TU.3.B || Life Cycle Data Supporting Supply Chain Management

Jattke, Marleen; Itten, René; Stucki, Matthias; Ortiz, Carlos; Kanyange, Nadine

The coffee supply chain is a complex system with many variable parameters that make it difficult to track the sustainability of the coffee produced. New approaches are needed to support sustainable supply chain management and procurement with accurate and reliable life cycle inventory data. The aim of the project was to develop a comprehensive life cycle inventory modelling framework that allows a consistent comparison of different coffee supply chains. In collaboration with a coffee processor and a coffee trader, we collected data on key LCI parameters for the full supply chain starting on farm level in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Kenia and Uganda. In order to cover this wide range of countries within a consistent framework, we focused on a high degree of automated calculations for the compilation of LCI models as well as the required input data. Initial results for a comprehensive set of LCIA methods show that the environmental impacts of coffee cultivation show a high variation depending on the supply chain. This is due to considerable differences in regional farm management and processing with the most important source of variation being the use of pesticides and fertilisers as well as land use change. To facilitate the management of the extensive life cycle data required for a complex, cross-continental supply chain such as coffee, the necessary data for life cycle inventory modelling is stored in a blockchain based database. The blockchain technology enables transparent data collection and management for all actors within the supply chain while simultaneously simplifying the data collection due to partial automation. A shared database between all actors within the supply chain in combination with a flexible life cycle inventory modelling framework allows for individualised life cycle impact assessment as well as transparent data management and helps to enable sustainable procurement.