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Towards the Assessment of an Ecological Index for Quantifying Sustainability of Day Life. A Case Study of the Environmental Consequences of Dietary and Transport in a Standard Work Day.
Published: 02 November 2011 by MDPI in The 1st World Sustainability Forum session Environmental Sustainability
Abstract: This article proposes a novel and simple methodology to evaluate eco-profiles of usual anthropic activities in order to promote the sustainable development. The case study refers to a standard work day, evaluating the sustainability of the life style of a hypothetical worker, in consideration of different standard meals provided by a canteen and a series of transport options from home to the work place. The eco-profiles of single products were evaluated with the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, according to the LCA-food database given by the software SimaPro 7.2.4 (Prè Consultant, 2010). The results of the LCA of single goods are hence linked to a sustainability mark, assigned on the basis of the percentage of their impact in comparison with the most impacting option of each category. The idea to summarize with a mark the eco-profile results of a LCA, aims to simplify the interpretation of results and gives to decision makers and single consumers a fast and comprehensive overview of the environmental consequences associated to different options. Considering this specific case, the results show clearly how dietary habits can largely affect the sustainability of single workers and how the combination of a vegetarian menu with the use of public transport is ever associated to low scores, indexes of very-low impacts.
Keywords: ecological index, Life Cycle Assessment, dietary, transport