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Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 2915-2935; doi:10.3390/su7032915

Life Cycle Based Evaluation of Environmental and Economic Impacts of Agricultural Productions in the Mediterranean Area

Department of Life Science and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Via L. Borsari, 46, 44100 Ferrara, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 29 January 2015 / Revised: 27 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 11 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Abstract

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) applied to estimate the cradle-to-grave environmental impact of agricultural products or processes. Furthermore, including in the analysis an economic evaluation, from the perspective of an integrated life cycle approach, appears nowadays as a fundamental improvement. In particular, Life Cycle Costing (LCC), is a method that could integrate financial data and cost information with metrics of life cycle approaches. In this study, LCA in conjunction with LCC methods were used, with the aim to evaluate the main cost drivers—environmental and economic—of five widely diffused and market-valued agricultural productions (organic tomato and pear, integrated wheat, apple and chicory) and to combine the results in order to understand the long-term externalities impacts of agricultural productions. Data obtained in local assessment show a wide margin of improvement of resources management at farms level in the short-term, but also allow for the investigation of future effects of environmental impacts not expressed in product price on the market. Reaching a real sustainable model for agriculture could be a value added approach firstly for farmers, but also for all the people who live in rural areas or use agricultural products. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural systems; environmental impact; life cycle assessment; life cycle costing agricultural systems; environmental impact; life cycle assessment; life cycle costing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tamburini, E.; Pedrini, P.; Marchetti, M.G.; Fano, E.A.; Castaldelli, G. Life Cycle Based Evaluation of Environmental and Economic Impacts of Agricultural Productions in the Mediterranean Area. Sustainability 2015, 7, 2915-2935.

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