Economic and environmental sustainability assessment of wine grape production scenarios in Southern Italy


The low resilience of ecosystems imposes a sustainable management of natural resources through more rational uses, land protection, energy saving and low carbon production technologies. Agriculture has a great responsibility in managing these resources that are the principal inputs of its processes. Production systems must pay attention, at the same time, to economic viability and environmental protection. Since decades, the international scientific community is facing the great challenge of assessing the sustainability of agricultural engineering techniques, in order to help both private and public decision making, but also to meet consumer’s requirements for high quality and low impact products. To achieve that, widely accepted assessment instruments, whose results have to be clear and understandable to a broad public, and that are necessary. In this direction, Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) is gaining consensus as conceptual model, considering goods and services production and consumption all along the whole life cycle, from planning to disposal. Its methodological frame- work, the Life Cycle Management (LCM), offers many standardised tools to assess impacts of products and processes: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), to evaluate environmental impacts and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) for economic ones. Among many impacts categories LCA also allows to identify the carbon footprint, that can be quantified in terms of Global Warming Potential (GWP). This research has analyzed and compared different scenarios of wine grapes production in Cirò, an important viticultural area located in Calabria region (Southern Italy). LCA and LCC methodologies have been useful to assess them from an environmental and economic standpoint. Results have allowed the authors to rank training and farming systems performances.

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Strano, A. , De Luca, A.I. , Falcone, G. , Iofrida, N. , Stillitano, T. and Gulisano, G. (2013) Economic and environmental sustainability assessment of wine grape production scenarios in Southern Italy. Agricultural Sciences, 4, 12-20. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.45B003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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