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EarthShift Global Sustainability News Articles

Declaration of Concern: An Unambiguous Rebuttal of the LEO-SCS-002 Draft Standard

Authors:  Christoph Koffler, Jon Dettling, Cashion East, Matthias Finkbeiner, Sergio F. Galeano, Roland Geyer, Mark J. Goedkoop, Troy R. Hawkins, Connie D. Hensler, Arpad Horvath, Sebastien Humbert, Scott M. Kaufman, Amy E. Landis, Lise Laurin, Pascal Lesage, Manuele Margni, Ken Martchek, H. Scott Matthews, Jamie K. Meil, Gregory Norris, Rita C. Schenk, Thomas P. Seager, Maureen Sertich, Greg Thoma, Casey Wagner
Commentary Article – no abstract.
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
February 2013, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 302–305

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The Environmental and Social Impacts of Biofuels Production in Japan

Authors:  Lise Laurin, Kiyotada Hayashi
Two pilot biofuels projects in Japan have allowed a better understanding of the actual land use, processing requirements, and impacts to the environment and society of biofuels. Through the use of Total Cost Assessment (TCA), this study looks at the costs and benefits of Japanese investments in biofuels production. One project focuses on fuel from waste bioproducts, such as animal manure, sludge, and food processing residues. The other focuses on fuel production from crops grown specifically for this purpose.
Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST),
2010 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology
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Assessing Alternative Aquaculture Technologies: Life Cycle Assessment of Salmonid Culture Systems in Canada

Authors:  Nathan W. Ayer, Peter H. Tyedmers
This study employed life cycle assessment (LCA) to quantify and compare the potential environmental impacts of culturing salmonids in a conventional marine net-pen system with those of three reportedly environmentally-friendly alternatives; a marine floating bag system; a land-based saltwater flow-through system; and a land-based freshwater recirculating system. Results of the study indicate that while the use of these closed-containment systems may reduce the local ecological impacts typically associated with net-pen salmon farming, the increase in material and energy demands associated with their use may result in significantly increased contributions to several environmental impacts of global concern, including global warming, non-renewable resource depletion, and acidification. It is recommended that these unanticipated impacts be carefully considered in further assessments of the sustainability of closed-containment systems and in ongoing efforts to develop and employ these technologies on a larger scale.
Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume 17, Issue 3, February 2009, Pages 362–373
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Sustainability of Seafood Production and Consumption: an Introduction to the Special Issue

Authors:  Nathan Ayer, Raymond P. Côté, Peter H. Tyedmers, J.H. Martin Willison
This paper provides an introduction to the special issue of the Journal of Cleaner Production on “The Sustainability of Seafood Production and Consumption”. The purpose of the special issue is to bring together a series of papers that will form a nucleus for the growth of an emerging area of scholarship. Overfishing and marine habitat damage have generated a global crisis in the production of seafood. In order to respond to this crisis we need systems for the management of seafood production and consumption that will comprehensively reduce and eventually eliminate wastefulness in both capture fisheries and aquaculture systems. Thirteen papers address these issues, with focuses on: seafood harvesting practices, fish processing, life cycle assessment, eco-efficiency, management of wastes, seafood distribution and consumption, total energy costs, eco-labeling, and the conservation of resources and biodiversity. We conclude that major changes are required in our approaches to the management of both the marine environment and our seafood capture and production systems. We also conclude that steps have been taken in this direction, but there is still far to go.
Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume 17, Issue 3, February 2009, Pages 321–324
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Co-product Allocation in Life Cycle Assessments of Seafood Production Systems: Review of Problems and Strategies.

Authors:  Nathan W. Ayer, Peter H. Tyedmers, Nathan L. Pelletier, Ulf Sonesson, Astrid Scholz
Background, Aim and Scope
As Life Cycle Assessment is being increasingly applied to study fisheries and aquaculture systems, the LCA methodology must be adapted to address the unique aspects of these systems. The focus of this methodological paper is the specific allocation problems faced in studying seafood production systems and how they have been addressed to date.
Main Features
The paper begins with a literature review of existing LCA research of fishing and aquaculture systems with a specific focus on 1) identifying the key allocation problems; 2) describing the choice of allocation procedures; and 3) providing insight on the rationale for those choices where available. The allocation procedures are then discussed in the context of ISO recommendations and other published guidance on allocation, followed by a discussion of the key lessons to be learned from the reviewed studies and recommendations for future LCAs of seafood production systems.
Literature Review
The literature review suggests that allocation problems are most likely to arise when dealing with: landed by-catch within the context of capture fisheries, the use of co-product feed ingredients in aquaculture feeds, multiple outputs from fish farms, and the generation of by-products when seafood is processed. System expansion and allocation according to physical causality were not applied in most cases, while economic allocation was the most widely used approach. It was also observed that the level of detail and justification provided for allocation decisions in most published reports was inconsistent and incomplete.
The results of this literature review are consistent with other reviews of allocation in LCA in that allocation according to economic value was found to be the most frequently applied approach. The application of economic allocation when system expansion is not feasible is consistent with ISO guidance. However, economic allocation is not the most appropriate method in seafood production LCAs because it does not reflect the biophysical flows of material and energy between the inputs and outputs of the production system.
Conclusions, Recommendations and Perspectives
More effort needs to be invested in developing allocation procedures appropriate to seafood production systems. Allocation based on gross energy content is proposed as one potential alternative means of allocating environmental burdens in some instances in seafood production LCAs. A standard set of requirements for how to describe and justify allocation decisions in published reports is needed to make these studies more robust and transparent.
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
November 2007, 12:480
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