Life Cycle Assessment for Amazon Product

Life Cycle Assessment for Amazon Product

We have recently been commissioned to undertake a Life Cycle Assessment for a product being sold on Amazon Marketplace. Despite offering Life Cycle Assessment Services for over 10 years this is the first time we have produced a Life Cycle Assessment for Amazon Product.

Climate Pledge Friendly

If you have been shopping for drones or vegetables on Amazon recently you may have noticed the Climate Pledge Friendly tick box. If you select this, then only Climate Pledge Friendly items will show up in your search.

In order to back up this green claim, it is required that you submit a life cycle assessment (whole life or size reduction) and have it assessed by a third party.

How it Works

We can arrange all aspects of this process for you. We will carry out the required data collections, and or calculations to prove a size reduction, or carbon footprint for your product. We will then provide this information to a 3rd party certification body. Who will also offer you various choices in terms of  carbon offsets.

Once this has been completed we will provide information to you so it can be submitted to Amazon, and you product be included under Climate Pledge Friendly category.

We point out at this point that we are no endorsed in any way by Amazon. But we have been carrying out Life Cycle Assessments for over 10 years. Contact Us to find out more.

Phosphates in Wales

This week, we have had our first taste of the Phosphate Planning Issues arising in Wales. This relates to the trickle down from the Dutch N Ruling (2018) which has been affecting various parts of the UK, since late 2020.

The Afon Teifi, Afon Tywi (River Towy), River Wye and Afon Cleddau are located in special areas of conservation, and as such affected by the ruling.

For this our first report in Wales relating to the Phosphate situation we have encountered some key differences, between Wales and England.


So Far only Carmarthenshire has release a budget calculator. Compared to the the calculators we have been using in Somerset and Cornwall, it is quite limited, although it is good that it can be used offline, so we can save a copy for later use, or reference! Take note Somerset and Cornwall (probably not though).

The Carmarthenshire calculator does not automatically calculate mitigation options. This leaves sizing of wetlands for example up to the applicant / agent / consultant. And we would consider this problematic, as even with agree methods (as indicated in Somerset / Cornwall Calculators) there is enough detail to contest, without added variability.

Treatment Works

Unlike the Sewage Treatment Works (STWs) we have seen in England, many of the welsch plants have no consent limit for Phosphates. They are also for the most part way over capacity, as some of them run in overflow mode (raw sewage in rivers) for 50% of the year.

This lack of consent limit is an advantage for developers and open the possibility of pre-treating waste water from mains connected sites, to provide a benefit.

Some Similar Problems

However, some things remain the same:

In Somerset and Cornwall we have had very little feedback on sites with wetlands, or sites which use extant uses to offset new uses, or that use off-site schemes. They are all in limbo, I wouldn’t mind some critique because at least that might seam as though things were moving along. I expect this to be the same in Wales.

There have been queries on other application in Wales that seek to discredit the accuracy of treatment efficiencies. We have seen this in England and Wales. Wetlands for example for a project in cornwall have been called in to question. With regards to banking coefficients yes they will vary. But so do treatment efficiencies of manufactured solutions, and phosphate concentrations of effluent, and as such I do not think it is meaningfully practical to adjust banking coefficients.

As with all things environmental science we are trying to take a non-numerical highly variable system (a human urinating in a toilet) and apply maths to the resultant processes. It cannot be done 100% accurately. So uncertainty has to be accounted for. If a study were undertaken of say 50 systems, monitoring for inputs and outputs after 5 years we might arrive a c. 95% certainty that certain banking coefficint would be met. But in these early stages some uncertainty will have to be accepted. 

In the majority of reported cases the 99% filtration rate is achieved, and we have agreed to monitor outfall in long term, so very little remainder risk here.

In summary we need someone in NRW (or NE in England) to start making decisions on this promptly. IF not all the benefit that could occur driven by the real need for clean rivers could be written out of existence by the stroke of a pen by Llywodraeth Cymru.

Flood Risk Assessment – Newmarket

Writing a flood risk assessment if carefully done is a largely scientific process. By “scientific” we are alluding to the fact that the content is grounded in fact, or at least as far as the available data is accurate.

If a flood of a certain depth is “forecasted” when viewing available flood data for the site then we can raise the building up. Facts and reactions to those facts. This is what we like.

One part of the Flood Risk Assessment is the Sequential Test. This “non-scientific” part of the Flood Risk Assessment we could do without. It is a policy based, almost artistic endeavor that relies on the matching of unqualified of opinions, sometimes resulting in mismatches.

Image: johndal CC BY-SA 2.0

The sequential test relies on the following ingredients in order to work:

  • search area
  • search criteria

Both of these ingredients are open to debate in terms of their size and type respectively, and as such we have to be careful to follow established guides that have been issued by some of the more proactive administrative authorities’ so that we can demonstrate plausibility.

If you would like to discuss a Flood Risk Assessment for a Project, or a Sequential Test, then please do get in touch.

Phosphate Success in Cornwall – PL31

We have been issuing Phosphate Assessment Reports in Somerset for over a year now, and the situation for many developers is becoming quite awful with delays now of over a year in decision making. We have made enquiries with Natural England as to why.

We have had some good news however, with one of our reports recently passed off in Bodmin, Cornwall (Postcode – PL31). This site suggested use of a package treatment plant, a filter tank, and a constructed wetland land (reed bed) to treat water prior to discharge to the Camel River. The site is immediately adjacent to the Camel SAC, so was quite a high risk site, yet the result was successful.

Nationaly we now have reports passed off in Sussex, Somerset and Cornwall, and thus feel failry cofient that our method is acceptable on the whole. Please ring to talk about your site. No Obligation of course.,

You can read more about Phosphate Assessments and Nutrient Neutrality on our main Website.

Carbon Footprint Work for Shopfitters – PL21

We have this week, complete two sets of carbon footprint calculations for a shopfitting firm in the Southwest of England.

The footprint work we have undertaken, will allow them to easily present a carbon footprint for a job, alongside their cost estimate. Some of their clients find this information important.

The method used was an input / output model. This allows us to calculate the carbon footprint of an item based on it cost. The method is perhaps the least accurate method for carbon footprinting. However, it is much much more likely to be undertaken owing to the simplicity of the method.

Tradition life cycle assessment and the subsequent carbon footprinting work can be be very time consuming, and prone to data gaps, which in turn result in incomplete studies. More time also means more money (greater cost) and as such companies with complex supply chains can be reluctant to undertake traditional LCA carbon footprinting as it coosts such a great deal.

The carbon footprinting values we have provided, slip easily in to existing reporting frameworks, and can be used to provide greater insight, in to the capital carbon involved in the various projects undertaken.

Location: 92PW+FR Ivybridge

Phosphates Mitigation Reports

2021 was quite a busy year for Southwest Environmental Limited, we had a fairly typical work load from our long term client base, however we have seen a lot of new work from new clients relating to phosphate assessments, and nutrient neutrality.

We have undertaken reports mainly in the Southwest, however we have also undertaken some reporting for sites in the south east, in the vicinity of Stodmarsh.

Despite having a few reports passed off, and dealing with 100’s of emails with regards to extra details, from planners, natural england, and ecologists the majority of applications mired by the Phosphate Issue remain in limbo.

It would appear there is no one cable or willing to make a decision to pass off the reports.

Some of the older reports date back to November 2020, and as you might expect that is a long time to wait for news on a planning application.

A Phosphate Ion – Creative Commons License (NEUROtiker)

Our reports are now however quite thorough in terms of their content. We have iron out early wrinkles experience in early days of 2021, and had many discussions with consultees and planners, adjust and refining our reporting process each time to meet content requirements.

We have advised on on-site schemes, such as reed beds, or on-site woodland (sometimes a combination of both), and we have a method for reduce reed bed sizes using a special filtration method.

Some sites are not able to implement on-site schemes owing to perhaps lack of space or proximity to mains sewer. In these instances we have specified off-site mitigation schemes such as woodland. Off-site reed bed schemes are a very complicated proposition.

If you would like to discuss your project and any associated phosphate, nitrate or nutrient issues associated with it. Then please do contact us.

Read more about Phosphate Assessments on our website.

Soak-Away Test Report Gloucester

Soak-Away Test Report Gloucester  

We have recently been commissioned to deliver a BRE 365 Soak-Away Test in Gloucester. The proposed development is residential. 

From commissioning to issue of report the turnaround for this project was under 5 days. 

The results were fair and we design the system in line with the planning authorities requirements, which was a 1:100 year rainfall event with a 40% allowance for climate change.  

Southwest Environmental Limited carry out soak-away testing all over the UK. If you need a report for planning, or to aid with design then please get in touch and we can provide a fixed price. 

P.s. The ground conditions on this job were sandy, with a touch of gravel. People often assume that if they see sand and gravel they will get a good result, but if there is an amount of clay in the sand and gravel mix, this can quickly reduce soakaway rates to low levels. 

Daylight and Sunligy Assessment – London – N4

We have recently been commissioned to undertake a sunlight and daylight assessment in North London (N4).


The project is relatively small involving a roof extension.


We have been provided with plan for the proposal, as well as detailed elevations, and we will prepare a before and after comparison of sunlighting and daylighting conditions.


The BRE209 guide suggests that  20% reduction in lighting levels is acceptable, most projects fall within the 20% allowance.


If you are looking for an environmental consultant in London to undertake a Sunlight and Daylight Assessment then please call or email Southwest Environmental limited we would be very happy to assist and we can also provide design advice.




Permit Variation – Trowbridge – Wiltshire

We have recently been commissioned to undertake a Permit Variation  in Trowbridge, Wilshire.


The site has been running under an existing permit for a number of years, but an upgrade to some of their equipment will mean that an environmental permit variation.


On the face of things this would seem fairly easy, but in reality it is very tricky as the EA often ask for all kind of information, which might extend to activities outside of the variation.


For example if you were to vary the permit because you are installing a new boiler over 1 MW, they may also ask you to provide new emissions data on your abatement system for dust extract.


More often than not things can and do inflate past the requirements for what logically might be expected when varying an environmental permit.


If you would like to find out more please call for a no obligation chat.



Flood Risk Assessment – Bristol

Flood Risk Assessment – Bristol 

Southwest Environmental Limited have recently been commissioned to prepare a flood risk assessment for a site in Bristol (Avonmouth). The site is subject to tidal flooding and, as if typical with the majority of the Avonmouth area, is low lying.

Avonmouth – Docks

Key factor explored in the flood risk assessment will be the anticipated flood depths from tidal, fluvial and pluvial (rain) flooding, and then design of mitigate measures.

In this instance the application is retrospective which will create further challenges. We will have to make sue of the current site lay out, existing outbuildings and other factor in order to present a positive proposal.

The report will include a Exception Test and Sequential Test

Image rights

English: The Royal Edward Dock at Avonmouth, 13 March 2014.
Source Own work
Author N. Johannes