Life Cycle Assessment: It’s a Worm’s Life
Becker Underwood has conducted its first product life cycle assessment (LCA) of a natural pest control product with the help of ENXSUITE’s energy performance management platform. The software platform helped Becker determine the energy, materials and emissions involved in the life cycle of the “Nemaslug,” a nematode-based product that the company developed for natural pest control of crops.
Becker explains that the Nemaslug is an organic pesticide consisting of nematodes, or microscopic worms, which are used as a spray drench in soil to control the proliferation of slugs. The nematodes attack the pests naturally, and then reproduce to continue their crop protection.
Unlike traditional pesticides, Nemaslug leaves no residue on crops, minimizing harmful environmental effects and making crops suitable for organic labeling.
ENXSUITE measured the potential environmental impact of the Nemaslug across its entire lifecycle, from materials extraction to eventual disposal, which included energy use, water consumption, materials utilization, solid waste, emissions to air, water and soil, as well as other process flows.
The analysis is expected to help Becker determine the environmental attributes of the Nemaslug product and identify opportunities for improvements. The company says the results will yield cost savings and increased efficiency of the processes that will reduce environmental impacts.
Becker cites a host of other benefits including validation of sustainability claims, enhanced supply chain efficiency, assistance in complying with evolving regulations and customer standards, product differentiation and innovation, and market expansion through improved customer retention and acquisition.
Last year, the United Nations approved the broad application of the first agricultural methodology, or biological approach, for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Becker was one of the key developers of the methodology, along with Amson Technology and Point Carbon.
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