Including Landscape Appearance in the SALCA Life-Cycle Assessment Tool


The SALCA life-cycle assessment method is used to assess the various environmental impacts of agricultural activities. To date, however, an assessment of the effects of agricultural production on the appearance of the landscape has been lacking, making it difficult to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of agricultural activities with respect to sustainability, among other things.

Based on preference values of individual landscape elements during different seasons as well as farm data, we are developing a landscape diversity index that can be included in SALCA. For this, Switzerland’s various farm and landscape types must be borne in mind, since an index of this type must reflect the diversity of the landscape requirements. At the same time, however, it is also expected that the index value of a diverse and seasonally varied arable farm will differ substantially from that of a monotonous arable farm with only a few crops.