In view of the UN Food Systems Summit scheduled in Sept. 2021, the discussion about eco-friendlier foods in the context of dietary patterns and sustainable food systems is gaining much attention by selected stakeholders and mass media.

The life cycle assessment (LCA) approach has been increasingly used to assess the environmental profile of products over past years. A growing number of studies are showing how the results of an environmental assessment of foods largely depend on how the functional unit is set and on a number of modelling choices. Alternative environmental assessment frameworks are also proposed by stakeholders to inform about health and environmental impacts.

Further to the announcement made by Don Syme, Perm. Rep. of New Zealand, in the 29th LEAP Steering Committee meeting, FAO is now forming a new group to review science on environmental and nutritional LCAs of foods. How to best include nutritional aspects in LCA will be part of such review, which will be broader in scope.

The enclosed call for experts has just been released by colleagues from the Food Systems and Food Safety Division as part of a broader project. Over the past 9 years, LEAP has been focusing on LCA and complementary environmental assessment approaches. When it comes LCA, LEAP has been analyzing specific modelling choices to inform better environmental management for feed and livestock systems. I am confident that LEAP will support the review through its guidelines and on-going work.

Should governments and stakeholders in LEAP be eager to directly contribute to the project through experts, kindly note that the deadline for applications is 25 March 2021. Experts can apply by e-mailing their CVs to Maryam Rezaei ( Candidates are ideally from academia, governmental research institutes or intergovernmental organizations.

More information about the application procedure is in the call document: Research Group on environmental and nutritional LCA methods – ToRs