Environment Centre
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Environmental Footprint Lab

We aim to quantify environmental impacts from a consumer responsibility perspective covering the entire life cycle of the consumed products. We focus on the environmental footprints of international trade, individual products, households, cities, countries and broader regions. We utilize existing environmental footprints, such as the carbon, ecological, water, material and land footprints and we continue to develop novel approaches in development of environmental footprints to reflect human impacts on ecosystems and their services. We apply process life cycle assessment (LCA) and multi-regional input-output analysis (MRIO) in which we focus mainly, but not exclusively, on the quantification of the site-specific environmental impacts of agriculture. More information

Projects

Our team members are principal investigators in these research projects:

We contribute to the following research projects:

  • Czech Science Foundation Expro 2019-2023: Frontiers in Energy Efficiency Economics and Modelling (FE3M)
  • Eurostat 2017-2019: Regular update and refining of the Eurostat RME model

Outputs

The most important results of our team members are the calculator of environmental impacts of food and scientific publications.

footprint

 

Key words: biodiversity, ecosystem services, food, agriculture, climate change, pollution, land use, emissions, water, energy, LCA, IOA, international trade, household consumption, EPD, environmental product declaration, life cycle assessment

Team: Jan Weinzettel, Dana Kapitulčinová, Dominika Kafková a Dava Vačkářů

About: We aim to quantify environmental impacts from a consumer responsibility perspective covering the entire life cycle of the consumed products. We focus on the environmental footprints of international trade, individual products, households, cities, countries and broader regions. We utilize existing environmental footprints, such as the carbon, ecological, water, material and land footprints and we continue to develop novel approaches in development of environmental footprints to reflect human impacts on ecosystems and their services. We apply process life cycle assessment (LCA) and multi-regional input-output analysis (MRIO) in which we focus mainly, but not exclusively, on the quantification of the site-specific environmental impacts of agriculture.

The motivation for our research is the fact that human alteration of Earth systems transgresses the capacity of our planet required to maintain the current conditions in which human society can flourish, while current research suggests that long-term transgression of planetary boundaries will result in unfavorable conditions for human society. Environmental impacts resulting from the life cycle of consumed products, including global supply chains, are driven by the final consumption of products. Despite this, life cycle environmental impacts are often hidden or not considered by decision makers which leads to ineffectiveness and suboptimal decisions. It is important to highlight that planet Earth is still the only one that we are able to inhabit and that its environment is global. Changes made at national or regional level that shift environmental problems to other regions or nations are not solutions or improvements. The methods we use and further develop aim to avoid this through the coverage of the complete global supply chain of the consumed products.

We co-operate with researchers and scientists from our center and world renowned universities and institutions.

We are open to co-operation which:

  • Aims at influential scientific results
  • Leads to higher publicity and visibility of our topics

 

The most important results of our team members are the calculator of environmental impacts of food and the following scientific publications:

  • Weinzettel, J., D. Vačkář, and H. Medková. 2018. Human footprint in biodiversity hotspots. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 16(8): 447-452.
  • Weinzettel, J. and R. Wood. 2018. Environmental Footprints of Agriculture Embodied in International Trade: Sensitivity of Harvested Area Footprint of Chinese Exports. Ecological Economics 145: 323-330.
  • Mach, R., J. Weinzettel, and M. Ščasný. 2018. Environmental Impact of Consumption by Czech Households: Hybrid Input–Output Analysis Linked to Household Consumption Data. Ecological Economics 149: 62-73.
  • Medková, H., D. Vačkář, and J. Weinzettel. 2017. Appropriation of potential net primary production by cropland in terrestrial ecoregions. Journal of Cleaner Production 150: 294-300.
  • Pfister, S., A. M. Boulay, M. Berger, M. Hadjikakou, M. Motoshita, T. Hess, B. Ridoutt, J. Weinzettel, L. Scherer, P. Döll, A. Manzardo, M. Núñez, F. Verones, S. Humbert, K. Buxmann, K. Harding, L. Benini, T. Oki, M. Finkbeiner, and A. Henderson. 2017. Understanding the LCA and ISO water footprint: A response to Hoekstra (2016) “A critique on the water-scarcity weighted water footprint in LCA”. Ecological Indicators 72: 352-359.
  • Wood, R., K. Stadler, T. Bulavskaya, S. Lutter, S. Giljum, A. de Koning, J. Kuenen, H. Schütz, J. Acosta-Fernández, A. Usubiaga, M. Simas, O. Ivanova, J. Weinzettel, J. H. Schmidt, S. Merciai, and A. Tukker. 2015. Global sustainability accounting-developing EXIOBASE for multi-regional footprint analysis. Sustainability (Switzerland) 7(1): 138-163.
  • Weinzettel, J., K. Steen-Olsen, E. G. Hertwich, M. Borucke, and A. Galli. 2014. Ecological footprint of nations: Comparison of process analysis, and standard and hybrid multiregional input-output analysis. Ecological Economics 101: 115-126.
  • Weinzettel, J., E. G. Hertwich, G. P. Peters, K. Steen-Olsen, and A. Galli. 2013. Affluence drives the global displacement of land use. Global Environmental Change 23(2): 433-438.
  • Schoer, K., R. Wood, I. Arto, and J. Weinzettel. 2013. Estimating raw material equivalents on a macro-level: Comparison of multi-regional input-output analysis and hybrid LCI-IO. Environmental Science and Technology 47(24): 14282-14289.
  • Galli, A., J. Weinzettel, G. Cranston, and E. Ercin. 2013. A Footprint Family extended MRIO model to support Europe's transition to a One Planet Economy. Science of the Total Environment 461: 813-818.
  • Weinzettel, J. 2012. Understanding Who is Responsible for Pollution: What Only the Market can Tell UsuComment on "An Ecological Economic Critique of the Use of Market Information in Life Cycle Assessment Research". Journal of Industrial Ecology 16(3): 455-456.
  • Weinzettel, J., M. Havranek, and M. Scasny. 2012. A consumption-based indicator of the external costs of electricity. Ecological Indicators 17: 68-76.
  • Steen-Olsen, K., J. Weinzettel, G. Cranston, A. E. Ercin, and E. G. Hertwich. 2012. Carbon, Land, and Water Footprint Accounts for the European Union: Consumption, Production, and Displacements through International Trade. Environmental Science & Technology 46(20): 10883-10891.
  • Schoer, K., J. Weinzettel, J. Kovanda, J. Giegrich, and C. Lauwigi. 2012. Raw material consumption of the European union - concept, calculation method, and results. Environmental Science & Technology 46(16): 8903-8909.
  • Ewing, B. R., T. R. Hawkins, T. O. Wiedmann, A. Galli, A. Ertug Ercin, J. Weinzettel, and K. Steen-Olsen. 2012. Integrating ecological and water footprint accounting in a multi-regional input-output framework. Ecological Indicators 23: 1-8.
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