Menú

Publications

(Español) Interdependent response of three critical infrastructures in a South-American megacity

Author(s): Úrsula Cárdenas Mamani, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo y (Español) Jose Manuel Magallanes

(Español) Critical infrastructures (CIs) are key for the functionality of urban areas. Their failure due to natural disasters or manmade disruptive events could severely obstruct normal city activities, producing considerable social and economic impacts. Understanding CI performance and interdependence during these events is imperative. This study aims to comprehend the independent and interdependent response of three CIs in a South American megacity: Lima, Peru. Topological indicators were used to study three CIs: potable water distribution, electricity distribution and natural gas distribution; five disruption scenarios were modeled. Results show that, compared to the other CIs, the potable water system has the highest redundancy, while the electricity network has the best capacity to connect among all elements. The structure of the natural gas system makes it fragile and susceptible to failures, generating the lowest values across indicators. Regarding the interdependence analysis, certain elements (e.g., medium- and high-voltage substations, water treatment plant, pressure stations) with a high degree of connectivity influence the entire performance of the systems; the interdependent effect exposes some CIs to damage more than others. Earthquakes have a comparatively more negative impact on the CIs studied than manmade disruptive events. In order to reduce vulnerability factors in the three systems, an important mitigation action would be to reduce the centralization of the systems.

Open link

(Español) [Assessing Progress Towards Sustainability] Chapter 8 – The combined use of life cycle assessment and data envelopment analysis to analyse the environmental efficiency of multi-unit systems

Author(s): (Español) Jara Lasso, Jorge Cristóbal, María Margallo, Rubén Aldaco, Ian Vázqeuz-Rowe

(Español) The combination of life cycle assessment (LCA) and data envelopment analysis (DEA) methodologies has been employed over the past years to assess the eco-efficiency of a wide spectrum of production systems. This chapter presents a critical review on current practices of the joint application of LCA + DEA, as well as point towards the methodological challenges and opportunities for the future. Considering the growth of the method in the past decade, it is plausible to assume that an increasing number of studies will continue to appear in the literature. The development of guidance or standardisation reports would constitute a step forward in terms of providing advice on how recurrent methodological issues (e.g. uncertainty, selection of impacts categories or DEA models, etc.) should be addressed in LCA + DEA.

Open link

Assessing the limits to the growth of urban stocks in areas with horizontal growth constraints

Author(s): Matías Gutiérrez Medina, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo

(Español) Urban areas accumulate important quantities of secondary resources that in the future could be part of what are called “Urban mines”. While this stock is growing as population in urban areas increases, different types of constraints could limit its growth, especially with regard to the building stock. Applying the concepts and methods of material stock analysis, this research proposes an approach that helps assess the limits to the growth of building stocks in areas with horizontal growth constraints. These limits are studied on the basis of established zoning, urban and building parameters, and are quantified for two neighboring districts in Metropolitan Lima, whose central location amid multiple districts limits their horizontal growth possibilities. Three scenarios are used to explore the limits, which determined that the ratio of current material stock to the theoretical maximum allowed, ranged between 26-30% and 41–50%. Results show that zoning is a limiting factor for the upward growth of cities, and that while generally there is potential to grow, some areas are closer to their limits than others. Though municipal zoning considerations may change in the future, increasing or decreasing the limit, the study provides an important approach for understanding the limits to the growth of urban stocks.

Open link

(Español) Proposal for used electronic products management in Mexicali

Author(s): Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo, Marco Gusukuma Higa y (Español) T.Reed Miller, Sara Ojeda-Benitez, Samantha E. Cruz-Sotelo, Jorge Jauregui-Sesma.

(Español) Mexicali, a Mexican city located near the US-Mexico border, has faced several challenges related to adopting an
integrated e-waste management system. Thus, the main objective of this work is to propose a new system to be
implemented in phases. The current system is evaluated using several methodological approaches including field
studies, surveys, interviews, and quantitative modeling via material flow analysis. We suggest the need to
properly integrate both the formal and informal sectors to achieve the optimal system that mitigates environmental impacts while preserving the positive social and economic traits of the current system. Thus, without
supplanting the current reuse, refurbishment, repair and maintenance practices, a hybrid system is proposed,
based on a centralized facility that primarily handles those parts or materials that create environmental impacts
and health hazards if mishandled. Furthermore, a decentralized transition phase toward the new system is
recommended.

Download publication (817.03 KB)

(Español) Integration of environment and nutrition in life cycle assessment of food items: opportunities and challenges

Author(s): Ian Vázquez Rowe y (Español) Sarah McLaren, Andrew Berardy, Andrew Henderson, Nicholas Holden, Thom Huppertz, Olivier Jolliet, Camillo De Camillis, Marguerite Renouf, Benedetto Rugani, Merja Saarinen, Jolieke van der Pols, Assumpció Antón Vallejo, Marta Bianchi, Abhishek Chaudhary, Canxi Chen, Margot Cooreman-Algoed, Hongmin Dong, Tim Grant, Ashley Green, Elinor Hallström, Hong Minh Hoang, Adrian Leip, John Lynch, Graham McAuliffe, Brad Ridoutt, Sophie Saget, Laura Scherer, Hanna Tuomisto, Peter Tyedmers, Hannah van Zanten.

(Español) Food systems have become increasingly efficient and technologically advanced in providing food
products to meet the needs of the world’s growing population. However, providing healthy diets
within environmental limits remains a key sustainability issue as food systems continue to over use
increasingly scarce natural resources while making a major contribution to environmental impacts
such as climate change, water scarcity and biodiversity loss. At the same time, hundreds of millions
of people suffer from chronic hunger or adult obesity, and healthy diets continue to be more expensive
than energy- and nutrient-sufficient diets.
Many stakeholders are interested in the question of how to assess the environmental impacts of
healthy diets, and in exploring solutions for minimizing trade-offs between nourishing populations
and safeguarding the environment. Life cycle assessment (LCA) studies have an important role in
contributing to solutions because they evaluate the environmental impacts of different practices,
products and systems, and they facilitate the exploration of benefits and trade-offs across multiple
types of impacts. LCA studies of food items increasingly address nutritional as well as environmental
aspects, and this requires consideration of additional methodological aspects.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) initiated a project to identify
opportunities for further developing environmental and nutritional LCA methodology and building
consensus about best practice, and to propose future research needs. The project involved 30
environmental and nutritional LCA researchers from 18 countries and ran between May and November
2021. The project focused on assessing food items as opposed to raw materials, meals and/or diets,
and it is a step towards more comprehensive meal and dietary LCA studies.
A key issue concerns the intended purpose of an LCA study. This requires some consideration of the
reason for the study, the intended application and the audience. Foods may be consumed for a variety
of reasons including for their nutritional value, for enjoyment, and/or as a means of taking part in –
or contributing to – socio-cultural functions. This report defines a nutritional LCA (nLCA) study as an
LCA study where the provision of nutrient(s) is considered as either the main function or one of the
main functions of a food item. nLCA studies should be undertaken by multidisciplinary teams involving
nutritional and health scientists as well as environmental scientists.
At the outset, the goal and scope of an nLCA study should be carefully defined following the
recommendations in this report, including:
• Undertake an nLCA when nutrients are and/or nutrition is relevant to the decision-maker and
decision context (Chapter 3).
• Clearly identify the target audience and the target population for a study because different
populations have different nutritional requirements, and this may influence the assessment of
nutritional value (Chapter 5).
• Report the quantities of as many essential nutrients as possible (Chapters 5 and 6).
• Aim to provide information on the nutritional quality and/or health impacts in addition to
nutrient quantities (Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Section 7.5.4).
• The system boundaries should include all stages of the product life cycle that affect nutritional
value. The final processing, storage and/or preparation of food items may have a notable effect
on their nutritional value, and this should be taken into consideration (including the potential
fortification of foods) (Chapter 5).
• Choose a modelling perspective (typically attributional or consequential) based on the
relevance to the decision situation (Chapter 4).

Download publication (1.75 MB)

(Español) Evolution of the stock of electrical and electronic equipment in the Peruvian residential sector

Author(s): Marco Gusukuma Higa, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo, Kathia Cáceres Huisacayna

(Español) Consumption of appliances in the residential sector in Peru has been growing continuously during the last 20 years. Although social benefits due to this growth are evident, there are also some related environmental impacts in the use and end-of-life (EoL) phases (e.g., inadequate handling or disposal at the EoL stage). Nevertheless, there is also a hidden potential in the growing stock of household appliances, such as their potential exploitation as resources of industrial materials found in urban areas. Thus, the aim of this research paper is to analyze the evolution of the adoption of electronics in Peruvian households and estimate the stock of electrical and electronic equipment and related materials in the residential sector from 2001 to 2019, and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions due to its use. Material flow analysis is the main methodology used in this research and its application relies on different strategies and the integrated use of official sources. Moreover, a Peruvian input–output table and associated environmental matrices were used to calculate GHG emissions. Results indicate that, in 2019, an average household possessed between 86 and 121 kg of appliances, which means the total stock of household appliances in Peru was in the range of 805,000 to 1,134,000 metric tons, an increase in mass of 70–95% by 2019 compared to 2001. These results will be useful to estimate the urban stock of appliances in the residential sector to help policy-makers design and implement an adequate e-waste management system that comprehends the potential of secondary materials embedded in these products.

Open link

(Español) District-level analysis for household-related energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions: A case study in Lima, Peru

Author(s): Úrsula Cárdenas Mamani, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo, Ian Vázquez Rowe

(Español) Given the significant contribution of households in terms of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in addition to the increasing rate of urbanization and growth in developing countries, urban dwellings need to be analyzed in greater depth in order to implement sound policy-making based on informed decisions. Thus, the aim of this study is to quantify the household-related energy use and associated GHG emissions in the city of Lima, Peru, between 2007 and 2015. In order to understand the emission patterns within the city, a further analysis on smaller spatial scales (i.e., districts) has been performed using multiple regression analyses. Results show that household-related energy consumption and emissions, excluding those related to private vehicles, ranged from 2.92 to 3.22 GJ/cap/year and 187 to 249 kg CO2eq/cap/year, respectively. Overall, there is a transition in the use of energy and emissions, sustained by an increase in population and a change in the economic status of part of the population. Moreover, liquefied petroleum gas, rather than electricity, was found to be the main energy source in lower-income households. This study aims to help integrate household energy behavior with strategies for sustainable cities and provide a starting point to connect with climate policies.

Open link

(Español) Environmental footprint of critical agro-export products in the Peruvian hyper-arid coast: A case study for green asparagus and avocado

Author(s): Diana Ita Nagy, Eduardo Parodi Gonzales Prada, Ian Vázquez Rowe y (Español) Xavier Esteve-Llorens, Sara González-García, María Teresa Moreira, Gumersindo Feijoo

(Español) Peru has become one of the world's main agricultural hubs for a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Two of these products, avocado and green asparagus, have raised attention in recent years in the international scene from an environmental perspective due to the high amounts of water they require, as well as the long air and marine freighting distances to export these products to Europe, Asia or the US. Consequently, the aim of the current study was to perform an environmental assessment of these two products using two life-cycle methods: carbon and water footprint. For the latter, water scarcity, acidification, eco-toxicity and eutrophication impact categories have been selected for assessment. Inventory data were gathered from six different companies located in different regions of the hyper-arid Peruvian coast. The results report that the products are not carbon intensive and are in line with other similar plant-based products. Conversely, the hyper-arid conditions of the cultivation sites require a large volume of groundwater to fulfill the needs of the crops. Interestingly, even though this may lead to overexploitation of groundwater resources in the absence of appropriate management policies, the low mobility of pollutants, namely pesticides, constitutes a natural barrier to protect the degradation of natural water bodies. Similarly, highly technified irrigation systems have allowed minimizing the amounts of water used per hectare. In conclusion, results from this study may be useful in more concise environmental assessment studies on food products and diets, considering the consumption of these Peruvian products in many countries in the world. Furthermore, results are also important at regional level since they depict the carbon and water performance of these products and can also be accompanied by cross-cutting certification schemes, including Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules Guidance.

Open link
1 2 20 21
Share via:
Send to: