Estimation of carbon footprint and sources of emissions of an extensive alpaca production system

G. Gómez Oquendo, K. Salazar-Cubillas, V. Alvarado, C. A. Gómez-Bravo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A cradle-to-farm gate life cycle assessment was conducted following international standards (ISO 14040, 2006) to estimate sources of greenhouse gas emissions of an extensive alpaca production system in the Peruvian Andes with a focus on carbon footprint. The assessment encompasses all supply chain processes involved with the production of alpaca fiber and meat. Direct (i.e., enteric fermentation, manure, and manure management) and indirect emissions (i.e., electricity, fuel, and fertilizer) of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane were estimated according to the (IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2006. IPCC 2006 for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Volume 2, Chapter 3. Mobile Combustion. Volume 4, Chapter 10. Emissions from livestock and manure management. Chapter 11. N2O emissions from managed soils and CO2 emissions derived from the application of lime and urea. Carbon footprint was calculated based on a mass, economic, and biophysical allocation. The functional unit of the economic and mass allocations was 1 kg of LW as the main product and 1 kg of white or colored fiber as co-products. The functional unit of the biophysical allocation was 1 kg of live weight and 1 kg of fiber. The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions came from enteric fermentation (67%), followed by direct and indirect nitrous oxide emissions (29%). The estimated carbon footprint of the extensive alpaca production system, considering a 20% offtake rate, was 24.0 and 29.5 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents per kg of live weight for the economic and mass allocations, respectively, while for the biophysical allocation was 22.6 and 53.0 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents per kg of alpaca live weight and alpaca fiber, respectively. The carbon footprint per area was 88.6 kg carbon dioxide equivalents per ha.

Original languageEnglish
Article number331
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Allocation
  • Life cycle
  • Methane
  • South American camelids


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