Review: life cycle assessments in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast

  • Mpho Maepa
  • Michael Oluwatosin Bodunrin
  • Nicholas W. Burman
  • Joel Croft
  • Shaun Engelbrecht
  • A. O. Ladenika
  • O. S. MacGregor
  • Kevin G. Harding
COMMENTARY AND DISCUSSION ARTICLE

Abstract

Purpose

Life cycle assessments (LCAs) are considered common quantitative environmental techniques to analyze the environmental impact of products and/or services throughout their entire life cycle. A few LCA studies have been conducted in West Africa. This study aimed to discuss the availability of LCA (and similar) studies in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.

Methods

An online literature review of reports published between 2000 and 2016 was conducted using the following keywords: “life cycle assessment,” “carbon footprinting,” “water footprinting,” “environmental impact,” “Nigeria,” “Ghana” and “Ivory Coast.”

Results and discussion

A total of 31 LCA and environmental studies in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast were found; all but one were conducted after 2008. These were mainly academic and most were publicly available. The industries studied included energy sector, waste management, real estate, food sector, and others such as timber and gold. The minimal number of studies on LCAs and environmental impacts in these West African states could be because companies are failing to promote quantitative environmental studies or studies are kept internally for the use of other assessment techniques. Furthermore, it could be that academic research institutions lack cutting-edge research resources for LCA, environmental impact, carbon, and water footprinting studies.

Conclusions

Further quantitative environmental studies should be conducted in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast to increase the understanding of environmental impacts. In these countries, the existence of LCA studies (and by association the localized life cycle inventory (LCI) datasets) is crucial as more companies request this information to feed into background processes.

Keywords

Carbon footprinting Environmental impact Life-cycle assessment Review West Africa Water footprinting 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mpho Maepa
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Michael Oluwatosin Bodunrin
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Nicholas W. Burman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joel Croft
    • 1
    • 6
  • Shaun Engelbrecht
    • 1
    • 6
  • A. O. Ladenika
    • 1
  • O. S. MacGregor
    • 1
    • 4
  • Kevin G. Harding
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Chemical and Metallurgical EngineeringUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Industrial and Mining Research Unit (IMWaRU)University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Centre in Water and Research Development (CiWaRD)University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials; African Materials Science and Engineering NetworkUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  5. 5.Department of Metallurgical and Materials EngineeringFederal University of Technology AkureAkureNigeria
  6. 6.NRF/DST Chair: Sustainable Process Engineering UnitUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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