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Environmental Impact of Different Business Models: An LCA Study of Fresh Tomato Production in Italy


  • Silvia Solimene

    (Department of MEMOTEF, Sapienza University of Rome, Via del Castro Laurenziano 9, 00161 Rome, Italy)

  • Daniela Coluccia

    (Department of MEMOTEF, Sapienza University of Rome, Via del Castro Laurenziano 9, 00161 Rome, Italy)

  • Alessandro Bernardo

    (Department of Management, Sapienza University of Rome, Via del Castro Laurenziano 9, 00161 Rome, Italy)


This paper aims to define and measure the environmental impacts associated with three distinct industry techniques used in the production of fresh tomatoes, from planting to harvesting. A comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is conducted to evaluate the environmental performance of producing one kilogram of fresh processing tomatoes. The study includes three Italian companies representing different Business Models: standard production, integrated production, and precision farming. The impact evaluation method used is ReCiPe, at both midpoint and endpoint levels. The results reveal that the adoption of advanced technology, such as precision farming, in managing the agricultural production of fresh tomatoes leads to a significant reduction in environmental impacts across all categories analyzed. Interestingly, the largest contribution to climate-changing gases comes from the use of fertilizers. Precision farming demonstrates a remarkable reduction of CO 2 emissions by 52% compared to integrated production and 67% compared to standard production. This analysis provides valuable insights for managers and policymakers in developing strategies for large-scale, sustainable production using innovative techniques. The main contribution of this study lies in comparing the performance of three different Business Models employed in Italian fresh tomato production.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvia Solimene & Daniela Coluccia & Alessandro Bernardo, 2023. "Environmental Impact of Different Business Models: An LCA Study of Fresh Tomato Production in Italy," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(13), pages 1-17, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:15:y:2023:i:13:p:10365-:d:1184064

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    2. Maria Concetta Pedalà & Marzia Traverso & Simona Prestigiacomo & Antonio Covais & Giovanni Gugliuzza, 2023. "Life Cycle Assessment of Tomato Cultivated in an Innovative Soilless System," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(21), pages 1-16, November.

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