The second RELIEF workshop was held on 3rd November 2017 in ETH Zurich. It was organised by two of the ESRs (Sandra and Wan Yee) with the help of Radboud University and Unilever and in collaboration with the Swiss LCA Discussion Forum Board, ETH Zurich and Agroscope.
The workshop was entitled “Tracking Current and Forecasting Future Land-use Impacts of Agricultural Value Chains”. Materials from renewable feedstocks may cause significant environmental impacts due to land use and land use change related to feedstock sourcing. Whilst these impacts are clearly spatially-dependent, spatially-resolved impact assessment is often hampered by lack of data, and in some cases, methods or models. In addition, the location and impacts of production are likely to change in the future, e.g. due to the consequences of climate change and due to sourcing trends in a growing economy and considering geopolitical conditions.This workshop focused on 1) Methods that can be used to track the current locations of crop production systems in complex supply chains to support spatially resolved impact assessment and 2) Methods and tools to predict future locations of crops in the context of megatrends such as climate change and increasing demand for agricultural raw materials. 3) Advances of methods for spatially resolved consideration of environmental impacts of land use change was also covered in this workshop.
The workshop gathered 56 participants from academia, consultants and industry, providing an opportunity for the various stakeholders to interact and contribute to the advancement of new methods for tracking current and forecasting future land-use impacts of agricultural value chains. We received very positive feedback regarding the organization as well as the content of the workshop. In particular, the discussions contribute towards the bio-based framework used by Unilever to assess the impacts within their agricultural value chains.
A conference report of the workshop has been published in the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11367-018-1441-0) . Video recordings of the workshop are available online at: http://www.video.ethz.ch/events/lca/2017/autumn/67th.html