The World Food Life Cycle Assessments Database (WFLDB), an international and multi-stakeholder project lead by Agroscope and Quantis, has delivered 900 accurate and transparent food datasets for improved Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and environmental communications. LCA is a scientific method used to quantify environmental impacts throughout all activities occurring over the life cycle of a product or service, from extracting natural resources to managing generated waste. An LCA dataset consists of all inputs (e.g. fertilizer, pesticides, machinery, water, energy carriers, transport) used for production of a commodity and the resulting emission to air, water and soil from the production and use of the inputs. The goal of the WFLDB project is to develop and maintain the first comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of food datasets.
Phase One of WFLDB project
The completion of Phase One of the WFLDB project was announced by the co-founders of the project, which are Swiss Federal Research Station Agroscope and the sustainability consulting firm Quantis.
Specifically, Phase One, which lasted three years, has led to the development of numerous datasets for a wide variety of agricultural and animal products, as well as food products and processing. In total, the WFLDB includes over 900 datasets covering more than eighty products (such as cocoa, coffee or citrus fruits, animal feed, meat products etc.) and forty countries with a focus on main commodities of export markets. The data provided by WFLDB allows organizations to assess and compare the environmental impacts of different production countries and production systems and to assess the effect on global warming in addition to the negative impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Phase Two of WFLDB project
Phase Two will offer to current and new partners access to continually updated, reliable, transparent and comprehensive LCA data of high quality in the food and beverage sector, which will improve the efficiency and reliability of their environmental footprint. Partners are kept up-to-date with international initiatives in the sector and will benefit from the latest scientific developments.
WFLDB Founding Partners
Governmental institutions as well as private companies have funded Phase One of the project, addressing the most urgent needs of the food and beverage sector framed in a consensual process. The funding partners are the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), Bayer CropScience AG, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), General Mills, The Kraft Heinz Company, Mars, Mondelēz International, Monsanto, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Syngenta and Yara.