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Ongoing project

Pathway to carbon neutral – life cycle analysis in almond orchards (AL20005)

Key research provider: Edge Environment

What's it all about? 

This project is undertaking a life cycle analysis of the almond industry, with the intention being to develop sustainable practices in the industry and reduce the production of carbon emissions. This will be executed through the following deliverables:   

  • Developing future greenhouse gas emission reduction initiatives.
  • Raising awareness across the industry of its footprint.
  • Developing the capability of the industry to undertake future assessments.
  • Helping to position the industry for domestic and international opportunities that may arise from becoming carbon neutral and in the generation of carbon offsets.

A life cycle analysis of a product considers the range of environmental impacts that affects its life cycle. In doing so, the interacting systems that impact production can be identified and provide valuable data that decision-makers can use to support sustainability initiatives.

With the almond industry currently under scrutiny from regulators and consumers to deliver sustainable production, this research will allow claims and strategies relating to emission reductions to be supported by industry data.

The project team have delivered a benchmarking report that offers a perspective on how the Australian almond industry's footprint. The report compares Australia to other countries by taking a deeper look into the Californian almond industry, as the world’s largest producer of almonds and key comparison point, as well as six other commodities deemed comparable to almonds according to resource usage and optimum growing climates. These include oat grain, wine, dairy, cotton, pistachio and beef. 

Taking an average from Life Cycle Inventory Database data as well as a variety of LCA’s selected for each commodity, almond production was found to sit in the middle of all commodities, holding the 4th highest Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 8 commodities. All commodities were found to have GWP values between 0.65 and 2.62 kg CO2 equivalent, with beef production displaying an order of magnitude higher at 30.66 kg CO2 equivalent, per kg of product.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Almond Fund