Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education

Validity and Reliability of Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study of New Zealand Dairy Production
Claire Flemmer 1 *
More Detail
1 Massey University, Palmerston North, NEW ZEALAND
* Corresponding Author
Research Article

Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2020 - Volume 16 Issue 3, Article No: e2219
https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8338

Published Online: 14 Jun 2020

Views: 508 | Downloads: 280

How to cite this article
APA 6th edition
In-text citation: (Flemmer, 2020)
Reference: Flemmer, C. (2020). Validity and Reliability of Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study of New Zealand Dairy Production. Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 16(3), e2219. https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8338
Vancouver
In-text citation: (1), (2), (3), etc.
Reference: Flemmer C. Validity and Reliability of Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study of New Zealand Dairy Production. Int J Env Sci Ed. 2020;16(3):e2219. https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8338
AMA 10th edition
In-text citation: (1), (2), (3), etc.
Reference: Flemmer C. Validity and Reliability of Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study of New Zealand Dairy Production. Int J Env Sci Ed. 2020;16(3), e2219. https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8338
Chicago
In-text citation: (Flemmer, 2020)
Reference: Flemmer, Claire. "Validity and Reliability of Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study of New Zealand Dairy Production". Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education 2020 16 no. 3 (2020): e2219. https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8338
Harvard
In-text citation: (Flemmer, 2020)
Reference: Flemmer, C. (2020). Validity and Reliability of Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study of New Zealand Dairy Production. Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 16(3), e2219. https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8338
MLA
In-text citation: (Flemmer, 2020)
Reference: Flemmer, Claire "Validity and Reliability of Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study of New Zealand Dairy Production". Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, vol. 16, no. 3, 2020, e2219. https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/8338
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this work is to evaluate the validity and reliability of life cycle assessment as a research methodology to measure the ecological footprint of New Zealand’s dairy production (by the dairy farming and dairy processing sectors). Environmental Input-Output Analysis was used as a macro-level life cycle assessment tool and applied to the dairy production over a period of six years. Eco-efficiencies were used as performance metrics to assess the sustainability of the dairy production. Over the six year period, New Zealand’s annual milk production increased from 11.4 to 15.1 million tonnes and its annual production of dairy products increased from 1.9 to 2.6 million tonnes. Eco-efficiencies indicate that over this time dairy farming became significantly more efficient in terms of land use (-27%), electricity use (-12%), water use (-21%) and lime use (-16%) and produced significantly less water-based effluent (-20%). At the same time fuel and fertilizer use were slightly less efficient (increasing by 2% and 6% respectively). The dairy processing industry used 21% less water and discharged 21% less effluent water. Fuel used in milk transportation was 14% more efficient. The internal validity of the research was good despite significant structural changes to the dairy processing sector but commercial sensitivity had a negative impact on the results. External validity was affected by different boundaries, different climates and different time frames for published studies but some comparisons were possible. The underlying data was generally accurate, reproducible and representative of the entire sectors with checks for anomalies to ensure good reliability.  The choice of Environmental Input-Output Analysis for the life cycle assessment tool and error analysis of all underlying data contributed to both the validity of the research method and the reliability of the data. These, in turn, give good credibility to the research findings.
KEYWORDS
REFERENCES
  • Andrew, R., Forgie, V., Nielsen, P., Hodgson, C., Reid, T., McDonald, G. (2005). Ecological footprint plus: calculating the total environmental impacts of New Zealand’s food and fibre industries. 2005 Proceedings of the ANZSEE Conference, Palmerston North, New Zealand, 1-18.
  • Bagstad, K. J., Berik, G., Gaddis, E. J. B. (2014). Methodological Developments in US State Level Genuine Progress Indicators: Toward GPI 2.0. Ecological Indicators, 45, 474-485.
  • Barber, A., Pellow, G. (2005). Energy Use and Efficiency Measures For the New Zealand Arable and Outdoor Vegetable Industry. Agrilink New Zealand Ltd., 67p. Retrieved 16 August 2019, from http://www.climatecloud.co.nz/CloudLibrary/Arable_Vege_Energy_Efficiency_Stocktake.pdf
  • Barnett, J., Russell, J. (2010). Energy Use on Dairy Farms: Environmental issues at dairy farm level. Bulletin of the International Dairy Federation, 443, 23–32.
  • Basset-Mens, C., Kelliher, F. M., Ledgard, S., Cox, N. (2009). Uncertainty of global warming potential for milk production on a New Zealand farm and implications for decision making. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 14:, 630-638.
  • De Vries, M., de Boer, I. J. M. (2010). Comparing environmental impacts for livestock products: A review of life cycle assessments. Livestock Science, 128: 1-11.
  • Flemmer, C. L. (2012). Environmental Input-Output Analysis of the New Zealand Dairy Industry. International Journal of Sustainable Development, 15(4), 313-333.
  • Flemmer, C. L., Flemmer, R. C. (2005). Measures of Sustainability: What do they mean and how well do they work? Proceedings 2005 ANZSEE Conference, Palmerston North, New Zealand, 30-39.
  • Flemmer C. L., Flemmer R. C., McDonald, G. W., Archer, R. H., Cleland, D. J. (2005). An assessment of the ecological impact of the New Zealand dairy farming sector. Proceedings 2005 ANZSEE Conference, Palmerston North, New Zealand, 73-84.
  • Flemmer, C. L., Flemmer, R. C. (2007). Water use by New Zealand dairy farms, 1997 to 2000. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 50(4), 479-489.
  • Flemmer, C. L., Flemmer, R. C. (2008). Water effluent from New Zealand dairy farms from 1997 to 2000. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 51(2), 181-189.
  • Iribarren, D., Hospido, A., Moreira, M. T., Feijoo, G. (2011). Benchmarking environmental and operational parameters through eco-efficiency criteria for dairy farms. Science of the Total Environment, 409, 1786-1798.
  • Kubiszewski, I., Costanza, R., Franco, C., Lawn, P., Talberth, J., Jackson, T., Aylmer, C. (2013). Beyond GDP: Measuring and Achieving Global Genuine Progress. Ecological Economics, 93, 57-68.
  • Ledgard, S. F., Finlayson, J. D., Gavin, J, Blackwell, M. B., Carran, R. A., Wedderburn, M. E., Jollands, N. A. (2003). Resource use efficiency and environmental emissions from an average Waikato dairy farm and impacts of intensification using nitrogen fertiliser or maize silage. Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association 65: 185-189.
  • LIC (2004). Dairy Statistics 2003-2004. Livestock Improvement Corporation Ltd. Hamilton, New Zealand, 47p. Retrieved 16 August 2019, from https://www.lic.co.nz/about/dairy-statistics/ .
  • Lloyd, S. M., Ries, R. (2007). Characterizing, propagating, and analysing uncertainty in life-cycle assessment. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 11(1): 161-179.
  • MacLeod, C. J., Moller, H. (2006). Intensification and diversification of New Zealand agriculture since 1960: An evaluation of current indicators of land use change. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 115, 201-218.
  • Milani, F. X., Nutter, D., Thoma, G. (2011) Environmental impacts of dairy processing and products: a review. Journal of Dairy Science, 94, 4243-4254.
  • MFE (2008). Environment New Zealand 2007, Ministry for the Environment 460p. Accessed 16 August 2019, from https://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/environment-nz07-dec07.pdf .
  • MAF (2004). Dairy Monitoring Report 2004. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Hamilton, New Zealand, ISSN 1175-2939, 60p.
  • MAF (2004b). Pastoral Agriculture: The competitive edge. The New Zealand Dairy Industry, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), 20p.
  • Patterson, M., McDonald, G., Forgie, V., Kim, J., Hady, D., Smith, N., Zhang, J. (2019). Beyond gross domestic product: the New Zealand genuine progress indicator to measure the economic, social and environmental dimensions of well-being from 1970 to 2016. Massey University report, ISBN 978-0-9582949-4-2. 209p.
  • Pishgar-Komleh, S. H., Zylowski, T., Rosakis, S., Kozyra, J. (2020). Efficiency under different methods for incorporating undesirable outputs in an LCA-DEA framework: A case study of winter wheat production in Poland. Journal of Environmental Management, 260, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.110138
  • Schaffartzik, A., Eisenmenger, N., Krausmann, F., Weisz, H. (2013). Consumption-based material flow Accounting. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 18(1) 102-112.
  • Statistics New Zealand (2003). Agriculture Statistics 2002, Wellington, New Zealand, 94p. Retrieved 16 August 2019 from http://archive.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/agriculture-horticulture-forestry/agriculture-stats-2002.aspx .
  • Saunders, M., Lewis, P., Thornhill, A. (2009). Research methods for business students. 5th Ed. Pearson Education Ltd. New York.
  • Van Middelaar, C. E., Berentsen, P. B. M., Dolman, M. A., de Boer, I. J. M. (2011). Eco-efficiency in the production chain of Dutch semi-hard cheese. Livestock Science, 139, 91-99.
  • Vasquez-Rowe, I., Iribarren, D. (2015). Review of Life-Cycle Approaches Coupled with Data Envelopment Analysis: Launching the CFP + DEA Method for Energy Policy Making. The Scientific World Journal, # 813921: 1-10.
  • Wells, C. (2001). Total energy indicators of agricultural sustainability: dairy farming case study. Technical paper 2001/3, ISBN: 0-478-07968-0, prepared for the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Wellington, New Zealand. 81p.
  • Yan, M. J., Humphreys, J., Holden, N. M. (2011). An evaluation of life cycle assessment of European milk production. Journal of Environmental Management, 92, 372-379.
  • Yu, Y., Chen, D., Zhu, B., Hu, S. (2013). Eco-efficiency trends in China, 1978–2010: Decoupling environmental pressure from economic growth. Ecological Indicators, 24, 177-184.
LICENSE
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.