Assessing the environmental benefits of practice change using the CaneLCA eco-efficiency calculator

Renouf, M. A., Schroeder, B. L., Price, N. and Allsopp, P. G. (2014) Assessing the environmental benefits of practice change using the CaneLCA eco-efficiency calculator. International Sugar Journal, 116 1390: 754-765.

Author Renouf, M. A.
Schroeder, B. L.
Price, N.
Allsopp, P. G.
Title Assessing the environmental benefits of practice change using the CaneLCA eco-efficiency calculator
Journal name International Sugar Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0020-8841
Publication date 2014-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 116
Issue 1390
Start page 754
End page 765
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Informa Agra
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Many sugar industry programs, such as BSES's Smart Cane program and the Reef Rescue ABCD Framework, promote progressive cane-growing practices. While the economic implications of transition towards progressive practices are starting to be understood, less is known about the environmental implications. Here, we use environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) to assess the eco-efficiency of different practice-change scenarios, across a range of impact categories - fossil energy input, greenhouse gas emissions (carbon footprint), water use, and water quality indicators. The recently developed CaneLCA Eco-efficiency Calculator was employed to compare progressive practices against conventional practices for Wet Tropics, Central and Southern regions, using published descriptions of practice change. The results show that many progressive practices, such as those currently described by the ABCD framework, can lead to improved environmental efficiency across all impact categories. However, others may come with some environmental trade-offs. This work provides a preliminary examination of the environmental implications of practice change. It also demonstrates how CaneLCA can be used to understand and manage such trade-offs so that practice change can optimised to maximise the benefits while minimising the trade-offs.
Keyword Environmental impact
Practice change
Carbon footprint
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes This paper was presented at the 2013 Australian Society of Sugarcane Technologists annual conference and is published in the International Sugar Journal with the agreement of the Society.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
School of Chemical Engineering Publications
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Created: Mon, 10 Nov 2014, 19:59:34 EST by Mrs Marguerite Renouf on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management