Olive oil is a widely used consumer product, so producers and consumers are increasingly looking for sustainable productions. The olive-oil production chain requires continuous improvements to gradually replace the most environmentally impactful practices with others that are more sustainable. This research aimed to evaluate the environmental impacts of the production of olive oil in the Campania region by comparing six olive oil production systems (two organic certified, two integrated, and two organic—hobbyists). The environmental impacts for the production of one liter of oil—from field cultivation to oil distribution—were quantified by applying the life cycle assessment methodology. Impact categories were calculated according to the CML method, with particular attention paid to global warming potential. The production of one liter of oil caused CO2eq emissions ranging from 0.22 to 3.39 kg. The least impacting cultivation method was the hobby one, which did not use pesticides and carried out organic fertilization. On average, packaging accounted for 60% of total impacts; consequently, the materials and formats choice by farms had strong effects on the environmental sustainability of oil production. This research highlights the problem of expressing sustainability judgments in agriculture, since there are no reference standards/targets that set limits beyond which agricultural productions are no longer sustainable.

Environmental Impact Assessment of Organic vs. Integrated Olive-Oil Systems in Mediterranean Context

Angela Maffia
Methodology
;
Maria Pergola
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Giuseppe Celano
Supervision
2020-01-01

Abstract

Olive oil is a widely used consumer product, so producers and consumers are increasingly looking for sustainable productions. The olive-oil production chain requires continuous improvements to gradually replace the most environmentally impactful practices with others that are more sustainable. This research aimed to evaluate the environmental impacts of the production of olive oil in the Campania region by comparing six olive oil production systems (two organic certified, two integrated, and two organic—hobbyists). The environmental impacts for the production of one liter of oil—from field cultivation to oil distribution—were quantified by applying the life cycle assessment methodology. Impact categories were calculated according to the CML method, with particular attention paid to global warming potential. The production of one liter of oil caused CO2eq emissions ranging from 0.22 to 3.39 kg. The least impacting cultivation method was the hobby one, which did not use pesticides and carried out organic fertilization. On average, packaging accounted for 60% of total impacts; consequently, the materials and formats choice by farms had strong effects on the environmental sustainability of oil production. This research highlights the problem of expressing sustainability judgments in agriculture, since there are no reference standards/targets that set limits beyond which agricultural productions are no longer sustainable.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4735587
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