News

29.11.2022

On Tuesday, November 15th at the SETAC North America 43rd Annual Meeting, the Microplastic Interest Group (MPIG) en debatt om mikro- og nanoplast, livsløpsanalyse og miljørisikovurdering, som ble ledet av Amila Abeynayaka (Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan), Susanne Brander (Oregon State University), Kara Wiggin, (Scripps University, interessegruppens avgangsstudentrepresentant) og Valentina Pauna (NORSUS).

Amila introduced LCA and LCIA to the participants, which consisted largely of specialists in ecotoxicology and risk assessment.

Susanne discussed the need for integration of risk assessment and life cycle assessment in micro- and nanoplastic assessment and Valentina described the use of ecotoxicity and risk assessment data in LCIA of micro- and nanoplastics, with reference to her and Cecilia Askham's co-authored publications: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.160038 and https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.13312.


On Thursday, November 17th, Valentina presented a paper in the session “New Tools and Wise Perspectives: Advancing Environmental Assessment and Management Through Reflection.”

She introduced her and Cecilia Askham's article, titled “Using information flow analysis to establish key data gaps in assessment of marine microplastic pollution”.

The purpose of the session was to reflect on advancements in environmental assessment since the 1962 publishing of Rachel Carson's, "Silent Spring", therefore, Valentina took the opportunity to describe how progress in science to date has allowed for more feasible and effective interdisciplinary collaboration.

She discussed the need for scientists to interact across disciplines to more efficiently obtain quality and relevant data for holistic environmental assessment which can be helpful in decision-making.

14.11.2022

Har du forskningserfaring eller prosjektledererfaring innen bærekraftsvurdering eller sirkulærøkonomi? Vil du jobbe med kolleger dedikert til grønn omstilling gjennom forskning? 

Vi søker forskere med bakgrunn innen LCA, materialstrømsanalyse, verdikjedeanalyser, bærekraftsvurderinger generelt, industriell økologi eller sirkulærøkonomi. Hvis du ikke har doktorgrad ønsker vi solid erfaring som prosjektleder.

Søknadsfrist: 7. desember 2022

Se annonsen her: https://www.finn.no/job/fulltime/ad.html?finnkode=280800001

04.11.2022

NORSUS conducts holistic sustainability research. We develop methods to assess the sustainability of products, services and practices in different fields and how to implement sustainable solutions in society. Together with companies and public actors, we map and reduce environmental impacts, moving society in a sustainable direction.

We are pleased to now launch a new channel for sharing important news, results and general information regarding our sustainability research. The newsletter will contain a selected digest of our activity and be published three times a year.

Sign up for updates!

03.11.2022
Meld. St. 5

The Norwegian Government has, in its long-term plan for research and higher education 2023 – 2032, launched two national «societal missions». One of these is sustainable feed. This topic is within NORSUS’s core competence and is a priority area for our institute. We work with this topic in several research projects.

The sustainable feed «societal mission» is described as follows [our translation]: «The Government has set a target that all aquaculture and animal feed shall be sourced from sustainable sources and contribute to a decrease of greenhouse gas emissions in food systems. Population pressure, pressure on land and resources and less reliable supply chains pose a risk to national food security. The societal mission on sustainable feed shall contribute to new and innovative solutions to exploit resources in a more efficient manner. In addition, the mission will give important contributions to the targets that Norway has set in the areas of climate, food production, employment, and value creation. The final setting of the main target and the quantification and further development of sub targets will be done in a design- and implementation phase in 2022/2023.

According to statistics, Norwegians consumed on average 54,9 kg meat per capita (estimate from Animalia) and 5,6 kg farmed salmon (estimate from The Norwegian Seafood Federation). There are several sustainability challenges associated with livestock production and aquaculture. The production of feed is associated with most of these challenges. The production of feed causes, among others, greenhouse gas emissions, reduction of biological diversity and social challenges in the production countries. Other challenges include land use, deforestation, resource use, use of chemicals, pollution of air and water and indigenous people’s rights, to name a few. Hence it is important to find out how feed production can become more sustainable.

SYLFEED


NORSUS has conducted research on feed and sustainability in several projects, e.g. in the European (Horizon 2020) research project SYLFEED. In this project, the environmental performance of SylPro®, a high protein fish feed made from algae fed with processed wood, was calculated using LCA methodology. The analyses were done in accordance with the European standard “Product environmental footprint calculation rules (PEFCR) for feed for food-producing animals». Other important feed protein sources were also analysed with the same methodology and compared. The assessments show that SylPro® has a relatively good environmental performance compared to the other protein sources. SylPro® has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions but is does not have the best environmental performance across all impact categories. The assessments also show large variation in results for several of the other protein sources. This means that to make a valid comparison, it is important to get specific information on how the feed is produced and, based on this, calculate the environmental performance of competing protein sources.

Kuer


NORSUS has conducted Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) on livestock and aquaculture production, e.g. in the ongoing research project Livestock . The feed has been extensively researched and the results show that feed production contributes significantly to the environmental impact for pork, poultry and fish. The research in this and similar projects has contributed to increasing the knowledge of the environmental impacts of feed production and enabled identification of measures aimed at improving the environmental performance of meat and farmed fish.

NORSUS will, in cooperation with research and business partners, continually develop projects to analyse the sustainability of sustainable production and consumption of feed and identifying ways to further improve its environmental performance.   

We at NORSUS look forward to contributing to new and innovative research in this field. We seek partners who want to participate in interesting interdisciplinary projects in the area of feed research. If you are interested, please contact Erik Svanes by email erik@norsus.no or phone 


Some of our feed-related publications can be found here:

Modahl, I.S., Brekke, A. (2022). Environmental performance of insect protein: a case of LCA results for fish feed produced in Norway. SN Appl. Sci. 4, 183. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42452-022-05065-1

Møller, H., Samsonstuen, S., Øverland, M., Modahl, I.S., Fjerdingby Olsen, H. 2022. Local non-food yeast protein in pig production–environmental impacts and land use efficiency. Livestock Science, vol. 260, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2022.104925

Brekke, A.; Soldal, E. & Johnsen, F.M. (2020). The consistency of protein sources’ environmental performance across LCI data sources and impact assessment methods. 12th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food (LCAFood 2020), 13-16October 2020, Berlin Virtually, Germany. DIL, Quakenbrück, Germany. Eberle, U., Smetana, S., Bos, U. (Eds.), 2020. Conference proceedings. ISBN: 978-3-00-067604-8. https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AP0nfW%5F0%5F6RRXRE&cid=E04FA834AFB66516&id=E04FA834AFB66516%2167672&parId=E04FA834AFB66516%2159394&o=OneUp

Modahl, I.S. & Brekke, A. (2020). Environmental performance of insect protein for fish feed. 12th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food (LCAFood 2020), 13-16October 2020, Berlin Virtually, Germany. DIL, Quakenbrück, Germany. Eberle, U., Smetana, S., Bos, U. (Eds.), 2020. Conference proceedings. ISBN: 978-3-00-067604-8. https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AP0nfW%5F0%5F6RRXRE&cid=E04FA834AFB66516&id=E04FA834AFB66516%2167672&parId=E04FA834AFB66516%2159394&o=OneUp

Brekke, A.; Soldal, E.; Modahl; I.S.; Johnsen, F.M. & Valente, C. (2020). Environmental performance of protein from wood compared to other protein sources. 12th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food (LCAFood 2020), 13-16October 2020, Berlin Virtually, Germany. DIL, Quakenbrück, Germany. Eberle, U., Smetana, S., Bos, U. (Eds.), 2020. Conference proceedings. ISBN: 978-3-00-067604-8. https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AP0nfW%5F0%5F6RRXRE&cid=E04FA834AFB66516&id=E04FA834AFB66516%2167672&parId=E04FA834AFB66516%2159394&o=OneUp

26.10.2022

The construction sector makes an intensive use of primary resources and have a low level of circularity but has a great circularity potential. Traditional demolition is still the most common practice in Europe, but it is well-known that selective demolition (or selective deconstruction or deconstruction) is a preferable approach.

NORSUS has a research collaboration with CERIS at the Instituto Superior Técnico of Lisbon where a web-based platform for construction waste has been established, aiming to calculate the economic and environmental benefits associated with the process of deconstruction and re-use of Construction and Demolition wastes.

Modules C and D are now mandatory when developing EPDs. However, it is a challenge to obtain good, representative data for the environmental impacts linked to dismantling, demolition, material recycling, incineration and landfilling for building products and materials after their end of life. In Germany, a project has been carried out in which the possibility of waste companies/waste handlers preparing a so-called End-of-Life Declaration has been tested. These are intended to be the data source for construction product manufacturers' documentation of module C in EPDs.

Seminar byggningsavfall


We invite you to a seminar where we will present the Portuguese and German approaches and how Norwegian waste actors handle this. A discussion is planned on how we can best obtain representative data for demolition and waste management, and how to proceed to establish a system for data exchange.

Seminar: 27 October 2022, kl. 8.30-11.30, in NHO, Middelthuns gate 27, 0368 Oslo, Norway.

For enrolment or information requests, please contact: signe.nielsen@epd-norge.no signe.nielsen@epd-norge.no

Byggningsavfall
24.10.2022

Some of those who have worked on the project are (from the left) Karoline Finstad Vold and project manager Gry Bondø in Hamar municipality, and Mona Nilsen and Sigrid Møyner Hohle from NORSUS. Photo: Monica Persson


Large quantities of food are disposed in the care sector. Food waste can be significantly reduced by adjusting orders for the individual resident better, increasing the employee's competence in food and serving, and ensuring proper management support. These findings were among the results of a project NORSUS completed for Hamar municipality.

The project "Reduction in food waste in the Care Sector in Hamar municipality" is financed by Hamar municipality and supported by the Norwegian Environment Agency's climate grant scheme, Klimasats. Hamar established the project to map and reduce food waste at a nursing home and two care homes in the municipality. 

Measuring was done before and after the implementation of specific measures. They showed a food waste reduction of 31 percent from measuring point 1 to measuring point 3 in total for all sections and kitchens. Estimates based on the measurements show that this corresponds to 5.8 tonnes less food wasted annually for the participating units and kitchens. In monetary value, it amounts to almost 250.000 NOK saved, and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 11.6 tonnes CO2equivalents. Nevertheless, much food waste remains - the last measuring point showed that nearly 13 tonnes tonnes of edible food were still wasted annually. These numbers are uncertain estimates, however, partly due to some missing data.

Reports from the employees said it was meaningful and awareness-raising to participate in the project measuring food waste. Some also reported that they adopted the behaviour making them more aware at home. Experiences and results from this project may be transferrable to other institutions within the health and care sector in Hamar municipality.

See the full report

18.10.2022

Anna Woodhouse, Hanne Møller, Erik Svanes og Kari-Anne Lyng participated virtually at the conference LCA Foods 2022 (13th International Conference of Life Cycle Assessment in the AgriFood sector) which was held October 12th-14th in Lima, Peru.

The conference was attended by a global audience of 437 people. More than 250 papers were presented in oral or by posters in a number of topics such as sustainable agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, crops, fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, viticulture, nutrition and diets. Other themes included food waste, ecolabelling, databases, food production in the tropics, biological diversity, water use, marine plastic pollution, in addition to improvements in LCA methodology.



Anna Woodhouse presented her work on biodegradable agricultural plastics from the project DGRADE – Environmental impact of biodegradable and conventional plastic mulching films, Hanne Møller presented her work on food waste and by-products as animal feed which has been conducted in the project LIVESTOCK-sustainable  livestock productionKari-Anne Lyng also presented results from the LIVESTOCK-project with the poster: The potential impacts on climate change and farm scale economic sustainability from anaerobic digestion of manure.

The conference is global and is held every second year. The topic of the conference this year was «the role of emerging economies in global food security». This is a particularly important conference for NORSUS who work with sustainable production and consumption of food. There has been a lot of scientific progress in the field, as an example the trend is now to analyse whole diets and food systems rather than just single food products.  


11.10.2022

Kari-Anne Lyng, senior researcher at NORSUS and coordinator for our research area biogasparticipated at the Nordic Biogas Conference 3-6. October in Linköping in Sweden.

Konferansen samlet rundt 350 deltakere fra industrien, forskningsmiljøer og organisasjoner, og hadde stort fokus på bærekraft og hvordan den nordiske biogassindustrien kan videreutvikle seg. Kari-Anne holdt en presentasjon med tittel Why biogas solutions are good for the climate.

In her presentation she explained how biogas value chains can contribute to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and listed five different measures to develop value chain with the largest climate benefits.

During the conference she also participated in meetings in the international biogas network IEA Bioenergy Task 37 Energy from biogas. Task 37 is an international group working with knowledge sharing about biogas across the member countries.


Kari-Anne Lyng, seniorforsker i NORSUS  på scenen
Kari-Anne Lyng on stage. Photo: Jens Måge
27.09.2022

Mehrdad Mooselu started working at NORSUS in August after successfully defending his Ph.D., with the title Sustainable Approaches for Highway Runoff Management During Construction and Operation, at the University of Agder in May. The Ph.D. was part of the MEERC project (More Efficient and Environmentally-friendly Road Construction), funded by the Research Council of Norway.

This PhD project focused on the effects of road runoff on water quality and investigated sustainable measures to manage highway runoff during construction and operation. Mehrdad worked on field data on the vulnerability of water quality to road construction in the new highway E18 between Arendal and Tvedestrand. Then he explored two different approaches to optimize the water quality monitoring network during road construction and assessed the water quality monitoring through remote sensing techniques. Finally, he studied the characterization and treatment of tunneling wastewater. This is an important competence for NORSUS, especially related to our research area transport.

See also https://www.uia.no/en/research/disputations/sustainable-approaches-for-highway-runoff-management-during-construction-and-operation.

26.09.2022

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a good tool for evaluating the environmental impacts of products, but the method does not incorporate social impacts. Therefore, the social LCA method (S-LCA) has been developed.

Similar to what environmental LCA does for environmental impacts, social LCA considers social impacts for all affected parties in a value chain. The purpose of S-LCA is to show both the positive and negative social impacts throughout the whole value chain. This is a topic of increasing interest in all industrial sectors, and we expect the perceived usefulness of the approach will further increase as the upcoming European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD) are launched. Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) og Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD) kommer på plass. Også EUs taxonomi stiller krav til åpenhet rundt sosiale forhold gjennom ‘Minimal Safeguard’-konseptet.

Social LCA is a more recent methodology than LCA. It is also most discussed, but at the same time it is an emerging tool for measuring the social impact of product. The idea of integrated social and socio-economic criteria in LCA was born from the SETAC conference in 1999 (UNEP/SETAC 2009), where social welfare was recommended as a social impact category in environmental LCA studies. The result of the discussions was that S-LCA was developed as a separate assessment approach, which could be integrated with environmental LCA and the economic LCA approach Life Cycle Costing, into Life Cycle Sustainable Assessments (LCSA).

In 2009, UNEP/SETAC published guidelines for social life cycle assessment of products, where Social LCA was defined as

a social impact (and potential impact) assessment technique that aims to assess the social and socio-economic aspects of products and their potential positive and negative impacts along their life cycle encompassing extraction and processing of raw materials; manufacturing; distribution; use; re-use; maintenance; recycling; and final disposal”.

According to UNEP/SETAC 2009, the aim of the S-LCA is “to promote improvement of social conditions and of the overall socio-economic performance of a product throughout its life cycle for all of its stakeholders”. Later, the method has been expanded to hold for also organisations and industrial sectors overall, which is reflected in the 2020 UNEP update of the guidelines.S-LCA is used both as a communication tool and for decision support, for companies, NGOs and public authorities.

Since 2009 an increasing number of scientific articles have been published using the S-LCA approach and method. There are still many foundational issues discussed and much methodological development ongoing, as witnessed at The 8th International Conference on S-LCA in Aachen September 2022, where NORSUS contributed to the programme. There is rapid development in both harmonised practice and database resources.

S-LCA has similarities and differences with environmental LCA. In S-LCA, e.g. the geographical dimension is very important, because social issues are different from country to country (e.g. working conditions, the right to join unions, etc.). The time frame is another key element, because social impacts change over time (level of poverty, health status, etc.).

Databases for social sustainability are crucial in most S-LCA project and the currently most important are PSILCA and Social Hotspot Database . These databases help us identify so-called «hot spots», which are phases or areas in the value chain with the highest consequences for social sustainability.

At NORSUS we have used S-LCA in several projects, such as RoButcher, Exilva, Meat 2.0, Future Pack, iNOBox and Redesign QR.

Further information about the status on S-LCA can be found here:

Tokede, O., Traverso, M. Implementing the guidelines for social life cycle assessment: past, present, and future. Int J Life Cycle Assess 25, 1910–1929 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11367-020-01814-9

Arcese, G., Lucchetti, M.C., Massa, I. and Valente, C. State of the art in S-LCA: integrating literature review and automatic text analysis. Int J Life Cycle Assess 23, 394–405 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11367-016-1082-0

Sala S, Vasta A, Mancini L, Dewulf J, Rosenbaum E. Social Life Cycle Assessment: State of the art and challenges for supporting product policies. EUR 27624. Luxembourg (Luxembourg): Publications Office of the European Union; 2015. JRC99101

Interested in S-LCA? Contact Clara Valente at NORSUS.