Fusi, Alessandra and Guidetti, Riccardo and Benedetto, Graziella (2014) Delving into the environmental aspect of a Sardinian white wine: from partial to total life cycle assessment. Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 472 , p. 989-1000. eISSN 1879-1026. Article.
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The aim of this study was to deepen the assessment of the environmental impacts of a white wine produced in Sardinia (FU 750 ml), performing an attributional LCA. The system boundaries were extended, from ‘cradle to gate’ (partial LCA) of a previous study, to ‘cradle to grave’ (total LCA), in order to identify the environmental impacts occurring along the wine life cycle stages (vine planting, grape production, wine production, bottling and packaging, distribution, final disposal of the glass bottle).
Some assumptions were made in order to quantify the environmental impact of the transportation phase, regarding the few data which were available.
Inventory data were mainly collected through direct communication with the Company involved in the study. Results showed that the environmental performance of wine was mostly determined by the glass bottle production (for all impact categories except ozone layer depletion). The second contributor was the agricultural phase, which included two sub-phases: vine planting and grape production. Results showed that the vine planting sub-phase was not negligible given its contribution to the agricultural phase, mainly due to diesel fuel consumption. Transportation impact was found to be relevant for long distance distribution (USA); the impact categories more affected by transport were acidification, eutrophication, photochemical oxidation and global warming potential.
Suggested opportunities to reduce the overall environmental impact were the introduction of a lighter glass bottle or the substitution of the glass bottle with a polylaminate container.
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