Life cycle assessment facts and figures when evaluating environmental impact of our food choices

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1 Life cycle assessment facts and figures when evaluating environmental impact of our food choices John E Hermansen Aarhus University, Dept Agroecology, Denmark IMS Symposium Future Industrial Meat Production, Copenhagen Sept. 2013

2 Animal products contribution to human nutrition Globally Calories: 13 % Protein: 28 % Industrialized countries Calories: 28% Protein: 48 % FAO, World livestock Livestock in food security

3 So,what s the problem? On the one hand Increased awareness of the environmental and ecological impact of our consumption Discussion on the ecological foot print of livestock products, including meat On the other hand The preference in many cultures for animals products Recognition of the particular contributions of livestock products to human nutrition and of livestock rearing to food security

4 Planetary safe threshold boundaries Source: Rockström et al. (2009)

5 Policy initiatives EU climate and energy package 2020 Inclusion of non-quota sectors (agriculture) in achieving the reduction EU-road map for moving to a competitive low carbon economy 2050 By 2050 agriculture will represent 1/3 of EU-emission ( pressure for further reductions) Pressure on land use and land use change is acknowledged and will be included in policy EU Biodiversity strategy 2020 The European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Roundtable

6 Food system green house gas emissions Source: Vermeulen et al., 2012

7 Direct agricultural green house gas emissions Source: US-EPA, 2011,

8 37% of Earth s land is used for food production Source: Searchinger et al. (2013) cf. FAO (2011)

9 Typical numbers for food kg CO 2 /kg Raw material Red meat (beaf and lamb), yellow cheese 3-7 White meat (pork, poultry, flatfish), oil and fats, rice 1,2-3,0 Milk, eggs, wine 0,5 1,1 0,1-0 5 Bread, grains and flours, fruit & vegetables (long transport) Field grown vegetables and seasonal fruit

10 Sources of energy in a Danish persons food (% of total MJ) Carbon footprint of a Danish persons food (% of CO 2 eq) Sugar and sweets Drinks Meat Cheese Eggs Sugar Fat Drinks Meat Fats Milk Vegetables Bread and cereals Fruit Fruit Bread, grain Vegetables Milk Egg Cheese

11 Livestock production is a land based business Land requirement per kg animal product, m 2 Milk 1-2 Egg 4-7 Broiler 1) 5-7 Pork 1) 6-8 Beef 1) ) Slaughter weight Source. De Vries & de Boer (2010); Nguyen et al. (2010; 2011)

12 Changes in global livestock production per person 1967 to 2007 Production per person (kg) /1967 (%) Pig meat Beef and buffalo meat Eggs, primary Milk, total Poultry meat Sheep and goat meat Source: FAO, 2011

13 Projected change in meat and dairy consumption, 2005 to 2050 Source: Alexandratos and Bruinsma, 2012

14 FAO Partnership on benchmarking and monitoring the environmental performance of livestock supply chains 4July 2012, Rome A new FAO-led partnership improve how the environmental impacts of the livestock industry are measured..improving the sustainability of this important food production sector. Livestock..crucial contribution to the economic and nutritional well-being of millions of people around the world - particularly in developing countries but.. global consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs continues to rise, increasing attention..the efficiency with which it uses scarce natural resources, its impact on water resources, and how it contributes to climate change. At the recent Rio+20.governments agreed on the necessity to shift to more sustainable livestock production systems. "We must establish a shared understanding of how to assess the environmental performance of the livestock sector,

15 Life cycle assessment (LCA) Global warming Eutrophication Non-renewable energy use Acidification Biodiversity Land use

16 Example for a pork product CO 2 CO 2 oxide Nitrous oxide Soybean production CO 2 (Argentina) Fertiliser production Ammonia Grain production CO 2 Methane Farm in Denmark Nitrous oxide Slaughterhouse Nitrate CO 2 Sulfur dioxide

17 Example of management options to reduce Green House Gas emissions in pork Manure for biogas (2.0) ph reduction in manure (2.7) Manure Feed Energy stb. Emisions stb. Slaughter Feed efficiency (2.8) Denmark 2010 (3.1) kg CO 2 e - per kg pork

18 Carbon footprint of BEEF kg CO 2 /kg carcass FORSØG II - RISBJERG 18 SEIN PÅ KLØVERGRÆS, KÅL OG ROER

19 Carbon foot print of livestock products Land use, m 2 /kg Carbon foot print, kg CO 2 /kg Without land use change Effects of land use changes Milk 1-2 ~ Pork Intensive beef ~ 17 ~ Suckler system ~ 13 (+30) ~

20 Global GHG emissions and emission intensities for livestock, after FAO, 2013 Absolute emissions Emission intensity million tonnes CO 2 -eq kg CO 2 -eq/kg product Milk/egg Meat Milk/egg Meat Cattle Dairy Beef Buffalo Small rum Pigs Poultry

21 The issue of functional unit When identifying improvement options in a product chain the relevant unit can be the weight of the final product When used for benchmarking with other products it is important to choose a relevant functional unit - that is where the function of one product that can replace the function of another product It is clear that 1 kg of meat cannot be replaced by 1 kg potato FAO argue that animal products should be evaluated on their contribution to protein supply This is of course still a very simple way taking into account the variety of easily available nutrients in animal products

22 Actual and forecasted intake of animal protein per region Westhoek et al. 2011

23 Land use per kg protein, m² Westhoek et al 2011

24 Greenhouse gas emissions per kg protein, kg CO 2 eq. Westhoek et al. 2011

25 Carbon footprint form transport (by typical means) Transport contribution to greenhouse gas emissions of 1 kg product (kg CO 2 eq /kg product) Knudsen (2011)

26 Challenges Produce meat products with less environmental impacts Less land use and emissions (N and CO2) and/or Maintaining ecosystem services

27 Conclusion Policy pressure on reducing environmental impact from food (meat) production will no doubt continue It will be of ever increasing importance to be able to document the environmental impact of meat consumption and of progress over time in the meat chain, and life cycle assessment is the methodology that will be asked for When doing so many important assumptions are made which heavily may impact on the outcome of the assessment If indirect land use changes are factored in in the assessment How is dealt with byproducts Choice of functional unit Professionals in the business need to be aware of the impacts of such assumptions in order to communicate efficiently with policy makers and consumers

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31 Increased pressure on land An increase in land demands for bioenergy crops of about 0.8 to 1.7 million hectares per year between 2004 and The total surface area added during this period would be equivalent to the land area of Venezuela. Some or most of this land could compete with food production. (UNEP-synthesis report, Avoiding future famines)

32 Edible protein input per protein output in animal products, UK situation Type of product Ratio Milk 0.7 Upland suckler beef 0.9 Lowland suckler beef 2.0 Poultry meat 2.1 Pig meat 2.5 Cereal beef 3.0 Wilkinson, 2011

33 Forecasted consumption Beef and milk from less intensive systems basically according to human growth in the relevant regions The major increase in meat to satisfy the increased global intake will be from monogastrics reared in industrial scale Source: FAO, 2011

34 Type of land use is important when considering different animal products Land requirement per kg animal product, m 2 Milk 1-2 Egg 4-7 Broiler 1) 5-7 Pork 1) 6-8 Beef 1) Intensive bulls 12 mo. ~ 17 - Steers 24 mo. ~ 23 Productive land ~ 13 Less productive land ~ 10 - Suckler system ~ 43 1) Slaughter weight Productive land ~ 13 Non productive land ~ 30 Source: De Vries & de Boer (2010); Nguyen et al. (2010; 2011)

35 Implementing such systems might have huge local and global impacts Development pathways grazing systems Extensive grazed grassland account for almost half of land used for livestock Such systems supports nutrition and livelihood of many vulnerable and food insecure people and the role of livestock in food supply is beyond arguing Due to the size of the land just a small increase in output per land unit will have major benefits Land degradation is common on such areas New systems that dynamically adapt stocking rate to the carrying capacity is needed some evidence suggest that this is possible and at the same time obtain higher output per ha and a higher soil carbon sequestration (supporting long term soil fertility and alleviating global warming)

36 Development pathways- mixed systems A huge part of dairy and beef is produced in mixed systems partly in large scale intensive system in temperate areas and partly in small scale tropical and subtropical systems In intensive systems a significant part of feed is similar to feed for monogastrics and the necessary innovation lies basically in feed stock supply On the other hand in small systems, the most promising innovation lies in livestock management - keeping fewer animals with higher productivity turning more feed energy into production

37 Development pathways- industrial systems Two overarching issues (apart from looking at feed efficiency per se) Feed stock supply a larger part of the feed not from sources directly competing with human food Manure management avoiding excess of N to water and air and to regain the energy to substitute energy from fossil sources

38 Protein yield per ha is important regarding feed stock supply Type of crop Kg protein per ha Challenges Wheat ~ 1000 Soya bean ~ 1000 Clover grass, temperate ~ 1500 Concentration Red clover, temperate ~ ANF Moringa oleifera, tropical (as crop) ~ ANF Non-edible plants/crops ~ Detoxification Micro algea ~ >>>> + Technology

39 Bio refinery beyond biofuel: Energy + feed + materials Other high value components Oil Dyes Flavourings Aromatics Drug components Other compounds Harvest Storage Transport Bio refinery C 6 C 5 Syngas Fibre Chemicals Materials Fuel/energy Lignin Soil improvement Fertilizer Leftovers Food Feed (protein) Leftovers Reactor Biogas Syngas Source: Halberg 2013

40 Conclusion Animal products clearly have a role in feeding the planet/supporting food security However, the animal production needs to acknowledge the scarcity of land driven by increased livestock production and other demands for biomass Innovations are needed to reduce requirements for land and/or to make sure that the occupation of land resources for livestock at the same time support other societal goals like carbon sequestration and biodiversity New feed stocks are needed alliance with the emerging bio-refinary It is important that animal science contribute with ideas and expertise in creating and utilizing new feed sources

41 Conclusion cont. Animal science has a lot to contribute in order to fit livestock production to the challenges arising from the concerns related to global warming, loss of biodiversity and resource constraints (land sparing and land sharing). Better understanding of eco-system functioning may stimulate to new areas of livestock research In general and in valuing livestock s particular contributions Better understanding of the nutritional qualities of livestock products beyond calories and proteins - is important With respect to find the livestock product s place on the plate With respects to guiding new research

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43 GHG 1 ha rainforest to cropland CO 2 e. per year over 20 year GHG 1 ha of cropland CO 2 e. per year

44 Estimated total reactive nitrogen deposition from the atmosphere (wet and dry) early 1990s, and projected for 2050 Source: UN (2010)

45 Share of US maize production for ethanol IFPRI,2011

46 Same development in US and Europe but in Europe the main crop is rapeseed for biodiesel IFPRI, 2011

47 Global livestock production average by production system 2001 to 2003, million ton Grazing Rainfed mixed Irrigated mixed Industrial Total Beef Mutton Pork Poultry meat Milk Eggs Source: FAO, 2011

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