Review: life-cycle assessment, water footprinting, and carbon footprinting in Portugal

  • Nicholas W. Burman
  • Joel Croft
  • Shaun Engelbrecht
  • A. O. Ladenika
  • O. S. MacGregor
  • Mpho Maepa
  • Michael Oluwatosin Bodunrin
  • Kevin G. HardingEmail author



A review of readily available quantitative environmental data was conducted in order to determine the state of sustainability reporting and identify possible future research areas in Portugal.


Internet searches of articles written in English and published between 2001 and 2015 were conducted using the keywords “life-cycle assessment,” “LCA,” “water footprint,” “carbon footprint,” and “Portugal.” Additionally, reports from the Global Reporting Initiative (2015 only) were included in the search.

Results and discussion

It was found that 79% of reports found were published in the period 2011–2015. Several reports were found for the forestry, paper and pulp, food and beverage, energy and electricity, waste management, and automotive industries, while no reports were found for the textile, footwear and clothing, and base metal and mineral industries. As such, these are industries on which future studies might focus. No reports found were published by governmental organizations, although it is thought that expanding the search to include Portuguese language results would yields more results. The majority (68%) of companies reporting to the GRI adhered to the relevant guidelines.


A total of 72 reports were found (41 LCAs, water- or carbon footprints, and 31 GRI reports). It is unclear if there are other reports that may be restricted to “hidden” datasets or company specific archives. The aim of this report was to highlight those that were available to a non-specialist or international audiences trying to gain a greater understanding of the LCA space in Portugal.


Carbon footprinting Global Reporting Initiative Life-cycle assessment Portugal Water footprinting 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas W. Burman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joel Croft
    • 1
    • 4
  • Shaun Engelbrecht
    • 1
    • 4
  • A. O. Ladenika
    • 1
  • O. S. MacGregor
    • 1
    • 5
  • Mpho Maepa
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Michael Oluwatosin Bodunrin
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Kevin G. Harding
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Chemical and Metallurgical EngineeringUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Industrial and Mining Water Research Unit (IMWaRU)University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Centre in Water Research and Development (CiWaRD)University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.NRF/DST Chair: Sustainable Process Engineering UnitUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  5. 5.DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, African Materials Science and Engineering NetworkUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  6. 6.Department of Metallurgical and Materials EngineeringFederal University of Technology AkureAkureNigeria

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