This project is occurring in two stages over two years:
Stage 1: Environmental risk assessment of the sugarcane value chain
Stage 2: Life cycle assessment of the raw sugar manufacturing (cradle to processor gate)
In stage one, the project will undertake a study to identify current and possible future risks to the Australian sugar industry of not undertaking a raw sugar environmental LCA. The review focuses on key risks, some of which include:
a. Market regulation and trade restrictions
b. Foregone price premiums or penalty for non-compliance
c. Government regulation, tariffs, and lack of government support
d. Failure to tell a broader sustainability narrative of the industry’s environmental performance
In stage two, the aim is to develop a detailed understanding of the environmental performance of Australian sugar industry’s products and business operations. The study will require a detailed quantification of the environmental impacts along the raw sugar value chain.
The LCA outputs are expected to help the industry better understand, benchmark, and improve its environmental contribution to human health, environment, ecosystem quality and resource use (including waste management).
The findings of the assessment will be used by SRA to consult with industry and inform efforts to minimise environmental impacts and exploit opportunities for improving resource use efficiency, support diversification, influence policy and improve social licence to operate.
SRA acknowledges the funding contribution of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries towards this research activity.