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Resources 2019, 8(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8010011

Building a Sustainability Benchmarking Framework of Ceramic Tiles Based on Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA)

1
Department of Sciences and Methods for Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio, Emilia, Reggio Emilia 42122, Italy
2
Department of Engineering “Enzo Ferrari”, University of Modena and Reggio, Emilia, Modena 41125, Italy
3
Department of Business Administration (ADO), Applied Economics II and Fundaments of Economic Analysis, Rey-Juan-Carlos University, Madrid 28032, Spain
4
Gruppo Ceramiche Gresmalt, Sassuolo 41049, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to determine indices of environmental, economic and social sustainability related to the Italian production of ceramic tiles in porcelain stoneware in order to contribute to the construction of a reference benchmarking useful to decision makers, designers and end users of ceramic tiles. To achieve this goal, this paper is based on the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) framework that incorporates the three dimensions of sustainability with cradle-to-grave Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) tools. The study has shown that in the production of porcelain stoneware one of the major environmental problems, in addition to production in the strict sense, is the distribution system of the product to end users and, to a lesser extent but always significant, the process of supplying raw materials. Finally, it was highlighted that the joint use of the three impact assessment tools (LCA, LCC, S-LCA) requires further methodological work to avoid the risk of double counting of sustainability performance. This research has adopted a detailed methodological approach, both in the collection and in the processing of data, keeping the main phases of the production process separate. In this way, it has been possible to highlight that the major environmental criticalities are just beyond the “gate” of the ceramic factories, along the logistics chain. The study also proposes for the Italian ceramic sector not only indicators of environmental sustainability but also economic and social. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability indicators; Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA); benchmarking; Italian ceramic industry; porcelain stoneware tiles sustainability indicators; Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA); benchmarking; Italian ceramic industry; porcelain stoneware tiles
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Ferrari, A.M.; Volpi, L.; Pini, M.; Siligardi, C.; García-Muiña, F.E.; Settembre-Blundo, D. Building a Sustainability Benchmarking Framework of Ceramic Tiles Based on Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA). Resources 2019, 8, 11.

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