The main household environmental impacts are concentrated in food, transport and building sectors. The food sector is responsible for 20-30% of the various environmental impacts due to the final consumptions, and in the case of eutrophication for even more than 50% (Tukker at al., 2006). Every stage of the production and consumption chain of food, from growing crops, to transportation and storage, manufacturing, distribution, purchasing and consumption, and treatment of waste, has environmental effects. Consumers choices can significantly influence the environmental impacts of production, retail and distribution phases of food (EEA, 2005). In particular, they can choose to consume more organic food, which represents a key factor in the food productive sector, due to the added value of its products, to the socioeconomic benefits for the producers and the positive effects on the environment and human health. The present study is part of a research developed within the project “BIOQUALIA – Nutritional and organoleptic quality and environmental impact of organic productions”, and aims to evaluate the energy and environmental impacts of 1 kg of organic apples cultivated in the north of Italy. The analysis was based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology as regulated by the international standards of series ISO 14040 (UNI EN ISO 14040, 2006a; UNI EN ISO 14044, 2006b). In detail, the authors identified the supply chain flow charts, the relevant mass and energy flows and the key environmental issues for the assessed product, following the approach “from farm to fork”. Particular attention was paid on key issues, such as primary energy consumption, water exploitation and fertilisers use in agricultural activities. The application of LCA allowed assessing the incidence of each life cycle step of apples on the total impacts and identifying “hot spots” of the examined supply chain, by the identification of phases and processes that are responsible of the largest impacts. In detail, the results showed an average primary energy consumption of about 7 MJ/kg and a global warming potential of about 0.5 kg CO2eq/kg. A relevant incidence on the total impacts (about 70% of primary energy consumption and global warming potential) was related to the transport of apples to final users, hypothesising that the product is distributed on local (10% of the product), national (49%) and international markets (50%). The use of insecticides and the consumption of diesel for agricultural machines were found to be also significant in the overall energy and environmental impacts of apples. Finally the authors carried out a comparison between the outcomes of the presented study and the eco-profile of non organic apple production.

Cellura, M., Fontana, M., Longo, S., Mistretta, M., Paoletti, F. (2012). Life cycle GHG and energy balance of organic apples: a case study in Italy. In Proceedings 8th International conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the agri-food sector. Michael S. Corson, Hayo M.G. van der Werf.

Life cycle GHG and energy balance of organic apples: a case study in Italy

CELLURA, Maurizio;LONGO, Sonia;
2012-01-01

Abstract

The main household environmental impacts are concentrated in food, transport and building sectors. The food sector is responsible for 20-30% of the various environmental impacts due to the final consumptions, and in the case of eutrophication for even more than 50% (Tukker at al., 2006). Every stage of the production and consumption chain of food, from growing crops, to transportation and storage, manufacturing, distribution, purchasing and consumption, and treatment of waste, has environmental effects. Consumers choices can significantly influence the environmental impacts of production, retail and distribution phases of food (EEA, 2005). In particular, they can choose to consume more organic food, which represents a key factor in the food productive sector, due to the added value of its products, to the socioeconomic benefits for the producers and the positive effects on the environment and human health. The present study is part of a research developed within the project “BIOQUALIA – Nutritional and organoleptic quality and environmental impact of organic productions”, and aims to evaluate the energy and environmental impacts of 1 kg of organic apples cultivated in the north of Italy. The analysis was based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology as regulated by the international standards of series ISO 14040 (UNI EN ISO 14040, 2006a; UNI EN ISO 14044, 2006b). In detail, the authors identified the supply chain flow charts, the relevant mass and energy flows and the key environmental issues for the assessed product, following the approach “from farm to fork”. Particular attention was paid on key issues, such as primary energy consumption, water exploitation and fertilisers use in agricultural activities. The application of LCA allowed assessing the incidence of each life cycle step of apples on the total impacts and identifying “hot spots” of the examined supply chain, by the identification of phases and processes that are responsible of the largest impacts. In detail, the results showed an average primary energy consumption of about 7 MJ/kg and a global warming potential of about 0.5 kg CO2eq/kg. A relevant incidence on the total impacts (about 70% of primary energy consumption and global warming potential) was related to the transport of apples to final users, hypothesising that the product is distributed on local (10% of the product), national (49%) and international markets (50%). The use of insecticides and the consumption of diesel for agricultural machines were found to be also significant in the overall energy and environmental impacts of apples. Finally the authors carried out a comparison between the outcomes of the presented study and the eco-profile of non organic apple production.
3-ott-2012
LCA Food 2012 - 8th International conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the agri-food sector
Saint-Malo, France
1-4 ottobre 2012
00
Cellura, M., Fontana, M., Longo, S., Mistretta, M., Paoletti, F. (2012). Life cycle GHG and energy balance of organic apples: a case study in Italy. In Proceedings 8th International conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the agri-food sector. Michael S. Corson, Hayo M.G. van der Werf.
Proceedings (atti dei congressi)
Cellura, M; Fontana, M; Longo, S; Mistretta, M; Paoletti, F
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/66223
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