issues." PRй CEO Mark Goedkoop agrees: "Agriculture just has a tremendous impact on everything from climate change to soil deterioration. The EIPRO study showed that producing food is the cheapest way to pollute the environment. But agriculture isn't going away - bio-based production methods are gaining in popularity, and the world's growing population needs increasing amounts of food. I think agriculture will turn out to be the most important factor in the sustainability discussion."
>The First Extensive Agricultural Database
Agricultural LCAs tend to be more involved than other types of LCA, due to the complex implications of land use, the fact that the production facilities are living creatures, and other agriculture-specific issues in methodology. "LCA first arose as a method to assess non-food products," says Hans Blonk. "Methodologies for agricultural LCA are now reaching maturity, and our Agri-footprint database is the first of its kind - a large, high-quality database that's 100% focused on agriculture, with consistent methodological premises, geared to help users quickly identify potential for improvement."
Agri-footprint contains approximately 3,000 products and processes for agricultural LCA, from crops to animal production systems and background processes. It offers users a wide range of agriculture-specific impact categories such as water use, land use and soil carbon content. Land use change is fully integrated. The database is 100% focused on agricultural products, and allows users to choose from 3 pre-defined allocation options: mass, energy and economic. Agri-footprint methodology and data quality is compliant with ILCD and ReCiPe, and have been reviewed by the Centre for Design and Society of the RMIT University.
>The Latest Modern Database to be Released in SimaPro
"Our ambition with SimaPro is to diversify databases, offer our current customers more options and become more useful to potential clients and new industries," says Mark Goedkoop. Many SimaPro users buy the software not just for its analytical power, but for the excellent databases that come with it. "Agri-footprint fits rights in with this policy - it's a high-quality product, and the offer by Blonk Consultants came at exactly the right time." Several current pilot projects, such as the EU Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the UN Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership (LEAP), are developing reporting structures and guidelines for the food sector. Agri-footprint offers data in PEF- and LEAP-compliant formats, allowing users to stay abreast of the latest developments and to have a voice at a critical juncture in this discussion.
>Increasing Options for Sustainability Professionals Valuing Life Cycle Thinking
Releasing Agri-footprint in SimaPro is a great development for sustainability professionals. Users of SimaPro will be able to use Agri-footprint to improve current LCAs and perform new LCAs that were previously out of range. And sustainability professionals within the agri-food industry get to use a dedicated agricultural database in the world's leading LCA software package, newly equipped with a more accurate calculation engine.