Environmental Life-Cycle based methods to support the transition towards Circular Economy in the Agri-food sector

Fantin, Valentina (2019) Environmental Life-Cycle based methods to support the transition towards Circular Economy in the Agri-food sector, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria civile, chimica, ambientale e dei materiali, 31 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/8799.
Documenti full-text disponibili:
[img] Documento PDF (English) - Richiede un lettore di PDF come Xpdf o Adobe Acrobat Reader
Disponibile con Licenza: Salvo eventuali più ampie autorizzazioni dell'autore, la tesi può essere liberamente consultata e può essere effettuato il salvataggio e la stampa di una copia per fini strettamente personali di studio, di ricerca e di insegnamento, con espresso divieto di qualunque utilizzo direttamente o indirettamente commerciale. Ogni altro diritto sul materiale è riservato.
Download (3MB)


The holistic approach of Life Cycle Thinking can support the transition towards sustainable production and consumption patterns, in a circular economy approach. The objective of this dissertation thesis is to critically analyse some peculiar aspects of the application of environmental life-cycle based methods to the agri-food sector and to identify its opportunities and obstacles through the testing of some methods and tools. The main critical methodological problems of the application of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to agri-food sector were described. In particular, the analysis was focused on the necessity of using dispersion models for the calculation of on-field emissions. To test how this kind of models work and which data are required, PestLCI 2.0 was applied to an experimental farm in Northern Italy, and a comprehensive set of pesticide emissions in the different compartments, which is a relevant input for the inventory phase, was obtained. However, further research efforts are needed to develop characterisation factors for groundwater emissions, in order to exploit the potential of PestLCI 2.0. Moreover, the use of LCA for communication purposes was evaluated through the testing of the Product Environmental Footprint method in an Italian Taleggio cheese production chain, with the aim to evaluate if it fulfils the harmonisation needs for the calculation and communication of food products environmental performance. The application resulted to be resource-intensive: this aspect could make it difficult to spread the method, especially if the goal is to involve European Small and Medium Enterprises. Finally, the Water Footprint Network method was tested in an Italian tomato cultivar production with the aim to evaluate strengths and weaknesses. Results highlighted that site-specific data are needed to increase the results robustness and that the effect of the yield may penalize extensive cultivations. However, this method can support a sustainable water management and green marketing strategies.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Fantin, Valentina
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Life Cycle Assessment, Circular economy, Agri-food sector, food and drink, Water Footprint, Pesticide
Data di discussione
4 Aprile 2019

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza la tesi