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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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2 thoughts on “Life Cycle Assessment: It’s a Worm’s Life

  1. Great to see this kind of research being done. I just hope that with the intentions/requirements of LCA, consideration is also being given to the potential impact of this organism on micro-ecosystems. Across the globe the devastation that invasive species have wrecked on local ecosystems has been real and tangible. I hope that the introduction of this organism into new environments has been thoroughly considered.

  2. Good question….Becker Underwood has invested a significant amount of time and money in research to ensure that our products, especially our bio-control products, have little if any harmful environmental impacts. We go beyond just compliance with quality and environmental testing because these are important issues that everyone is trying to address and we want to be sure that our products have a positive effect on these issues.

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