Some examples of our work
Growing Media Europe LCA platform
In 2019 Blonk started a project for Growing Media Europe (GME), the European association of growing media producers, to set up a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) platform, making it easy and accessible for their members and any other stakeholder to measure and improve the environmental footprint of growing media products.
The GME LCA platform is an online tool that brings together the Growing Media Environmental Footprint Guidelines (GMEF guidelines) and an LCA database.
Ecolabeling food products under a harmonised method
To make a fair comparison between the environmental impact of food products, consistent footprinting calculations are necessary. Foundation Earth, an independent, non-profit organisation established to issue front-of-pack environmental scores on food products, is working with Blonk and Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik (DIL) to develop a harmonised methodology and establish a standard for European food product scoring.
Making Life Cycle Assessment knowledge actionable
Over the past 3 years Blonk has been working with IDH. IDH is a foundation that works with businesses, financiers, governments, and civil society to transform markets for more sustainable and equitable trade in global value chains. Together we explored the opportunities of environmental assessments and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for the global value chains IDH is involved in to improve their environmental sustainability. In this article, we will share some insights into our evolving cooperation.
Agri-footprint Branded Data-Add ons: Donau Soja
Donau Soja is keen to disclose their environmental impact data to facilitate a rapid transition to more sustainable European protein value chains. Therefore, Blonk Consultants conducted a Life Cycle Assessment of Donau Soja / Europe Soya certified soybeans from four different countries: Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine, Romania. The LCA datasets are now available as Agri-footprint Branded Data Add-ons and can be downloaded for free from the Blonk Tool Portal.
A dietary pattern that is healthy for both Belgians and the planet
WWF launched the European Eat4Change project to make young Europeans aware of ways to develop and adopt a healthier and more sustainable diet. Our current food system has a substantial environmental impact. With Eat4Change, WWF wants to make food production more sustainable, combat biodiversity loss and tackle the climate crisis. As part of this European project, on behalf of WWF Belgium, we analyzed which products fit into a sustainable and healthy diet for a family of four. We did so using our Optimeal software tool. The results also show that a sustainable and healthy diet is cheaper than the average Belgian's current dietary pattern.
Methodological exploration by Blonk and DSM
Together with DSM we set up a methodological study, by way of road testing, to explore the applicability of sector Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) guidelines, such as FAO LEAP and European Commission Product Environmental Footprint (EC PEF). In APS-footprint we modeled nutritional interventions, specifically the use of feed additives, and explored the effects. The study was externally reviewed by experts, according to the ISO 14044 LCA guidelines.
Understanding Avebe’s environmental product performance
Avebe is a cooperative of starch potato growers focusing on extracting starch and proteins from potatoes. Avebe’s customers use these ingredients in food products and cattle food or industrial applications. Sustainability is an important objective for Avebe. Blonk Consultants worked with Avebe to develop a life cycle assessment (LCA) model to calculate the environmental footprint of each product in the company's portfolio.
HortiFootprint Category Rules
There didn’t exist an up-to-date standard methodology to calculate the environmental impacts of horticultural products, like fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants. To meet consumer and industry stakeholder demands for environmental impact information, in 2018, a project was started to develop uniform calculation guidelines to be accepted across the whole horticultural value chain and in line with European directives. Blonk was part of the project team and involved as an expert.
LCA standard for Growing Media Europe
Growing Media Europe (GME) is an international non-profit organization representing the producers of growing media and soil improvers at European level. Growing media are materials other than soil in situ in which plants and mushrooms are grown. For GME Blonk developed an uniform LCA Toolbox, in line with the European PEF method. A ‘task force’ of expert industry advisers were involved the development of the LCA standard.
APS-footprint as core engine for Sustell™ – an intelligent sustainability service by DSM and Blonk
At Blonk, we are very proud of our cooperation with innovative companies that bring sustainable business into practice. DSM is for us a strategic partner in developing our flagship APS-footprint tool. For DSM the APS-footprint became the core engine of Sustell™, a recently launched holistic animal protein sustainability service.
Deforestation is one of the major issues facing the global agriculture production system, with as much as 8% of global CO2 emissions attributable to land-use change. A well-known example is deforestation to cultivate crops such as soybean and oil palm. A big challenge for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) researchers is translating this impact of land-use change to specific crops from specific countries while little primary data is available. We specifically designed our LUC Impact Tool to address this challenge and provide a solution.
Science Based Targets in the agri-food sector
Climate change being one of the most urgent challenges of our time. Society is looking for ways to define the contours of a sustainable world. Accordingly, more and more companies are joining the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), which help to monitor and reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.