Considering Blue Carbon Sequestration in Life Cycle Assessment of Palm Oil Systems

by Edgar E. Sacayón (presenting author), Samuel Vionnet, Luis Rodriguez

Guateambiente

 

Palm oil systems around the world are causing severe damages to the environment. Emissions of GHG are caused by land use change and palm oil mill effluents (POME). In order to increase the environmental sustainability of palm oil, companies need to increase their resource efficiency and compensate for their environmental externalities. In our study, we present an LCA case study of a palm oil company in Guatemala protecting 372 ha of mangrove forest. The goal and scope of the study was to assess the life cycle environmental impacts of producing 1 ton of palm oil and assess the environmental and economic benefits of blue carbon sequestration. Life cycle inventories were built with primary data taken directly from the company. Our results are in line with other palm oil LCA studies. POME is the the main driver of climate change impacts. However blue carbon sequestration could compensate (neutralize) the carbon footprint and provide increased economic benefits from trading carbon stocks. We believe accounting blue carbon sequestration within LCA of palm oil systems could encourage conservation actions around the world by other companies.