Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Social life cycle assessment and participatory approaches: A methodological proposal applied to citrus farming in Southern Italy

Social life cycle assessment and participatory approaches: A methodological proposal applied to... ABSTRACT Recently, Social Life Cycle Assessment (S‐LCA) has been developed under the methodological framework of Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) to evaluate the social impacts that emerge during the overall life cycle of a product or service. There is not yet a standardized methodology for S‐LCA as there is for environmental LCA (eLCA), due to the nature of social impacts that do not depend only on the processes themselves, but also on the behavior and context of actors (manufactures, consumers, local community members, etc.). One of the most critical steps in the application of S‐LCA concerns the choice of criteria for selecting affected actors, impact categories, subcategories, and the taxonomic relation among them. Moreover, the importance (in terms of weight) of these impacts may be felt differently by affected actors, confirming the importance of the context within which impacts arise. In this sense, the integration of participatory tools can be useful in making the S‐LCA more locally relevant. The aim of the present study is twofold. First, we will outline a methodology that combines S‐LCA with two research tools. The first is the focus group, adopted from qualitative research. The second is the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), adopted from operational research, which belongs to the framework of Multicriteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). These have been used to make the S‐LCA more locally relevant and to legitimate the criteria used. Second, we will test this methodology by applying it to a specific field, i.e., 3 production areas and 3 different crop systems of citrus growing in the Calabria region in Southern Italy. Citrus growing is one of the most important agricultural sectors at regional level, and it is also well known for issues of social concern, particularly in relation to immigrant workers. The results show a number of differences between cases and could offer useful insights to both local decision makers, such as agricultural entrepreneurs, and to those public decision makers that design and implement territorial planning strategies. Results have allowed the authors to rank the social performance of each case and to reflect on the most critical steps in conducting an S‐LCA. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2015;11:383–396. © 2015 SETAC Key findings The integration of qualitative techniques and a multicriteria in sLCA allows catching local specificities by involving local experts and stakeholders Results highlighted that impact categories mostly contributed to performance differences Public deciders can be supported in deciding which farming practices should be encouraged, which social domains must be paid more attention, and where social problems mostly occur The methodological application allowed the authors also to foresee the feasibility of the integration of LCA and LCC results as inputs in sLCA to conduct a Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management Wiley

Social life cycle assessment and participatory approaches: A methodological proposal applied to citrus farming in Southern Italy

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/social-life-cycle-assessment-and-participatory-approaches-a-bOyjG8YUpT

References (92)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2015 SETAC
ISSN
1551-3777
eISSN
1551-3793
DOI
10.1002/ieam.1611
pmid
25556911
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT Recently, Social Life Cycle Assessment (S‐LCA) has been developed under the methodological framework of Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) to evaluate the social impacts that emerge during the overall life cycle of a product or service. There is not yet a standardized methodology for S‐LCA as there is for environmental LCA (eLCA), due to the nature of social impacts that do not depend only on the processes themselves, but also on the behavior and context of actors (manufactures, consumers, local community members, etc.). One of the most critical steps in the application of S‐LCA concerns the choice of criteria for selecting affected actors, impact categories, subcategories, and the taxonomic relation among them. Moreover, the importance (in terms of weight) of these impacts may be felt differently by affected actors, confirming the importance of the context within which impacts arise. In this sense, the integration of participatory tools can be useful in making the S‐LCA more locally relevant. The aim of the present study is twofold. First, we will outline a methodology that combines S‐LCA with two research tools. The first is the focus group, adopted from qualitative research. The second is the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), adopted from operational research, which belongs to the framework of Multicriteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). These have been used to make the S‐LCA more locally relevant and to legitimate the criteria used. Second, we will test this methodology by applying it to a specific field, i.e., 3 production areas and 3 different crop systems of citrus growing in the Calabria region in Southern Italy. Citrus growing is one of the most important agricultural sectors at regional level, and it is also well known for issues of social concern, particularly in relation to immigrant workers. The results show a number of differences between cases and could offer useful insights to both local decision makers, such as agricultural entrepreneurs, and to those public decision makers that design and implement territorial planning strategies. Results have allowed the authors to rank the social performance of each case and to reflect on the most critical steps in conducting an S‐LCA. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2015;11:383–396. © 2015 SETAC Key findings The integration of qualitative techniques and a multicriteria in sLCA allows catching local specificities by involving local experts and stakeholders Results highlighted that impact categories mostly contributed to performance differences Public deciders can be supported in deciding which farming practices should be encouraged, which social domains must be paid more attention, and where social problems mostly occur The methodological application allowed the authors also to foresee the feasibility of the integration of LCA and LCC results as inputs in sLCA to conduct a Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA)

Journal

Integrated Environmental Assessment and ManagementWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2015

There are no references for this article.