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Towards better representation of organic agriculture in life cycle assessment


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van der Werf, Hayo M.G.; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman and Cederberg, Christel (2020) Towards better representation of organic agriculture in life cycle assessment. Nature Sustainability, 2020, pp. 1-7.

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Online at: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-020-0489-6


The environmental effects of agriculture and food are much discussed, with competing claims concerning the impacts of conventional and organic farming. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is the method most widely used to assess environmental impacts of agricultural products. Current LCA methodology and studies tend to favour high-input intensive agricultural systems and misrepresent less intensive agroecological systems such as organic agriculture. LCA assesses agroecological systems inadequately for three reasons: (1) a lack of operational indicators for three key environmental issues; (2) a narrow perspective on functions of agricultural systems; and (3) inconsistent modelling of indirect effects.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:organic, conventional, life cycle assessment, LCA, agroecology, intensive, extensive, climate impact, environmental impact, biodiversity, pesticides, soil quality
Agrovoc keywords:
Englishorganic agriculturehttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_15911
Englishlife cycle analysishttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_9000105
Englishenvironmental impacthttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_24420
Englishclimate changehttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_1666
Englishintensive agriculture -> intensive farminghttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_3906
Englishland use changehttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_fac4b794
Englishconventional farminghttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_331393
Englishsoil qualityhttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_a9645d28
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods > Indicators and other value-laden measures
Values, standards and certification > Assessment of impacts and risks
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy
Environmental aspects
Research affiliation: Denmark > Organic RDD 4 > ClimOptic
Denmark > Organic RDD 4 > ClimateVeg
Denmark > Organic RDD 4 > SustainOrganic
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > Faculty of Science and Technology > Department of Agroecology
France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Sweden > Chalmers University of Technology
Deposited By: Knudsen, Researcher Marie Trydeman
ID Code:37787
Deposited On:24 Mar 2020 07:13
Last Modified:24 Mar 2020 07:13
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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