Luke II

The Natural Resources Institute Finland, LUKE, does not only develop life cycle assessment (LCA) methods as part of the international scientific community, but also conducts life cycle assessment for the needs of society, politics and business. This is important for Finnish environmental competitiveness. The climate impact of meat production is right now a hot topic. Researcher Kirsi Usva, M.Sc., has been part of a team that made a nationwide assessment of emissions from broiler chicken production.


Broiler chicken meat production is less harmful to the environment than other meats because the feed efficiency of the production is very good and the chicken production itself is well optimized. What is critical, on the other hand, is the choice of foreign raw materials, for example, soybeans grown in South America due the negative climate impact, as forests are cleared to meet the needs of farms.

The cultivation of various feed materials in water-scarce areas raises the threat of drought.- The results of our research suggest that it is worth focusing on the development of feed production, but attention must be paid throughout the chain. Life cycle assessment is an excellent tool for managing the whole picture and avoiding sub-optimization, Kirsi Usva sums up the results.

A positive finding from the research was energy use and production. The high utilization rate of renewable energy in heating is reflected in the LCA, and more and more farms are producing their own renewable electrics.


KycklingarLUKE’s main task is to lead research, but the research institute also handles official and expert tasks and offers various customer solutions with customer funding. The European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology has been introduced in the life cycle assessment, which aims to improve the harmonization of calculation methods and the comparability of results at EU level.

Complex comparisons require software that can handle a large amount of data from many different sources. LUKE and research institutions before it have been producing life cycle analyzes since the late 1990s, and the SimaPro license has been in use for more than a decade.



M.Sc. Kirsi Usva’s special expertise concerns the global water crisis, water footprints and corporate water responsibility. The latest research result concerns broiler meat production. Life cycle analysis of meat production is a multi-threaded process that moves globally around the world and concerns production, logistics, land and water, and energy use. This study was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Luke, HKScan, Atria and MTK.


There is still a lot to explore: in terms of environmental impact, diversity, or biodiversity, and soil carbon dynamics, ie carbon sequestration or release from Kirsi Usvasoil as a result of various cultivation measures, are very important issues that are currently being intensively studied around the world. These questions should also be lifted to be part of life cycle assessments according to many researchers. In addition to environmental impact assessment, life cycle assessment is a method that can be used in other sustainability assessments. Social LCA (social lca) examines the social impact of production chains and life cycle cost analysis examines the economic impact. By combining different perspectives, a chain-specific assessment of overall sustainability is achieved.

Text: Johanna Parikka Altenstedt


LUKE was founded in 2015. In addition to new information and solutions, the research there produces expertise that is utilized in customer solutions and governmental work. Among the products can be mentioned: solutions, profitability calculations, climate-wise carbon cycling, and the development of the bioeconomy. The research focuses on both tailored and resource-efficient production systems as well as changes, utilization of by-products and closed nutrient cycles.


Contact: Kirsi Usva

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