Denver Biodiesel Cooperative (DBC) engages Denver based sustainable business consultancy, PIK Sustainable LLC (PIK), to Conduct Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on Biodiesel – March 18, 2015
Utilizing world leading LCA software in compliance with ISO methodology (International Organization for Standardization), PIK will conduct a detailed investigation into the activities in the life cycle of a gallon of biodiesel, produced from waste vegetable oil (WVO) collected by the Denver Biodiesel Cooperative. The objective of this project is to determine which activities in the product life cycle contribute the most to the environmental impact associated with this renewable fuel.
While this study is primarily concerned with accounting for the environmental impact of biodiesel using the DBC model, it will also seek to describe some change-oriented consequences of shifting from biodiesel derived from Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) to WVO-derived biodiesel produced entirely in the state of Colorado. The DBC LCA project results are anticipated in early summer, 2015.
DBC distributes ASTM certified biodiesel fuel at cost (usually made from Waste Vegetable Oil feedstock). DBC is committed to making biodiesel available to passenger vehicles in Colorado. It is increasingly difficult to find B100 at retail gas stations and we measure success in gallons of petroleum diesel offset.
Denver Biodiesel is always looking to increase knowledge and awareness of biodiesel in our community. Members are rewarded for their participation—attending fairs, presenting at schools, signing up restaurants, or collecting oil—with fuel credits to purchase biodiesel from DBC.
About PIK Sustainable LLC
Based in Denver, CO, PIK Sustainable LLC is a consultancy that provides professional services to Colorado’s business community. PIK Sustainable LLC’s services include sustainability assessments, strategic planning, project management, reporting, communication, and product development.
PIK stands for Power In Knowledge. Whether an organization is advanced in its practice of sustainability or just beginning, PIK will supply data-driven knowledge, technical know-how, and real-world options for success. With PIK, you decide what’s right for your organization to succeed sustainably.
Recent articles in the Christian Science Monitor and Huffington Post indicate that California’s drought situation is extreme, with record breaking heat continuing, Sierra Mountain snowpack at a pittance of long-term averages, and the vast majority of reservoirs throughout the Central Valley region at 40% capacity or considerably less. In addition, over allocation of surface waters (apparently 5 x what the state actually has), inadequate conservation efforts, and the drilling frenzy depicted in the original article, are conspiring against effective solutions. Incredibly, California lacked groundwater regulation until last fall—three new bills were introduced to the CA state assembly last September and subsequently signed into law by Governor Brown. The trouble is that implementing the regulations could take years! It may be too little too late. Incidentally, I think Erica Gies’ article “As water crisis deepens, California finally passes groundwater regulation” provides an excellent background on the challenges to conservation in CA’s agriculture sector.
To me, an ecosystem-based approach like Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) offers a sensible solution, particularly in water-stressed regions like California and the Southwestern USA. It’s being applied to varying degrees in river basins around the globe, including the Missouri and Columbia Rivers in the US, and most extensively, in the Murray-Darling Basin of Australia. This kind of management prioritizes in-stream flows (to maintain environmental flows necessary for river system health), takes into account tributaries, ground water supplies, as well as other components of the hydrological system, and integrates ecological needs and human needs into river basin/water resource management.
CA should follow the Murray-Darling Basin’s lead by implementing a cap on total withdrawals from surface and ground water supplies, a market to enable trading and allocation of water resources to where they’re needed most, and ecosystem-based management protocols. The sacrifices necessary in such lean times will be shared by all stakeholders, but will likely impact the agricultural sector hardest. It may be the only path to a sustainable future for farming in the Central Valley.