Life Cycle Assessment of agri-food systems

An operational guide dedicated to emerging and developing economies

by Claudine Basset-Mens (editorial coordination), Angel Avadí (editorial coordination), Cécile Bessou (editorial coordination), Ivonne Acosta-Alba (editorial coordination), Yannick Biard (editorial coordination), Sandra Payen (editorial coordination)
Collection: Savoir faire
january 2022
160 x 240 format 210 pages In stock
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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the internationally recognized method to assess the environmental impacts of products and services. Its application to agri-food systems in developing or emerging contexts is recent and represents many challenges of scientific, partnerial and operational nature. With more than 10 years of scientific and field experience, the CIRAD LCA team has synthesized, with other internationally recognized experts, the best knowledge and approaches available to apply LCA under these conditions. This operational guide is a useful tool for LCA practitioners; it provides best practice recommendations to carry out LCA studies on agri-food products in developing and emerging contexts.

Table of contents


Part 1. Introduction

Chapter 1. LCA within developing and emerging economies

Land tenure issues

Environmental vs. economic development concerns

Most developing and emerging countries are located in the tropical zone

Inadequate input issues

Research and development priorities and capacities

Chapter 2. The purpose of this operational guide

Chapter 3. Standards, guidelines and tools

Chapter 4. Preparation process and intended audience 

Part 2. Agri-food LCA in developing and emerging contexts

Chapter 5. State of the art of agri-food LCA

Chapter 6. Specific challenges for agri-food LCA in developing and emerging contexts 

Diversity of agri-food systems due to specific natural conditions and combined socio-economic constraints

Data gaps on the systems to be characterized

Varying awareness and capacities of stakeholders

Chapter 7. Established and emerging initiatives

Part 3. Overcoming the challenges for robust agri-food LCA in developing and emerging economies

Chapter 8. Co-designing the study with stakeholders

Overview of the approach

Critical analysis of the demand, constraints and avoidance strategies

The community of the study

Working as a team in the field

Management of ethics and rights for stakeholders

System boundaries, typologies and sampling strategies

Chapter 9. Building life cycle inventories

Foreground data collection

Direct field emissions

Background data collection

Quality management and critical review (CR)

Chapter 10. Performing impact assessment

Overview of available and recommended sets of LCIA methods

Impact categories

Chapter 11. Interpreting the results for each stakeholder category

Accounting for uncertainty in LCA studies

Comparing results with previous studies

Sharing and communicating results to support decisions

Part 4. Conclusions and moving forward

Part 5. Appendices

Appendix A. Guidelines / ISO Norms: a brief overview

ISO, 2006. ISO - 14040:2006 - Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Principles and framework, Environmental Management

ISO, 2006. ISO - 14044:2006 - Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Requirements and guidelines. Geneva

Appendix B. Commonly used direct field emission models

Appendix C. LCA resources

Networks and platforms

Databases and software

Research and universities

Appendix D. Data collection and confidentiality: check list and points of vigilance

Data collection and confidentiality

Points of vigilance

Tools and best practices for data management

Appendix E. Recommendations for designing a sampling protocol according to PAS 2050-1

Appendix F. Best practices for agri-food LCAs at the system level

Appendix G. Free tools to model field emissions for LCI

Emission models online

GHG calculators

Appendix H. Detailed guidance on impact categories

Global Warming or Climate Change impact

Soil quality impact

Human toxicity and ecotoxicity

Biodiversity due to LULUC

Water scarcity footprint

Appendix I. LCIA methods recommended by the Life Cycle Initiative and EF 3.0

Appendix J. Detailed guidance on the use of the qualitative assessment of data in LCA according to the European PEFCR Guidance (EC 2018)

Qualitative diagnosis

Uncertainty approximation

Appendix K. How to display LCA results while avoiding bias due to visualization choices?

Refer to “useful ink” concept

Which type of graph is the most effective for most LCIA results? (histograms)



More contents


Language(s): English

Publisher: Éditions Quae

Edition: 1st edition

Collection: Savoir faire

Published: 17 january 2022

Reference Book: 02818

Reference eBook [PDF]: 02818NUM

Reference eBook [ePub]: 02818EPB

EAN13 Book: 9782759234660

EAN13 eBook [PDF]: 9782759234677

EAN13 eBook [ePub]: 9782759234684

Interior: Colour

Format (in mm) Book: 160 x 240

Pages count Book: 210

Pages count eBook [PDF]: 210

Weight (in grammes): 380

Size: 14.1 MB (PDF), 7.16 MB (ePub)


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