The Institutionalization of Life Cycle Assessment in Mexico


This article presents a study of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) at a slaughterhouse located in north-western Mexico with the purpose of testing the premise of a low degree of institutionalization of Industrial Ecology in Mexico. The article aims at analyzing the current role played by the Mexican academia in increasing the degree of institutionalization of the concept of LCA in northwestern Mexico. There was conducted a life cycle analysis study according to the standards ISO 14040: 2006, NMX-SAA-14040-IMNC-2008NOM in a Federally Inspected Type (TIF by Spanish acronym) Slaughterhouse in the state of Sonora in Northwest Mexico. The slaughter process was characterized by observing the production tasks during several walkthroughs the production lines and by having short interviews with workers, supervisors, and the manager. The CH4 emissions were calculated using the guidelines suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2006). The present LCA case study revealed opportunities for improving the environmental performance of the slaughterhouse by taking measures such as the reduction of CH4 from enteric fermentation since methane was one of the main greenhouse gases responsible for climate change. Although, the LCA generated reliable information in terms of climate change or water eutrophication, the chances of implementing sustainable initiatives were unlikely because the benefits to reduce the impacts to climate change or to reduce the water crisis would be unnoticeable and unaffordable for companies. Findings in this study also confirmed the importance of Mexican universities for promoting and conducting more LCA studies among private and public organizations in order to guide firms towards this tool. The case study here presented gives insights to LCA stakeholders in Mexico to implement or improve the effectiveness of their potential LCA initiatives through the identification of strategies, opportunities, and barriers.

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Munguia, N. , Alvarez, C. , Perez, R. , Flores, A. , Martinez, F. and Velazquez, L. (2015) The Institutionalization of Life Cycle Assessment in Mexico. Journal of Environmental Protection, 6, 804-812. doi: 10.4236/jep.2015.68073.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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