Francisco Koch1, Jon Hughes2 and Martin Wattenbach3
Pole Advisory Technoparkstrasse 1 | 8005 Zurich | Switzerland
Physical Laboratory | Hampton Rd | Teddington | Middlesex | UK | TW11 0LW
3Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre For
Geosciences,Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
GHG Mitigation Impact Assessment stepwise procedure
Innovation projects (Steps 1-6)
Step 1
Describe how the proposed project reduces GHG
emissions (GHG mitigation story)
Step 2.
Indicate the main GHG sources that will be reduced by
the project
Step 3
Define the project unit and project boundary used for the
Step 4
Describe the baseline scenario
Step 5
Calculate the estimated GHG Mitigation Impact
Step 6
Leakage assessment
Step 1 and 2 only
Project type
• Defining a project type ?
1. What does the KIC project result in?
A new technology (equipment)?
A less carbon intensive product or produce (e.g.. food )?
A decision making tool (e.g. a low carbon urban planning tool)?
A low carbon financial solution that deploys existing Low C Technologies?
No emissions
New Technology
Low Carbon product
Low -C decision
making tools
Deployment of
Existisng Low C
Case Study: Efficient City Farming
1. ECF is a Berlin based company using a unique combination of
Aquaculture and Hydroponics in an urban environment
2. Allows for an annual production 24 t of fish and 35 t vegtables on just
2000 m²
* source:
Impact Assessment Framework
Step 1 + Step 2: Mitigation Approach of ECF + Targeted GHG
 Reducing transport emissions (including chilled transport of fish by plain or
ship and last mile by customer) CO2
 Reducing emissions due to reduced fertilizer demand CO2, N2O
 Reducing emissions linked to pesticides as well fungicides by using
beneficial organisms CO2
 Reducing emissions linked to grey water treatment by large scale water
recycling CO2, N2O, CH4
 Reducing electricity and heat related emissions by using a CHP system (~
56 % lower emissions) CO2
 Reducing on farm emissions by using CHP and fish CO2 emissions as
greenhouse fertilizer CO2
Impact Assessment Framework
Step 3: System boundary for assessment
1. Tomatoes: The full life cycle of the production of tomatoes (cradle to
2. Fish: Only emissions that are linked to transportation.
Impact Assessment Framework
Step 4: Baseline scenario:
1. Tomatoes:
Tomato demand in Berlin is met by imports from European
Countries as well as domestic production in Germany. Netherlands,
Spain, Belgium, Italy as well as Germany produce 90 % of the
tomatoes consumed in Berlin. Non-European imports are
2. Fish:
Consumed perch in Berlin is imported from Tanzania by plane.
About 5 % of fish consumed in Germany is transported by plane
with Nile perch being the most important (7182 t yr-1).
Impact Assessment Framework
Step 5: GHG mitigation potential assessment
1. Tomato production scenario:
Growing tomato for Berlin consumers on 750 m² of an ECF
greenhouse and building a new farm every second year.
Emissions linked to the transportation and production of tomatoes. If we only consider
tomatoes grown during the warm season ECF tomatoes produce 83 % and 77 % less emissions
than tomatoes from Spain and Italy, respectively.
Impact Assessment Framework
Step 5: GHG mitigation potential
2. Fish production scenario:
Replacing Nile Perch produced
in Tanzania by ECF fish.
Air-transport emissions of the most
important fish impoters (only air transport).
Impact Assessment Framework
Step 5: GHG mitigation potential assessment
1. Replacing 16.5 t summer tomatoes by ECF
crops shows a great potential for mitigating
carbon dioxide emissions
2. Reducing Spanish tomato consumption shows
the greatest potential for reducing CO2
3. Annual ECF tomato yield may save between
0.68 t CO2eq. and 7.14 t CO2eq.
Impact Assessment Framework
Step 6: Leakage assessment
 CO2 emissions for tomato production in Central European and South
European greenhouses are based on an estimate of Torrellas et al.,
 This study excludes saved emissions due to home delivery
 This study excludes emission reduction due to reduced grey water
 This study assumes that the entire greenhouse area is used for tomato
 This study assumes that only fish from Tanzania is replaced by ECF fish
 Plane transport emissions do not include cooling of fish
Impact Assessment Framework
Step 7: Conclusions
 Replacing fish from Tanzania with ECF fish has a great potential for
reducing emissions linked to the consumption of Nile perch.
 Growing tomato during warm seasons and using more adequate crops
for could season is leading to lower CO2 emissions as well. However
savings are much lower if compared to fish.
 A more thorough life cycle analysis is required for a full impact
assessment due to the complexity of the ECF system.
Impact Assessment Framework
 Tomato production:
 Torrellas, M., Antón, A., Montero, J.I., 2013. An environmental impact
calculator for greenhouse production systems. J. Environ. Manage. 118,
 BLE, 2013. 20,6 kg pro Kopf verzehrt: Tomaten sind der Deutschen
liebstes Gemüse. Available at:
 Theurl, M.C., 2008. CO2-Bilanz der Tomatenproduktion: Analyse acht
verschiedener Produktionssysteme in Österreich, Spanien und Italien.
 Fisch production:
 Keller, 2010. Flugimporte von Lebensmitteln und Blumen nach
Deutschland. Available at:
 Herminghaus. 2010. CO2-Emissionen beim Transport (Flugzeug, LKW,
Bahn, Schiff). Available at:

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