Greenhouse crops, one of the most innovative examples of modern agriculture, are considered to be one of the highest man-made forms of agricultural activity, due to the high level of both technological and bio-agronomic input. Greenhouse crops are characterised by the use of structures and equipment as well as increased energy resources and water use efficiency in the production processes. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method is an instrument which provides a quantitative estimate of all flows of matter and energy related to the realisation of a product, providing an evaluation of the environmental compatibility and end result of each productive choice. The LCA method can be applied not only to industrial processes but also to agricultural production such as that carried out in greenhouses. The productive choices of the growers in regards to input and materials utilised are principally based on financial factors. The changes brought about as a result of these choices have a long-term effect in terms of the quantity of residuals and quality of the agricultural environment. This paper presents the results of an LCA study conducted on the outcome and importance of critical management and engineering choices in greenhouse agriculture in West European territory. The goal of this research is to provide an objective comparison of the environmental compatibility of horticultural production carried out in varying typology of greenhouses. For this study the three main forms of greenhouses used in Italy have been considered. The three typology of greenhouse are: a pitched roof structure in zinc-coated steel with glass covering; a vaulted roof structure in zinc-coated steel with plastic film covering; and a pitched roof structure in wood with plastic film covering. In order to best analyse the environmental sustainability of greenhouse production, research has been carried out with the active participation of Italian growers in order to acquire credible information regarding the actual consumption of energy and renewable and/or non-renewable resources utilised in greenhouse cultivation of tomatoes.

LCA methodology applied to various typology of greenhouses

RUSSO, Giovanni;SCARASCIA MUGNOZZA, Giacomo
2005

Abstract

Greenhouse crops, one of the most innovative examples of modern agriculture, are considered to be one of the highest man-made forms of agricultural activity, due to the high level of both technological and bio-agronomic input. Greenhouse crops are characterised by the use of structures and equipment as well as increased energy resources and water use efficiency in the production processes. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method is an instrument which provides a quantitative estimate of all flows of matter and energy related to the realisation of a product, providing an evaluation of the environmental compatibility and end result of each productive choice. The LCA method can be applied not only to industrial processes but also to agricultural production such as that carried out in greenhouses. The productive choices of the growers in regards to input and materials utilised are principally based on financial factors. The changes brought about as a result of these choices have a long-term effect in terms of the quantity of residuals and quality of the agricultural environment. This paper presents the results of an LCA study conducted on the outcome and importance of critical management and engineering choices in greenhouse agriculture in West European territory. The goal of this research is to provide an objective comparison of the environmental compatibility of horticultural production carried out in varying typology of greenhouses. For this study the three main forms of greenhouses used in Italy have been considered. The three typology of greenhouse are: a pitched roof structure in zinc-coated steel with glass covering; a vaulted roof structure in zinc-coated steel with plastic film covering; and a pitched roof structure in wood with plastic film covering. In order to best analyse the environmental sustainability of greenhouse production, research has been carried out with the active participation of Italian growers in order to acquire credible information regarding the actual consumption of energy and renewable and/or non-renewable resources utilised in greenhouse cultivation of tomatoes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/116634
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