Getting a better reading on red meat
Paper i proceeding, 2011
The first detailed life cycle assessment (LCA) of Australian red meat production increased the resolution of the carbon and water footprints of Australian red meat products. The authors dealt with varied farming enterprises that presented different life cycle inventory data acquisition challenges. We also dealt with truncation errors through the application of a hybrid input-output technique.
The results indicated greenhouse gas emissions that were broadly in line with expectations, but the calculated water consumption was much lower than some related studies have suggested. The increasing proportion of lot-fed beef in Australia had a favourable impact on the carbon footprint of beef products, since the conversion of feed to meat products is more efficient in feedlot production systems than in grass-fed meat production, offsetting the effect of producing and transporting feedstuffs.
In addition to describing these carbon and water footprints, in this paper we also quantify solid waste generation and a soil erosion indicator on a common basis and reflect on the rapidly evolving challenge of agricultural LCA.
life cycle assessment