Life cycle assessment in the wine sector
L. Petti, I. Arzoumanidis, G. Benedetto, S. Bosco, M. Cellura, C. De Camillis, V. Fantin, P. Masotti, C. Pattara, A. Raggi, B. Rugani, G. Tassielli, and M. Vale
Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-food Sector, pp. 123-184, 2015
Currently, stakeholders’ increasing attention to quality is driving the wine sector to rethink and change its own production processes. Amongst product quality dimensions, the environment is gaining ever-growing attention at various levels of policy-making and business. Given its soundness, the use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has become widespread in many application contexts. Apart from applications for communication purposes, LCA has also been used in the wine sector to highlight environmental hot spots in supply chains, to compare farming practices and to detect improvement options, inter alia. Case studies whose focus is the wine industry abound in high quality publications.
This Chapter has a two-fold focus: firstly, an analysis of the methodologies and standards of the Life Cycle Thinking concept, related to wine, and secondly, a critical analysis of wine LCA case studies in order to compile a list of scientifically-based environmental hot-spots and improvements.
The chapter also expands the knowledge on LCA’s application to the wine industry by discussing how best to contribute to:
the identification of the critical environmental issues of the wine supply-chain and the essential elements that an LCA case study in the sector should consider;
the identification of an optimal set of indicators and methodologies for the evaluation of the environmental impacts of wine;
the comparability of results;
the improvement of the environmental research quality in this sector.