The Life Cycle Assessment on Environmental Impacts of Greenhouse Crops: A Theoretical Review
Greenhouse crop production is fundamental to manage the worldwide demand for food. However, the required energy for controlling the temperature and humidity of the greenhouse may cause an environmental impact. The life cycle assessment is one of the most widely used management tools to help in assessing the environmental impact of a product over its whole life through four main steps: “goal and scope definition”, “life cycle inventory analysis”, “life cycle impact assessment”, and “interpretation”. This study offers a review of the prior literature to analyze different environmental impacts that can be monitored by the LCA technique in greenhouse crops according to three characteristics: the LCA phase, the type of cultivated product, and the locations and their climates. The results of prior literature about the adoption of LCA on greenhouses indicate that average global warming potential is lower in the case of cucumber and lettuce cultivation in comparison with other products, that SimaPro is the most used software to measure the environmental impacts of greenhouses through LCA, and that warmer climates lead reductions on environmental impacts of greenhouses.
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