The livestock sector is required by the European Union policies to strengthen its multifunctional role by diversifying its production patterns. In Italy many dairy farms have already installed energy plants such as bi-ogas digestors, mainly to increase their economic sustainability. We eval-uate in this study the environmental performance of raw milk production to be used for world-renowned Parmigiano Reggiano cheese production in a dairy farm located in northern Italy. Other products (crops, meat, biogas, electricity) are also included in the assessment. The study was carried out by means of Material Flow Accounting, Cumulative Energy Demand, Emergy Accounting and Life Cycle Assessment methods. The final pur-pose was to analyze the effects induced by different mixes of inputs (feed-stock, electricity, fertilizers) and outputs (crops, milk, meat, electricity) on the process performance. The evaluation was implemented before and after the installation of a pho-tovoltaic power plant and a biogas digester coupled to a biogas-fueled elec-tric generator. This study explores five alternative scenarios: Scenario 1. An intensive livestock farm, in which feedstock and electricity are pur-chased from outside and manure is sold or disposed of; Scenario 2. The real farm before the implementation of PV and biogas, using a fraction of self-produced feedstock and manure as fertilizer; Scenario 3. The same farm, after photovoltaic electricity implementation, to cover 100% of local demand; Scenario 4. The same farm, after installing a manure digester and an electric generator, to produce electricity from biogas (sold as additional product, while digestate is used as fertilizer); 5. A Polish dairy farm, pro-ducing crops, meat and milk for the market, using manure as fertilizer and no renewable energy appliances. Results show local and large-scale improvements in the transition from Scenario 1 to Scenario 2 (due to increased optimization driven by fodder self-reliance) as well as in the transition from Scenario 3 to Scenario 3 (due to electricity self-reliance). The transition from Scenario 3 to Scenario 4 shows the added value of additional biogas-driven electric generation, while Scenario 5 shows the advantage of optimized milk production due to pedigree breeding, pasture availability and sale of crops in addition to dairy products. Results suggest that several kinds of improvements are possible by acting on farm structure, renewable energy supply, and differ-ent mix of products. Results also confirm the effectiveness of a multicriteria multiscale bio-physical assessment method towards a better understanding of costs and benefits of production alternatives.

Integrated Agricultural and Dairy Production within a Circular Economy Framework. A Comparison of Italian and Polish Farming Systems

Patrizia Ghisellini;Marco Setti;
2014

Abstract

The livestock sector is required by the European Union policies to strengthen its multifunctional role by diversifying its production patterns. In Italy many dairy farms have already installed energy plants such as bi-ogas digestors, mainly to increase their economic sustainability. We eval-uate in this study the environmental performance of raw milk production to be used for world-renowned Parmigiano Reggiano cheese production in a dairy farm located in northern Italy. Other products (crops, meat, biogas, electricity) are also included in the assessment. The study was carried out by means of Material Flow Accounting, Cumulative Energy Demand, Emergy Accounting and Life Cycle Assessment methods. The final pur-pose was to analyze the effects induced by different mixes of inputs (feed-stock, electricity, fertilizers) and outputs (crops, milk, meat, electricity) on the process performance. The evaluation was implemented before and after the installation of a pho-tovoltaic power plant and a biogas digester coupled to a biogas-fueled elec-tric generator. This study explores five alternative scenarios: Scenario 1. An intensive livestock farm, in which feedstock and electricity are pur-chased from outside and manure is sold or disposed of; Scenario 2. The real farm before the implementation of PV and biogas, using a fraction of self-produced feedstock and manure as fertilizer; Scenario 3. The same farm, after photovoltaic electricity implementation, to cover 100% of local demand; Scenario 4. The same farm, after installing a manure digester and an electric generator, to produce electricity from biogas (sold as additional product, while digestate is used as fertilizer); 5. A Polish dairy farm, pro-ducing crops, meat and milk for the market, using manure as fertilizer and no renewable energy appliances. Results show local and large-scale improvements in the transition from Scenario 1 to Scenario 2 (due to increased optimization driven by fodder self-reliance) as well as in the transition from Scenario 3 to Scenario 3 (due to electricity self-reliance). The transition from Scenario 3 to Scenario 4 shows the added value of additional biogas-driven electric generation, while Scenario 5 shows the advantage of optimized milk production due to pedigree breeding, pasture availability and sale of crops in addition to dairy products. Results suggest that several kinds of improvements are possible by acting on farm structure, renewable energy supply, and differ-ent mix of products. Results also confirm the effectiveness of a multicriteria multiscale bio-physical assessment method towards a better understanding of costs and benefits of production alternatives.
JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING AND MANAGEMENT
Patrizia Ghisellini; Gaetano Protano; Silvio Viglia; Marek Gaworski; Marco Setti; Sergio Ulgiati;
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/468170
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 22
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact