Environmental assessment of greenhouse herb production: A case of longitudinal improvement options in Sweden
The greenhouse sector has seen many advances to improve its resource demands, though little is known of the environmental impacts. This study aims to assess the environmental performance of a horticultural greenhouse in Sweden producing herbs. Life cycle assessment is employed to analyze different scenarios. These include previous measures, such as switching to organic fertilizers, a pellet burner, and reducing the packaging weight. Future scenarios are assessed, including increasing biofueled logistics, switching to LEDs, densifying production, and including recyclable packaging.
The results suggest that GHG emissions were reduced by 32% per kg edible portion through past scenarios in current scenario. Additionally, densifying production and switching to LED lighting can lead to an additional 14% and 10% reduction in GHG emissions compared to the current system respectively, while also reducing other environmental impact categories. These results provide insights into the implications of environmental and resource improvement measures taken at greenhouses.