Llorenç Milà i Canals

Llorenç Milà i Canals
United Nations Environment Programme · Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

PhD, Environmental Sciences

About

99
Publications
99,046
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7,652
Citations
Citations since 2017
10 Research Items
4311 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
United Nations Environment Programme
Position
  • Programme Officer
Description
  • Coordinating the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, and serving as Science Focal Point for Sustainable Consumption and Production. Regular contribution to the International Resource Panel on food, land and water.
March 2008 - August 2013
Unilever
Position
  • Scientist - Environmental Sustainability
November 2004 - December 2007
University of Surrey

Publications

Publications (99)
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, agreed under the Japanese G20 presidency in 2019, voluntarily commits G20 countries to "reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050 through a comprehensive life-cycle approach", thereby ensuring by 2050, the net volume of plastic entering the ocean is zero. This UN Environment Programme Internat...
Article
Full-text available
The current global interest in circular economy (CE) opens an opportunity to make society's consumption and production patterns more resource efficient and sustainable. However, such growing interest calls for precaution as well, as there is yet no harmonised method to assess whether a specific CE strategy contributes towards sustainable consumptio...
Article
Full-text available
We present a list of Chemicals of Concern (CoCs) in plastic toys. We started from available studies reporting chemical composition of toys to group plastic materials, as well as to gather mass fractions and function of chemicals in these materials. Chemical emissions from plastic toys and subsequent human exposures were then estimated using a serie...
Article
Full-text available
The current global interest in circular economy (CE) opens an opportunity to make society’s consumption and production patterns more resource efficient and sustainable. However, such growing interest calls for precaution as well, as there is yet no harmonised method to assess whether a specific CE strategy contributes towards sustainable consumptio...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Guidance is needed on best-suited indicators to quantify and monitor the man-made impacts on human health, biodiversity and resources. Therefore, the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative initiated a global consensus process to agree on an updated overall life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) framework and to recommend a non-comprehensive list of...
Article
Full-text available
PurposeIn response to a need for interoperable LCA databases of adequate quality, a review of 40 datasets from emerging economies has been conducted with UNEP support by independent LCA experts, with the purpose to encourage improvements, either prior to publication or as part of a continuous improvement cycle. We discuss the lessons learned during...
Article
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Purpose Based on the 2005–2014 developments in the Latin American and the Caribbean region (LAC), this paper aims to understand the conditions’ levels for mainstreaming life cycle assessment/life cycle management (LCA/LCM) and map key next actions. Methods Along the paper, four mainstreaming conditions are analyzed: expansion of LCM/LCA training ac...
Article
Full-text available
The Planetary Boundaries (PB) framework represents a significant advance in specifying the ecological constraints on human development. However, to enable decision-makers in business and public policy to respect these constraints in strategic planning, the PB framework needs to be developed to generate practical tools. With this objective in mind,...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Purpose Guidance is needed on best suited indicators to quantify and monitor the man-made impacts on human health, biodiversity and resources. Therefore, the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative initiated a global consensus process to agree on an updated overall life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) framework and to recommend a non-comprehensive list of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The life cycle impact assessment guidance flagship project of the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative aims at providing global guidance and building scientific consensus on indicators for assessing land use impacts on biodiversity. This paper summarizes the activities and highlights the main conclusions of the project. During the last two years the In...
Chapter
This Handbook presents state-of-the-art methodological guidance and discussion of international practice related to the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in impact assessment, featuring contributions from leading researchers and practitioners the world over. Its multidisciplinary approach covers contributions across five continents...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This article introduces the special issue “LCA of nutrition and food consumption” and 14 papers selected from the Ninth LCA Food Conference in San Francisco in October 2014. Literature overview The scientific literature in the field of food LCA has increased more than ten times during the last 15 years. Nutrition has a high contribution to...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) guidance flagship project of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Life Cycle Initiative aims at providing global guidance and building scientific consensus on environmental LCIA indicators. This paper presents the progress made since...
Article
The modelling of land use impacts on biodiversity is considered a priority in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Many diverging approaches have been proposed in an expanding literature on the topic. The UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative is engaged in building consensus on a shared modelling framework to highlight best-practice and guide model application...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose As a class of environmental metrics, footprints have been poorly defined, have shared an unclear relationship to life cycle assessment (LCA), and the variety of approaches to quantification have sometimes resulted in confusing and contradictory messages in the marketplace. In response, a task force operating under the auspices of the UNEP/S...
Article
Full-text available
The UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative organized two consensus-building workshops regarding Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) models and indicators for land use impacts on biodiversity. This article presents a synthesis of the main recommendations drawn from the opinions of the experts present, from the Initiative’s perspective. The needs of LCA practition...
Chapter
The aim of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology is to provide a quantification of the potential environmental impacts of goods and processes for the cycle of production from ‘cradle to grave’. Eventually impacts may be translated into damage to three defined Areas of Protection (AoP): human health, natural environment and resources. Ecosyste...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Land use interventions is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and degradation of a broad range of ecosystem services. In the frame of LCA there is not clear consensus yet on the use of (a) specific impact indicator(s) to quantify land use impacts on biodiversity.The UNEP SETAC Life Cycle Initiative has successfully provided a platform for...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an emerging topic in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. It helps addressing issues of global and local concern such as resources efficiency, water, energy and biodiversity use and CO2 emissions and their associated socio-economic impacts. A number of initiatives worldwide and in the LAC region are implement...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Deforestation is a major threat to biodiversity and many ecosystem services and is closely linked to agricultural expansion. Sustainability assessment of different agricultural products and policies requires an understanding of the impacts of land conversion resulting from shifts in demand or incentives for production. The prevailing a...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative has been promoting the development and dissemination of a life cycle management capability maturity model (LCM CMM) to fully operationalize and eventually mainstream LCA into all facets of business, including product development, marketing, and strategic decision-making business processes. The capability...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This review is a product of the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership . The initial objective of this review was to provide the members LEAP Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on biodiversity with a common ground of knowledge on the main biodiversity indicators and assessment methods that could be applied to livestock p...
Chapter
Land use impacts are the effects caused by the use of land by humans, which range from changes in species composition and abundance to the disruption of ecosystem processes contributing to climate and water regulation. These impacts end up affecting key areas of protection such as human health, ecosystem quality, and natural resources. In life cycl...
Chapter
Full-text available
Corporations are being pressured to integrate life cycle thinking and practices across global supply chains. The UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative has been developing a life cycle management capability maturity model (LCM CMM) to help mainstream life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle management (LCM). Pilot projects in small-to-medium-sized ente...
Article
Agriculture and forestry (including land use changes) contribute approximately 30% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, but have a significant mitigation potential. Several activities to reduce GHGs at a landscape scale are under development (e.g. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation activities or Clean...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The UNEP International Resource Panel has the objective to evaluate the current and projected use of natural resources and as well as to identify opportunities for improvements, using a food systems approach. These opportunities will probably not only include more technical and process oriented opportunities as typically identified with a LCA-appro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one of the most important approaches to quantify environmental impacts of products from cradle to grave. Environmental indicators are required to measure the greening of the economy and of products. With the globalization of our economy, there has been a steadily growing need to create a worldwide consensus set of env...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
LCA tools to certify products and guide farm management have proliferated but a detailed comparison is needed to show whether differ-ent tools are consistent. In this work, three widely used tools for cradle-to-gate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have been inves-tigated -one general tool (CoolFarm Tool) and two crop-specific tools (Bonsucro f...
Article
In the modern economy, international value chains—production, use, and disposal of goods—have global environmental impacts. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) aims to track these impacts and assess them from a systems perspective, identifying strategies for improvement without burden shifting. We review recent developments in LCA, including existing and e...
Article
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a non-profit association promoting sustainable palm oil through a voluntary certification scheme. Two successive science-based working groups on greenhouse gas (GHG) were active in RSPO from 2009 to 2011, with the aim of identifying ways of achieving meaningful and verifiable reductions of GHG emissi...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Bio-based products are often considered sustainable due to their renewable nature. However, the environmental performance of products needs to be assessed considering a life cycle perspective to get a complete picture of potential benefits and trade-offs. We present a life cycle assessment of the global commodity ethanol, produced from diff...
Article
Full-text available
The number of private and voluntary agri-food standards, or certification schemes, has boomed in recent years. Their proliferation and prominence has been fuelled, in part, through wide-scale adoption by agri-food supply chain actors using them to display environmental credentials and to signify that products have been ‘sustainably sourced’. As bot...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cocoa supplies may become limited in the future. Demands for sustainable cocoa sparked an exploration of the product chain organisation of conventional and certified cocoa from Ghana. The comparison shows that transparency requirements have led to a more complex product chain. Even so, certification has yielded important productivity increases resu...
Article
Purpose This paper presents a case study of margarine, demonstrating the application of new characterisation factors (CF) for land use and a number of land use change impacts relating to biodiversity and ecosystem services. The objectives of this study were to generate insights as to the ease of applying these new factors and to assess their value...
Article
Full-text available
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a non-profit association promoting sustainable palm oil through a voluntary certification scheme. Two successive science-based working groups on greenhouse gas (GHG) were active in RSPO from 2009 to 2011, with the aim of identifying ways of achieving meaningful and verifiable reductions of GHG emissi...
Article
Full-text available
The agri-food sector, and specifically agricultural production, is a major contributor to climate change. In order to manage the impact on the climate, a better understanding of the variability of global warming potential in agriculture is needed. This study assesses the variability in global warming potential of 27 crops using the modular extrapol...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose To assess the diverse environmental impacts of land use, a standardization of quantifying land use elementary flows is needed in life cycle assessment (LCA). The purpose of this paper is to propose how to standardize the land use classification and how to regionalize land use elementary flows. Materials and methods In life cycle inventorie...
Article
Purpose The inclusion of land-use activities in life cycle assessment (LCA) has been subject to much debate in the LCA community. Despite the recent methodological developments in this area, the impacts of land occupation and transformation on its long-term ability to produce biomass (referred to here as biotic production potential [BPP]) — an impo...
Article
Major sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural crop production are nitrous oxide (N 2O) emissions resulting from the application of mineral and organic fertilizer, and carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions from soil carbon losses. Consequently, choice of fertilizer type, optimizing fertilizer application rates and timing, reducing micr...
Article
Many assessments of product carbon footprint (PCF) for agricultural products omit emissions arising from land-use change (LUC). In this study, we developed a framework based on IPCC national greenhouse gas inventory methodologies to assess the impacts of LUC from crop production using oil palm, soybean and oilseed rape as examples. Using ecological...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose In recent years, several methods have been devel-oped which propose different freshwater use inventory schemes and impact assessment characterization models considering various cause–effect chain relationships. This work reviewed a multitude of methods and indicators for freshwater use potentially applicable in life cycle assess-ment (LCA)....
Article
Full-text available
Purpose As a consequence of the multi-functionality of land, the impact assessment of land use in Life Cycle Impact Assessment requires the modelling of several impact pathways covering biodiversity and ecosystem services. To provide consistency amongst these separate impact pathways, general principles for their modelling are provided in this pape...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The degradation of chemicals in the environment is often excluded from life cycle assessment (LCA) studies. This paper describes a method to account for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from degradation, namely carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Materials and methods A multi-media fate model is proposed to estimate...
Article
Full-text available
The challenge for agricultural production in the 21st century is to produce sufficient high-quality food whilst minimizing impact. Life cycle assessment (LCA) can help by identifying the parts of a supply chain with the greatest environmental impact, and to determine which technologies – for example plant breeding – may be most appropriately employ...
Article
Full-text available
There is an increasing need for life cycle data for bio‐based products, which becomes particularly evident with the recent drive for greenhouse gas reporting and carbon footprinting studies. Meeting this need is challenging given that many bio‐products have not yet been studied by life cycle assessment (LCA), and those that have are specific and li...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been identified as one of Unilever’s priority environmental impact themes: this assessment was therefore conducted to help the Knorr brand measure and understand the GHG emissions related to its product portfolio, identify opportunities to manage GHG emissions in the Unilever-owned operations (manufacture...
Article
Agriculture and deforestation contribute approximately one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Major sources of emissions in this sector are from loss of soil carbon due to repeated soil disturbance under typical crop cultivation, fossil fuel use in the production of synthetic fertilisers, direct and indirect soil nitrous oxide emissions from...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture are a significant contributor climate change. With a growing consumer concern in this issue, food manufacturing companies have become increasingly interested in measuring and reducing the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) impacts of their agricultural supply chains as part of their impact reduction commitments...
Article
Full-text available
Miscanthus Willow short-rotation coppice (SRC) Forest residues Life cycle assessment (LCA) Land use Soil quality Carbon sequestration Soil organic carbon (SOC) a b s t r a c t The environmental impact of different land-use systems for energy, up to the farm or forest ''gate'', has been quantified with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Four representativ...
Article
Full-text available
MEXALCA (Modular EXtrapolation of Agricultural LCA) extrapolates crop inventory data and impacts from an original country inventory to all producing countries worldwide. This allows estimates of worldwide means weighted by production volumes and of the environmental impact distribution. In this paper, the relationship between the yield and the envi...
Article
Summary Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to compare the current water supply planning in Mediterranean Spain, the so-called AGUA Programme, with its predecessor, the Ebro river water transfer (ERWT). Whereas the ERWT was based on a single interbasin transfer, the AGUA Programme excludes new transfers and focuses instead on different types of re...
Article
Full-text available
An integrated environmental and economic assessment of land use for food, energy and timber in the UK has been performed using environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and economic Life Cycle Costing (LCC), to explore complementary sustainability aspects of alternative land uses. The environmental assessment includes impacts on climate change, eco...
Article
PurposeLife cycle assessment (LCA) is widely used for the environmental assessment of food products, but difficulties arise when evaluating large portfolios of food products or when faced with a diversity of sources of ingredients and/or frequent changes of suppliers. In such situations, a specific, in-depth assessment of each ingredient is not fea...
Article
Full-text available
Background, aim and scopeThe aim of this work is to find out to what extent human excretion is relevant in the context of a Spaniard’s overall food intake. A case study dealing with the average Spanish diet is carried out, including the whole life cycle of food: agricultural and animal production, industrial processing, distribution and retail, hom...
Article
Full-text available
Background, aim and scopeMilà i Canals et al. (Int J Life Cycle Ass 14(1):28-42, 2009) referred to as ‘Part 1’ in this paper) showed that impacts associated with use of freshwater must be treated more rigorously than is usual in life cycle assessment (LCA), going beyond the conventional consideration only of ‘blue’ water (i.e. irrigation and other...
Article
Full-text available
Background, aim and scopeConsiderable debate surrounds the assessment of the environmental impacts and the ethical justification for providing a year-round supply of fresh produce to consumers in the developed countries of northern Europe. Society is seeking environmentally sustainable supply chains which maintain the variety of fresh food on offer...