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TP11A Case studies on agricultural products
() Environmental Performance in Canadian program for Environmental Technology Assessment for Agriculture.
Young, S1, 1 GreenhouseGasMeasurement.com, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
ABSTRACT- The Environmental Technology Assessment for Agriculture program is a result of the Canadian Agricultural Policy Framework Agreement. New sustainable production technologies are being demonstrated through on-farm projects between 2004 and 2008 to improve the long-term environmental and economic performance. Environmental performance of projects is measured using a comprehensive set of eleven indicators that consider a broad set of environmental issues that correspond to policy priority areas: Net energy use, Renewable energy, Net GHG emissions, Ammonia, Residual N, Total P load to water, Pathogen hazard, Pesticide hazard, Soil carbon, Soil erosion, and Biodiversity. Not all indicators are relevant to all projects. The program uses a life-cycle approach for estimating these indicators of environmental performance and benefits of environmental technologies. The appeal includes 1) Fair comparison between Environmental Technology systems and Benchmark systems, 2) Use of indicators to estimate potential environmental impacts of each system, 3) A whole system consideration of technologies, and 4) Allowing for decision-makers to consider performance tradeoffs between multiple environmental issues and between different elements in the system. As each environmental technology project is rolled out, care will be taken to design empirical procedures and to measure real impacts where possible; in the alternative, indicator estimates of potential environmental impacts will be maintained using activity and emission factors. The approach, like comparative LCA, requires careful construction of two systems, one containing the environmental technology, the other for the benchmark system. Moreover, the broad based approach requires a range of data on multiple environmental issues, depending on the specific ET project. Early feedback from proponents is positive, as the approach provides explicit expectations for environmental progress.
Key words: agriculture, life cycle assessment, technology assessment, manure
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