From vineyard to seaapplication of life cycle assessmento to wine ans seafood sectors

  1. Villanueva Rey, Pedro
Dirixida por:
  1. María Teresa Moreira Vilar Co-director
  2. Gumersindo Feijoo Costa Co-director

Universidade de defensa: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Fecha de defensa: 30 de outubro de 2015

  1. J. Dufour Presidente/a
  2. Carlos Martínez Gasol Secretario/a
  3. Oihane Cabezas Basurko Vogal
  4. Ana Cláudia Dias Vogal
  5. Olatz Unamunzaga Galarza Vogal
  1. Departamento de Enxeñaría Química

Tipo: Tese


The path towards sustainability in the wine and seafood sectors requires the modification of the current operational and consumption patterns, involving the whole supply chain ¿where consumers play a relevant role. In this sense, lowering the consumption of energy and materials is necessary to meet sustainability goals and reduce environmental impacts. Hence, the environmental management tools have shown to be useful for measuring environmental performance of human activities. Among the wide range of these tools, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) highlights due to its holistic point of view of the environmental evaluation of a given product, process, or service. In this thesis, LCA was applied to wine and seafood (fishing and processing) systems in Galicia. Despite the fact that wine production was already evaluated through LCA in other production areas and countries, this dissertation delved into wine production in Galicia ¿which had not been assessed so far¿ offering a detailed inventory for the two largest Protected Designation Origin ¿PDO¿ (i.e. ¿Rías Baixas¿ and ¿Ribeiro¿). Moreover, other tools and methodologies were implemented for wine sector. In this regard, Data envelopment analysis (DEA) ¿which allows analysing multiple data in order to include operational benchmarking and eco-efficiency verification¿ and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions derived from Land Use Changes (LUCs) and vineyard operations were used for assessing the environmental performance of wine sector. Furthermore, fishing and seafood processing supply chain were evaluated throughout LCA and other complementary tools such as Carbon Footprint (CF) ¿which involves the emissions of GHGs of a product supply chain¿ and the Energy Return on Investment (EROI) adapted to food sector, which implies accounting the edible protein energy return on investment (ep-EROI). Additionally, seaweed derived products ¿alginate¿ were evaluated due to its link with fishing and seafood processing. The application of LCA to wine sector permitted to identify the main hot spots for viticulture and winemaking stages, as well as the proposal of a series of improvement actions to reduce the environmental burdens linked to grape and wine production. Additionally, apart from conventional viticulture techniques, an ¿environmental friendly¿ technique such as biodynamic was assessed, characterized by a significant reduction of the main operational inputs and the environmental burdens. The novelty of the LCA wine studies presented in this thesis was the timeline perspective, suggesting that environmental performance should be reported yearly due to the harvest yield variation, and the application of the LUCs methodology along with LCA to assess a whole PDO in terms of the GHG emissions, as well as the application of LCA to biodynamic viticulture. The combined application of LCA+DEA methodologies has been useful to avoid problems with standard deviations, which commonly arise in LCA with average inventories. The use of this approach for grape production allowed identifying the operational inefficiencies among vine-growers and translating them into environmental efficiency as well as economic gains. Furthermore, the energy efficiency of Galician fishing fleet was assessed through the indicator ep-EROI. For this particular case study, Galician fishing fleet inventory data, available from previous studies conducted in Galicia, were used in order to report the energy efficiency for fishing sector. LCA has also proved to be a useful indicator to report the environmental performance of seafood supply chain. Thus, the sardine supply chain through its derived seafood products was evaluated, identifying the main hot spots of them. Additionally, the GHGs emissions of a multi-ingredient fish based product were analyzed ¿frozen fish sticks. For this product, fishing stage has shown to be the most relevant in terms of CF; and when consumption phase is added, final CF presented a high variability depending on consumers behavioral patterns. Finally, LCA was applied to sodium alginate extraction from seaweed. In this study, the wild harvesting and extraction process were assessed, identifying the extraction process as the main responsible for environmental burdens.