Helene Sterzik, who is based at the Manawatu campus, will present her research at the prestigious conference thanks to a Claude McCarthy fellowship.
Ms Sterzik’s research is focused on managing the environmental performance of products from New Zealand’s primary industries – extending from production of fertilisers and pesticides, through agricultural activities, and on to distribution and final consumption in export markets.
“It is important to improve our environmental performance to stay competitive,” she says. “There is a lot of international research but not much that focuses on New Zealand.
“We are unique so we can’t just copy other findings as the drivers would be completely different – we are far away from markets and have a unique way of producing things.”
New Zealand’s clean-green image also depends on up-to-date data on inputs such as water and emissions such as carbon.
“Consumers overseas want scientific proof that New Zealand deserves its image, so we have to be able to justify that.”
The trip will also allow Ms Sterzik to meet with life cycle management researchers in Sweden to discuss research opportunities.
New Zealand Life Cycle Management Research Centre director Associate Professor Sarah McLaren supervises Ms Sterzik’s doctoral research along with Dr Elena Garnevska and researchers from Crown Research Institutes Scion Research and Landcare Research.
“There is relatively little research on how life cycle assessment can be effectively implemented in the primary sector,” Dr McLaren says. “I am delighted that Helene has been awarded this fellowship as it will enable her to share her insights with an audience of 500 or so international researchers and industrial practitioners of life cycle assessment and management, and learn from others.”
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