Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services

Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, Sarah Sim, Perrine Hamel, Benjamin Bryant, Ryan Noe, Carina Mueller, Giles Rigarlsford, Michal Kulak, Virginia Kowal, Richard Sharp, Julie Clavreul, Edward Price, Stephen Polasky, Mary Ruckelshaus, Gretchen Daily

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 7 Citations

Abstract

International corporations in an increasingly globalized economy exert a major influence on the planet's land use and resources through their product design and material sourcing decisions. Many companies use life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate their sustainability, yet commonly-used LCA methodologies lack the spatial resolution and predictive ecological information to reveal key impacts on climate, water and biodiversity. We present advances for LCA that integrate spatially explicit modelling of land change and ecosystem services in a Land-Use Change Improved (LUCI)-LCA. Comparing increased demand for bioplastics derived from two alternative feedstock-location scenarios for maize and sugarcane, we find that the LUCI-LCA approach yields results opposite to those of standard LCA for greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, and of different magnitudes for soil erosion and biodiversity. This approach highlights the importance of including information about where and how land-use change and related impacts will occur in supply chain and innovation decisions.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article number15065
JournalNature communications
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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biological diversity
Needs Assessment
Biodiversity
ecosystems
Life Cycle Stages
Ecosystems
Ecosystem
Life cycle
land use
Land use
cycles
water consumption
soil erosion
Planets
Saccharum
Water
greenhouses
economy
Climate
Gas emissions

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Cite this

Chaplin-Kramer, R., Sim, S., Hamel, P., Bryant, B., Noe, R., Mueller, C., ... Daily, G. (2017). Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Nature communications, 8, [15065]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15065

Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services. / Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Sim, Sarah; Hamel, Perrine; Bryant, Benjamin; Noe, Ryan; Mueller, Carina; Rigarlsford, Giles; Kulak, Michal; Kowal, Virginia; Sharp, Richard; Clavreul, Julie; Price, Edward; Polasky, Stephen; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Daily, Gretchen.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 8, 15065, 01.01.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chaplin-Kramer, R, Sim, S, Hamel, P, Bryant, B, Noe, R, Mueller, C, Rigarlsford, G, Kulak, M, Kowal, V, Sharp, R, Clavreul, J, Price, E, Polasky, S, Ruckelshaus, M & Daily, G 2017, 'Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services' Nature communications, vol. 8, 15065. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15065
Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca ; Sim, Sarah ; Hamel, Perrine ; Bryant, Benjamin ; Noe, Ryan ; Mueller, Carina ; Rigarlsford, Giles ; Kulak, Michal ; Kowal, Virginia ; Sharp, Richard ; Clavreul, Julie ; Price, Edward ; Polasky, Stephen ; Ruckelshaus, Mary ; Daily, Gretchen. / Life cycle assessment needs predictive spatial modelling for biodiversity and ecosystem services. In: Nature communications. 2017 ; Vol. 8.
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