Distribution of Articles published per year
Total number of journals
Article 5 Reads 12 Citations Potential of life cycle assessment for supporting the management of critical raw materials Published: 25 November 2014
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, doi: 10.1007/s11367-014-0808-0
The security of the supply of resources is a key policy and business concern. This concern has been increasingly addressed by bodies such as the European Commission to help identify materials of potential concern in terms of economic importance and supply risks. Equally, tools such as life cycle assessment (LCA) systematically compile inventories of the resources attributable to the supply of goods and services. Such well-established tools, hence, provide an important opportunity for business and governments for strategic management and for identifying improvement options that reduce reliance on so-called critical raw materials (CRMs). This paper explores current practice and the potential of LCA to help business and governments more systematically assess their supply chains.
Article 0 Reads 2 Citations Conventional, Organic and Polycultural Farming Practices: Material Intensity of Italian Crops and Foodstuffs Published: 09 December 2013
Resources, doi: 10.3390/resources2040628
Food system sustainability is a major issue of concern for policy makers. Feeding an increasing world population without compromising the endowment of natural resources or worsening the environmental crisis is, indeed, a major challenge. The need to boost sustainable and productive farming systems and enhance resource efficiency has been acknowledged by European Union policy in its 2020 Strategy. This study assesses the impact of some Italian foodstuffs and agricultural products in terms of material requirement, using the Material Input Per Service unit (MIPS) indicator. The conventional, organic and post-organic agricultural practice called Ma-Pi polyculture is investigated. Results show that, in spite of higher yields obtained by conventional agriculture, material efficiency of organic crops and foodstuffs is generally higher. Moreover, a drastic enhancement of material efficiency is achievable using agronomic practices that minimize the employment of external inputs. As a tool for evaluating the environmental sustainability of agricultural products, MIPS allows focusing on a priority policy area, i.e., resource efficiency, which could be easily employed for driving agricultural systems towards a sustainable intensification. Data quality and availability of Material Input (MI) factors remains, however, a constraining issue for the applicability of the indicator.
PROCEEDINGS-ARTICLE 9 Reads 0 Citations Historical Trends in Abiotic and Biotic Resource Flows in the EU (1990-2010) Published: 31 October 2013
Proceedings of The 3rd World Sustainability Forum, doi: 10.3390/wsf3-a004
In its Communication "Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe" the European Commission defined a vision for EU resource consumption by 2050: the economy will have grown compatibly with resource constraints and planetary boundaries, preserving a high standard of living and lowering the environmental impacts. Such vision entails the sustainable management of natural resources, i.e. raw materials, energy, water, air, land and soil as well as biodiversity and ecosystems. In order to support the scientific discussion on the sustainability of resource use and the evaluation thereof, we have analysed the trends of abiotic and biotic resource consumption within the EU27 over the past 20 years. Beyond traditional mass-based approaches to resource accounting (e.g. Domestic Material Consumption DMC and Domestic Extraction Used, DEU), our assessment is twofold: accounting for the biophysical flows of resources and assessing the impact associated to the flows, , using different life-cycle impact assessment methods (LCIA) for resource depletion and scarcity. The resources considered in the analysis include only those extracted in EU territory, including: raw materials (metals and minerals), energy carriers and biotic resources and the timeframe is 20 years (1990-2010). The final aim is the assessment of the evolution of resource flows in the economy and the related resource depletion due to European production and consumption. Trends of resource production and associated depletion as well as other existing indicators for monitoring resource efficiency are reported and analysed with the aim of: highlighting the occurrence of decoupling over time, both in absolute and relative terms; and giving a comprehensive overview of trends related to different resources, usually handled separately in the existing literature. To complete the sustainability assessment of resource consumption research needs are listed, particularly concerning the need ofOPEN ACCESS complementing the study with the analysis of socio-economic drivers underpinning the resource consumption trends.