Sustainability: The significance of Life Cycle Assessment in the Blue Bioeconomy
In an increasingly environmentally conscious world, understanding and managing environmental impacts becomes crucial. Environmental impacts encompass a wide range of effects, from greenhouse gas emissions to the depletion of natural resources and contamination of ecosystems. Our daily actions shape the global ecosystem, from resource extraction to the final disposal of everyday products.
The need to assess and mitigate these impacts has led to the development of advanced analytical tools, such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). It is a powerful analytical tool that examines the environmental impact of a product, process, or activity throughout all stages of its life cycle. The goal is to understand and quantify associated environmental burdens, including resource consumption, air emissions, liquid effluents, and waste production. LCA not only quantifies environmental footprints throughout the life cycle of products and processes but also provides a holistic approach to sustainable decision-making by allowing comparisons between different alternatives and identifying opportunities for environmental improvements.
By integrating LCA into the blue bioeconomy, it is possible to assess the sustainability of initiatives involving marine resources more accurately. This includes everything from sustainable fishing and aquaculture to the development of sea-derived products, providing a solid foundation for decision-making aimed at preserving oceanic ecosystems and promoting more sustainable practices.
In aquaculture, the tool can promote more sustainable practices and improve environmental efficiency through, for example, the analysis of different feed formulations and their impacts throughout the production chain. It can also analyze the energy efficiency of aquaculture systems, waste and effluent management in aquaculture, and sustainable certification and labeling, identifying more rigorous environmental practices.
Various other approaches can be undertaken through life cycle analysis, and as the tool becomes more robust, B2E CoLAB is committed to implementing LCA services with blue bioeconomy experts to enhance the interaction between humans and the environment.
Fig. Example of the life cycle of a hypothetical product of marine origin