18/10/22 |   Strategic Management  Low Carbon Agriculture

Embrapa contributes to new version of Ecoinvent

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It is the main Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database, which comprises over a thousand new data sets and 1800 updated ones.

The Ecoinvent database - Swiss database of life cycle inventories - with international range was updated, yesterday, October 13, to version 3.9. The database has just added a vast range of updates with more recent data on the main sectors of the economy, including agriculture, batteries, chemicals, electricity, metals, paper and cellulose, oil and gas, and waste. The new version includes improved documentation and updated emission factors, incorporating IPCC 2021 data. This version integrates approximately 1,099 new data sets and 1,876, updated ones, including 271 new products.

The agriculture set includes data on Brazilian and Canadian agricultural production. Embrapa had a significant role in this update, with the submission of unprecedented inventories for Brazilian conditions, such as the peanut one, and with the update of data for inventories of the main products of Brazilian agribusiness, such as sugarcane, soybeans, corn and coffee.  Also for agriculture, ecoinvent version 3.9 also offers new and updated data on pesticides, which can affect the results of assessments of agricultural processes and products.

The researcher Marília Folegatti, who coordinates research in Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) at Embrapa Environment (Jaguariúna, SP, Brazil), explains that Ecoinvent is the main world database of inventories for LCA studies.

“Embrapa has contributed to populating this database since 2016, significantly extending the supply of consistent data on Brazilian agricultural inventories”. According to the researcher, such information can contribute to improved access to more demanding new markets and to add value to the products.

The inventories are built from information that characterize the most common crop production systems at state or national level, according to researcher Nilza Patrícia Ramos. Hence they can be used by farmers who wish to represent the environmental profile of their products, including respective carbon footprint, even when they do not have the specific accounting capabilities.

On top of the characterization of the most common production systems, the inventories of peanut and coffee were elaborated with agricultural data supplied by farmers of the main producing regions of Brazil, which reinforces the importance of Embrapa Environment's work in populating Ecoinvent's database, the analyst Anna Leticia Pighinelli asserts. At Embrapa, the work to update the database had the participation of analysts Renan Milagres, Ricardo Pazianotto and Gustavo Bayma.

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