Life Cycle Thinking for sustainability assessment and decision-making in selected food supply chains in Costa Rica

Brenes-peralta, Laura Patricia (2021) Life Cycle Thinking for sustainability assessment and decision-making in selected food supply chains in Costa Rica, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9870.
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The Agenda 2030 contains 17 integrated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 12 for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) promotes the efficient use of resources through a systemic change that decouples economic growth from environmental degradation. The Food Systems (FS) pillar in SDG 12 entails paramount relevance due to its interconnection to many other SDGs, and even when being a crucial world food supplier, the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Region struggles with environmental and social externalities, low investment in agriculture, inequity, food insecurity, poverty, and migration. Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) was regarded as a pertinent approach to identify hotspots and trade-offs, and support decision-making process to aid LAC Region countries as Costa Rica to diagnose sustainability and overcome certain challenges. This thesis aimed to ‘evaluate the sustainability of selected products from food supply chains in Costa Rica, to provide inputs for further sustainable decision-making, through the application of Life Cycle Thinking’. To do this, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC), and Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) evaluated the sustainability of food-waste-to-energy alternatives, and the production of green coffee, raw milk and leafy vegetables, and identified environmental, social and cost hotspots. This approach also proved to be a useful component of decision-making and policy-making processes together with other methods. LCT scientific literature led by LAC or Costa Rican researchers is still scarce; therefore, this research contributed to improve capacities in the use of LCT in this context, while offering potential replicability of the developed frameworks in similar cases. Main limitations related to the representativeness and availability of primary data; however, future research and extension activities are foreseen to increase local data availability, capacity building, and the discussion of potential integration through Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA).

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Brenes-peralta, Laura Patricia
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
sustainable production, food systems, Life Cycle, coffee, food waste, milk, vegetable
Data di discussione
4 Giugno 2021

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