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Evaluation of sustainable innovations in olive growing systems: A Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment case study in southern Italy

Published on Jan 1, 2018in Journal of Cleaner Production 5.65
· DOI :10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.10.119
Anna Irene De Luca10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Mediterranean University),
Giacomo Falcone9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Mediterranean University)
+ 3 AuthorsGiovanni Gulisano9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Mediterranean University)
Abstract
Abstract Innovations are increasingly needed by companies to engage in new market competitiveness. Conscientious consumers are demanding sustainable products and services, and “new qualities” are requested, such as environmental protection, social equitability and economic viability. To satisfy this demand, companies are struggling to find innovative solutions to sustainability concerns. The present paper proposes an innovative and integrated approach, i.e., the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment, a methodology that is still under development within the conceptual framework of Life Cycle Thinking (Klopffer, 2008). Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Costing and social Life Cycle Assessment are integrated here by means of a multicriterial and participative method, the Analytic Hierarchy Process. This case study is about growing Calabrian olives, which is the most important crop in terms of surface area at a regional level. The study focuses on an important agronomic practice, i.e., weeding. The functional unit is 1 ha of cultivated surface, and the system boundary is “from cradle to farm gate”. The time boundary considered here is the expected life of an olive tree corresponding to 50 years. All of the primary data have been gathered through specific in-field surveys with semi-structured questionnaires to farmers and workers. Nine impact categories and quantitative indicators, direct and/or proxy, cover the three primary sustainability dimensions, i.e., environment, economy and society. Three scenarios have been chosen for their relevance to the Calabrian panorama as follows: - a control scenario (CS), which is represented by the conventional and traditional farming system, that commonly recurs according to the use of chemicals for weed and pest control; - a low-dosage/no-tillage (LDNT) scenario, as represented by a reduced use of chemicals; and. - a zero chemical weeding (ZCW) scenario, representing the organic farming system. The results of the multicriterial analysis revealed that the greatest stakeholder concerns are environmental and social sustainability, especially in terms of toxicity and worker health. According to these preferences, low-dosage/no-tillage was the best scenario, with better performance for all of the selected categories except for job opportunities. Holistic sustainability assessments, especially those involving relevant stakeholders, are essential strategies for successfully satisfying and retaining customers, and the present epistemological hybrid proposal to the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment could serve this purpose.
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  • Citations (11)
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References100
Newest
Published on Mar 1, 2018in International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 4.20
Silvia Di Cesare3
Estimated H-index: 3
,
Federica Silveri2
Estimated H-index: 2
+ 1 AuthorsLuigia Petti8
Estimated H-index: 8
Purpose Social life cycle assessment (SLCA) is a methodology under continuous development, which may be applied at different scales: from products to economic sectors up to systems at region (meso) and country (macro) scales. Traditionally, SLCA has been focusing on the assessment of negative social externalities, whereas also positive social impacts could be associated to human interventions. The purpose of the present study is to understand how positive impacts are defined in published literat...
16 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2018in International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 4.20
Nathalie Iofrida8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Mediterranean University),
Anna Irene De Luca10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Mediterranean University)
+ 1 AuthorsGiovanni Gulisano9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Mediterranean University)
Purpose The present paper aims to offer an explanation for the diversity of methodological approaches proposed up to the present for social life cycle assessment (sLCA), tracking down its roots in the cultural and scientific heritage of social sciences and especially management sciences. A second aim is to shift the current debate on methodologies to an epistemological level, presenting the first results of an ongoing critical review about which underlying paradigms have been applied in sLCA lit...
18 Citations Source Cite
Published on Oct 1, 2017in Science of The Total Environment 4.61
Anna Irene De Luca10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Mediterranean University),
Nathalie Iofrida8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Mediterranean University)
+ 4 AuthorsGiovanni Gulisano9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Mediterranean University)
Abstract Life cycle (LC) methodologies have attracted a great interest in agricultural sustainability assessments, even if, at the same time, they have sometimes been criticized for making unrealistic assumptions and subjective choices. To cope with these weaknesses, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and/or participatory methods can be used to balance and integrate different sustainability dimensions. The purpose of this study is to highlight how life cycle approaches were combined with MC...
31 Citations Source Cite
Published on Sep 1, 2017in European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 2.20
Zina Guermazi1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Sfax),
Mariem Gharsallaoui3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Sfax)
+ 2 AuthorsCinzia Benincasa9
Estimated H-index: 9
The disposal of waste is one of the main problems faced by the majority of the olive growing agribusiness: olive oil by-products require specific management. In this work, the result of life cycle analysis shows that the major problem is related to the management of mill waste water. The formation of compost from the depleted pomace is bound to the emission of greenhouse gases. Therefore, the traditional way of waste recovery is no longer the best alternative. In this context, we propose a compl...
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2017in Scientia Horticulturae 1.76
Francisco J. Castillo-Ruiz5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UCO: University of Córdoba (Spain)),
Ruben R. Sola-Guirado1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UCO: University of Córdoba (Spain))
+ 3 AuthorsGregorio L. Blanco-Roldán9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UCO: University of Córdoba (Spain))
Abstract Olive harvesting and pruning are two operations that highly influenced olive growing costs and competitiveness. Both operations should be related to reach an efficient orchard management. Tree structure should be adapted to selected harvesting method, but it also has to be in accordance with tree and orchard features. This research attempts to assess how traditional olives could be adapted to harvesting with canopy shakers, measuring different parameters for pruning and harvester perfor...
6 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2017in Journal of Cleaner Production 5.65
Mercedes Romero-Gámez5
Estimated H-index: 5
,
Juan Castro-Rodríguez1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Elisa M. Suárez-Rey5
Estimated H-index: 5
Abstract Recently, the Spanish olive sector has undergone deep changes regarding agronomic practices. Olive grove cultivation tends to move from traditional low-density to new high-density cropping systems. Irrigation has produced a major change in the olive grove sector and the integrated production plays an important role due to the application of rational farming techniques. The aim of this study was to compare the environmental impacts of a high diversity of olive growing systems existing in...
8 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2017in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2.38
G. Banias12
Estimated H-index: 12
(International Hellenic University),
Charisios Achillas8
Estimated H-index: 8
(International Hellenic University)
+ 2 AuthorsMaria Stefanou1
Estimated H-index: 1
The production of olive oil is considered to be one of the largest agricultural business sectors in the Mediterranean area. Apart from its significant impact on the economies of countries in Southern Europe, Northern Africa and Middle East, olive oil production also involves considerable social and environmental considerations. However, despite such importance, the environmental effects of olive oil production have not been studied as much other agricultural productions and farming systems, whic...
10 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2017in Technological Forecasting and Social Change 3.13
Soumodip Sarkar9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Évora),
Mario Pansera7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Exeter)
This research focuses on a little studied area within the future of global sustainability, that of grassroots ecopreneurs. While living and working in resource-constrained environments these entrepreneurs strive to create economic value by combining social and environmental goals. Relying on inductive methodology based on eight cases, the paper analyses how innovations are being crafted with little or no resources, yet provoking a great impact in their local communities and beyond. We find the g...
10 Citations Source Cite
Cited By11
Newest
Published on Aug 1, 2019in Ecological Indicators 3.98
Alejandro Padilla-Rivera2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UNAM: National Autonomous University of Mexico),
Leonor Patricia Güereca6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UNAM: National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Abstract Studies of sustainable development of wastewater systems require consideration of three sustainability pillars: environmental, social and economic. The present study measures the overall sustainability and ranks the alternatives according to their social, environmental and economic performance. Taking life cycle approach, this framework integrates the three sustainability dimensions to enable assessment of Wastewater treatment facilities (WWTFs). The framework comprises eighteen indicat...
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Uma Khumairoh1
Estimated H-index: 1
(WUR: Wageningen University and Research Centre),
E.A. Lantinga21
Estimated H-index: 21
(WUR: Wageningen University and Research Centre)
+ 2 AuthorsJ.C.J. Groot23
Estimated H-index: 23
(WUR: Wageningen University and Research Centre)
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Published on Jan 1, 2018
Francesco Guarino14
Estimated H-index: 14
,
Giacomo Falcone9
Estimated H-index: 9
+ 4 AuthorsAlfio Strano10
Estimated H-index: 10
Published on Apr 1, 2019in International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 4.20
Nathalie Iofrida8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Mediterranean University),
Anna Irene De Luca10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Mediterranean University)
+ 4 AuthorsAlfio Strano10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Mediterranean University)
Purpose Social life cycle assessment (SLCA) was the last tool to be developed within the framework of life cycle thinking, and since the beginning, there has been a struggle to reach a consensus on a standardized methodology. In fact, many different methodological proposals have been published, diverging on many points. The main difference lies in the epistemological position underlying these proposals. The aim of this study is to propose an impact pathway for assessing the social consequences o...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2019in Journal of Cleaner Production 5.65
Hang Yin (HEU: Harbin Engineering University), Jianyu Zhao (HEU: Harbin Engineering University)+ 1 AuthorsYuhan Zhang (HEU: Harbin Engineering University)
Abstract Based on the theory of low-carbon economy, this article introduces the theory and method of synergetics and puts forward an interdisciplinary theoretical framework based on the dynamic perspective of complexity science to analyze the evolution principles of regional low-carbon innovation system targeting sustainable development. Earlier studies tended to demonstrate a single variable, such as the role of R & D of low-carbon technologies in improving the output of regional low-carbon inn...
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