Eutrophication indicators will help New Zealand agribusiness reduce environmental impacts and meet expected new European environmental standards
Project Details Ngā taipitopito
Collaborators Ngā haumi
AgResearch | Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership | MPI | NIWA | Technical University of Denmark | UNEP Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Life Cycle Initiative Task Force
In future, the European Commission may require all products supplied to Europe to have data on their environmental footprint. This would include a product’s contribution to ‘eutrophication’ – the environmental problems that can be caused by an excess of nutrients, such as nitrate and phosphate, entering bodies of water.
Current methods are insufficient to accurately calculate how a product, such as milk, contributes to eutrophication at all stages of its lifecycle, from pasture to consumer. As a result, it’s difficult to calculate the full environmental footprint of agricultural products.
Product Eutrophication Footprinting scientists worked with international researchers to develop eutrophication impact assessment models that can be applied in every country. These will allow the full environmental footprint of agricultural products to be calculated and compared, using methods set by the European Product Environmental Footprinting initiative.
This research will help producers lower the environmental footprint of products, and therefore raise their value, increase demand from customers, and provide opportunities to reach new markets.