Life cycle inventory modelling of land use induced by crop consumption
- Jesper KløverprisAffiliated withDepartment of Manufacturing Engineering and Management, Section for Innovation and Sustainability, Technical University of DenmarkNovozymes A/S Email author
- , Henrik WenzelAffiliated withInstitute of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering, University of Southern Denmark
- , Per H. NielsenAffiliated withNovozymes A/S
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Background, Aims and Scope
The actual land use consequences of crop consumption are not very well reflected in existing life cycle inventories. The state of the art is that such inventories typically include data from crop production in the country in which the crop is produced, and consequently the inventories do not necessarily consider the land ultimately affected in the systems being studied. The aims of this study are to analyse the mechanisms influencing the long-term land use consequences of changes in crop demand and to propose a methodological framework for identifying these consequences within a global scope.
Materials and Methods
The study refers to the principles of consequential LCA, which means that the consequences of changes in consumption are studied from a market-based perspective. In this context, the study addresses the feasibility of using economic modelling to identify ultimate land use consequences of crop consumption.
Based on the current market trend for crops and an analysis of basic mechanisms in crop production, concepts for modelling how crop consumption affects the global agricultural area and the intensity of crop production are suggested. It is demonstrated how the assumptions concerning drivers for technological development have a profound influence on identification of the marginal response to crop consumption, and how the geographical location of crop consumption also influences the composition of the marginal production response in terms of cropland expansion and intensification.
Crop prices have been falling at a global scale and are projected to decline further. At the same time, crop yields per hectare are continuously increasing. This indicates that drivers other than crop demand have a strong influence on technological development in crop production.
Economic modelling in combination with geographical information and agricultural statistics can be used to estimate long-term land use consequences of changes in crop consumption. The GTAP Model is a suitable tool although it requires implementation of land supply curves, adjustment of elasticities to reflect long-term changes, and possibly establishment of a link between crop demand and technological development. Through this approach, life cycle inventories for crops reflecting the actual land use consequences of consumption can be established.
Recommendations and Perspectives
Further work (based on the methodological framework in this study) will address the practical modelling of land use changes induced by crop consumption in different regions with the purpose of including this in LCI.
KeywordsAgriculture consequential LCA crops GTAP (Global Trade Analysis Project) land use marginal production
- Life cycle inventory modelling of land use induced by crop consumption
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
- Online Date
- October 2007
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- consequential LCA
- GTAP (Global Trade Analysis Project)
- land use
- marginal production
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Management, Section for Innovation and Sustainability, Technical University of Denmark, Produktionstorvet 424, 2800, Lyngby, Denmark
- 3. Novozymes A/S, Krogshøjvej 32, 2880, Bagsværd, Denmark
- 2. Institute of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering, University of Southern Denmark, Niels Bohrs Allé 1, 5230, Odense M, Denmark