Life cycle (LC) methodologies have attracted a great interest in agricultural sustainability assessments, even if, at the same time, they have sometimes been criticized for making unrealistic assumptions and subjective choices. To cope with these weaknesses, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and/or participatory methods can be used to balance and integrate different sustainability dimensions. The purpose of this study is to highlight how life cycle approaches were combined with MCDA and participatory methods to address agricultural sustainability in the published scientific literature. A systematic and critical review was developed, highlighting the following features: which multi-criterial and/or participatory methods have been associated with LC tools; how they have been integrated or complemented (methodological relationships); the intensity of the involvement of stakeholders (degree of participation); and which synergies have been achieved by combining the methods. The main typology of integration was represented by multi-criterial frameworks integrating LC evaluations. LC tools can provide MCDA studies with local and global information on how to reduce negative impacts and avoid burden shifts, while MCDA methods can help LC practitioners deal with subjective assumptions in an objective way, to take into consideration actors' values and to overcome trade-offs among the different dimensions of sustainability. Considerations concerning the further development of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) have been identified as well.

Life Cycle tools combined with multi-criteria and participatory methods for agricultural sustainability. Insights from a systematic and critical review.

De Luca A. I.
;
Iofrida N.;Stillitano T.;Strano A.;Gulisano G
2017

Abstract

Life cycle (LC) methodologies have attracted a great interest in agricultural sustainability assessments, even if, at the same time, they have sometimes been criticized for making unrealistic assumptions and subjective choices. To cope with these weaknesses, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and/or participatory methods can be used to balance and integrate different sustainability dimensions. The purpose of this study is to highlight how life cycle approaches were combined with MCDA and participatory methods to address agricultural sustainability in the published scientific literature. A systematic and critical review was developed, highlighting the following features: which multi-criterial and/or participatory methods have been associated with LC tools; how they have been integrated or complemented (methodological relationships); the intensity of the involvement of stakeholders (degree of participation); and which synergies have been achieved by combining the methods. The main typology of integration was represented by multi-criterial frameworks integrating LC evaluations. LC tools can provide MCDA studies with local and global information on how to reduce negative impacts and avoid burden shifts, while MCDA methods can help LC practitioners deal with subjective assumptions in an objective way, to take into consideration actors' values and to overcome trade-offs among the different dimensions of sustainability. Considerations concerning the further development of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) have been identified as well.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/1675
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