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Review: life cycle assessments in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast

Maepa, Mpho, Bodunrin, Michael Oluwatosin, Burman, Nicholas W., Croft, Joel, Engelbrecht, Shaun, Ladenika, A. O., MacGregor, O. S., Harding, Kevin G.
The international journal of life cycle assessment 2017 v.22 no.7 pp. 1159-1164
business enterprises, carbon, carbon footprint, data collection, energy, environmental impact, food industry, gold, life cycle inventory, research institutions, waste management, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria
PURPOSE: Life cycle assessments (LCAs) are considered common quantitative environmental techniques to analyze the environmental impact of products and/or services throughout their entire life cycle. A few LCA studies have been conducted in West Africa. This study aimed to discuss the availability of LCA (and similar) studies in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. METHODS: An online literature review of reports published between 2000 and 2016 was conducted using the following keywords: “life cycle assessment,” “carbon footprinting,” “water footprinting,” “environmental impact,” “Nigeria,” “Ghana” and “Ivory Coast.” RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: A total of 31 LCA and environmental studies in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast were found; all but one were conducted after 2008. These were mainly academic and most were publicly available. The industries studied included energy sector, waste management, real estate, food sector, and others such as timber and gold. The minimal number of studies on LCAs and environmental impacts in these West African states could be because companies are failing to promote quantitative environmental studies or studies are kept internally for the use of other assessment techniques. Furthermore, it could be that academic research institutions lack cutting-edge research resources for LCA, environmental impact, carbon, and water footprinting studies. CONCLUSIONS: Further quantitative environmental studies should be conducted in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast to increase the understanding of environmental impacts. In these countries, the existence of LCA studies (and by association the localized life cycle inventory (LCI) datasets) is crucial as more companies request this information to feed into background processes.