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Über dieses Buch

This book presents various methodologies for determining the ecological footprint, carbon footprint, water footprint, nitrogen footprint, and life cycle environment impacts and illustrates these methodologies through various applications. In particular, it systematically and comprehensively introduces the concepts and tools of the ‘footprint family’ and discusses their applications in energy and industrial systems.

The book begins by providing an overview of the effects of the economic growth dynamics on ecological footprint and then presents the definitions, concepts, calculation methods, and applications of the various footprints. The unique characteristic of this book is that it demonstrates the applications of various footprints in different systems including economic system, ecological system, beef production system, cropping system, building, food chain, sugarcane bioproducts, and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Providing both background theory and practical advice, the book is of interest to energy and environmental researchers, graduate students, and engineers.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

How Does Ecological Footprint React to Economic Growth Dynamics? Evidence from Emerging Economies

Abstract
There have been many attempts investigating how environmental conditions are affected by economic growth in the literature by mainly following the environmental Kuznets curve approach that is figured out an inverted U-shaped relationship between economic growth and environmental degradation. However, the literature has ignored the role of growth dynamics in this relationship by using economic growth instead of employing essential factors of growth equations. Contrary to prevailing literature, this study employs labour, capital and human capital factors as main drivers of economic growth. The study also observes environmental deterioration by using the ecological footprint that is widely accepted as a strong environmental sustainability indicator recently. Empirical results produced by advanced panel data methodologies taking cross-section dependence into account for emerging economies confirm that human capital accumulation that is the unique driver of economic growth is useful to shrink ecological footprint.
Zubeyde Senturk Ulucak, Salih Cagri Ilkay, Ahmet Koseoglu, Savas Savas

Life Cycle Assessment and Carbon Footprint Analysis of Recycled Aggregates in the Construction of Earth-Retaining Walls During Reconstruction

Abstract
In a nation, reconstruction is needed to provide resiliency and maintain economic growth. To remedy the damage done on roads and highways after an event, the reconstruction of earth-retaining walls (ERWs) before road/highway rehabilitation is of great importance. This would provide land transportation routes from airports or emergency personnel services to save lives and transport supplies/materials to disaster-stricken areas. It is one of the most common structures in civil engineering designed to retain earth pressure on roads and highways. It is constructed using concrete, a widely used construction material with high material consumption and carbon footprint. Aside from these, construction and demolition wastes (CDW) arise from the damaged ERWs and any concrete materials contributing to adverse impacts on the environment. These alarming facts are some of the many reasons for evaluating construction materials, such as using life cycle assessment (LCA) on CDWs. This paper investigates the use of ERWs using concrete from cradle-to-gate with natural aggregates (NAs) and recycled aggregates (RAs) from CDW. It considers three ERW types, such as gravity wall, cantilever wall, and mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall. It was found that the construction of MSE walls, among other types of earth retaining structures, is found to be 50–70% of less impact than other types of ERWs in this study. The utilization of RA in the production of concrete is up to 15% less impactful than NA, even with the additional 10% increase in cement content to compensate for the strength loss from the use of RA to NA. In ideal condition, the transport distances of NA and RA should be around 15–20 km from extraction of raw materials and processing, to concrete pouring. A limit of 100 km transport distance for RA must also be considered so that the environmental benefits from the use of RA would not be outweighed. Further studies on the economic aspect and the sustainability of its supply chain during the reconstruction are recommended.
Jason Maximino C. Ongpeng, Clarence P. Ginga

The Input–Output Method for Calculating the Carbon Footprint of Tourism: An Application to the Spanish Tourism Industry

Abstract
The tourism sector is one of the most affected by COVID-19 pandemic. The global shutting down of non-essential sectors and the maintained global mobility restrictions have led to the industry’s partial closure worldwide. Tourism could play a leading role as the driver for achieving the sustainable development goals (SDG) and as an engine of wealth generation and cultural preservation. However, the negative impacts on the environment have to be considered when shaping the forthcoming and refurbished post-pandemic tourism industry of the future. In this chapter, we propose an environmentally extended input–output model to estimate the tourism carbon footprint to assess the sustainability of the tourism industry and applied it to tourism in Spain. This modelling allows for identifying direct and indirect emissions hot spots along the complex and intricate global value chains. The main results show how while Spain’s tourism contribution to GDP accounts for 12.3%, its carbon footprint accounts for 15% of the Spanish total emissions, which is above the global average (8%). In global terms, 29% of the total carbon footprint is imported, so it is, directly or indirectly, embodied in the global production chains. It is concentrated in some close European Union countries, China, BRIIAT, and the United States. Sectorally, the Spanish tourism carbon footprint is concentrated in some sectors where emissions are mostly domestic (air transport, land transport, or retail trade).
María-Ángeles Cadarso, María-Ángeles Tobarra, Ángela García-Alaminos, Mateo Ortiz, Nuria Gómez, Jorge Zafrilla

Environmental Impact of Beef Production Systems

Abstract
Livestock production as a contributing factor of global warming has become a critical aspect of policy development among scientists, institutions, governments, and societies. Improving the animal farms performance in the several countries is a key strategy to meet the demand for animal protein, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving resource use efficiency. In this context, this chapter presents a global overview of beef production systems, their diversity, the way they can contribute to major global environmental issues and the evaluation of specific points for intervention. The characteristics of the beef production systems all over the world are analyzed, together with the goal and scope, the types of analysis (methods for the evaluation of the carbon footprint), the functional units generally implemented for the analyses, the allocation methods, and the uncertainties of the studies. This detailed overview allows a critical analysis of the selected studies, which are discussed in the last section of the chapter. It was found that it is important to improve the understanding of biological processes involved in the emissions of methane and nitrous oxide processes, in order to obtain more valid and reliable carbon footprint results.
C. Buratti, E. Belloni, F. Fantozzi

Carbon Footprint Management for a Sustainable Oil Palm Crop

Abstract
Oil palm yields five to ten more oil per hectare per year than other oil crops. Less than 10% of the land planted with oil crops produces more than 35% of the oil consumed worldwide. Oil palm needs less land, pesticides, fertilizers, and energy; thus, it generates a lower impact on the environment. Oil palm has been criticized for its impact on GHG emissions and loss of carbon stocks in peat soils, especially in Malaysia and Indonesia. In Colombia, the crop’s expansion has occurred mainly in deforested lands, degraded soils, or land devoted to cattle. To better monitor, this crop’s environmental impacts, carbon footprint, and life cycle analyses have been conducted in several countries. Here, we summarize the results of those studies with particular reference to the Colombian case. Also, we present the comparison between different carbon footprint calculators used to measure oil palm GHG emissions. Finally, we discuss the use of carbon footprint estimations and their role in improving the crop’s sustainability.
David Arturo Munar, Nidia Ramírez-Contreras, Yurany Rivera-Méndez, Jesús Alberto Garcia-Nuñez, Hernán Mauricio Romero

Understanding of Regional Trade and Virtual Water Flows: The Case Study of Arid Inland River Basin in Northwestern China

Abstract
Living with the increasingly severe water stress has currently become a crucial concern in the arid inland river basin in northwestern China. Despite water scarcity, water consumption in the basin has been on the rise, due to improvement in the standards of living and a rapid growth of the basin population over the past few decades. We present the first analysis of virtual water flows across all economic sectors within arid inland river basin in northwestern China, the area with the geopolitical importance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and with domestic importance as a major agricultural producer and trade power. Results show that the arid inland river basin in northwestern is an absolute net exporter (gross exports greater than gross imports). Approximately, 72.3% of water consumption in the basin is for exported commodities, with the biggest export flows of virtual water being associated with agricultural production. The traded volumes of virtual water have been increasing progressively over the years. It is important to note that the basin produces and exports water-intensive products but imports water non-intensive commodities as the basin in northwestern China where the water scarcity is a problem and the environment is negatively affected. This opens the domain question of whether environmental damage in the arid basin caused by water consumption is worth the socioeconomic benefits. We highlight the major role of economic scale in increasing virtual water changes in the basin over the time period of around 10 years. Demand for water use in agriculture will continue to increase as a result of growing population and economic growth. Environmental demands for water will also vie for scarce water supplies in the future. A better detailed understanding of regional trade and virtual water flows within arid inland river basin in northwestern China can in turn help decision-making processes when trying to promote appropriate policy measures, reflecting local water scarcities, water prices and ecological health concerns.
Aihua Long, Xiaoya Deng, Jiawen Yu

Water Footprint of the Life Cycle of Buildings: Case Study in Andalusia, Spain

Abstract
The building sector is one of the major consumers of water resources, according to the United Nations Environmental Program, buildings and their associated industry consume 30% of the fresh water available worldwide. Optimizing this resource usage is a key factor and makes it necessary to analyze it with environmental and economic indicators, so that the magnitude of the impact can be qualified and quantified, and covering all the building life cycle. The analysis includes the first stage, the project conception, follows with the assessment of raw materials and its manufacture, continues with the use and maintenance, and finalizes with the demolition of the building. The water consumed in all those processes or Virtual Water (VW) can be the key to the reduction of the built environment impact. Because the total water consumption of a building includes not only the water that has been required off-site to manufacture the materials used, as well as the water embodied in the production of energy, also the direct water used in the building needs to be studied. This together can be considered the building water footprint (WF). A methodology based on the quantity surveying of the building project which includes materials and machinery is used for the inventory. The WF quantification is treated similarly to a project budget. A case study of a residential building in Huelva, Spain is evaluated. The most impacting stage is the use followed by the construction, being other stages less significant.
Cristina Rivero-Camacho, Madelyn Marrero

Nitrogen Footprint of a Food Chain

Abstract
Nutrients such as nitrogen are required to secure food production. However, nitrogen cycles have been disturbed by excess nitrogen intake and low nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), which have several environmental impacts. In order to address nitrogen-related issues, the magnitude of the problem and hotspots in the value chain must first be identified. Various methods to quantify nitrogen use, NUE, and nitrogen-related environmental impact potential have been proposed to tackle this challenge. The approaches, methods, and indicators that can be used in assessing particular food systems are presented in this chapter. The methods serve different purposes and present certain differences in terms of scoping and system boundaries. The aim of this chapter is to present currently relevant methods to analyze the nitrogen footprint of a food chain in order to help those tasked with carrying out assessments to choose the method which best meets their needs.
Kaisa Grönman, Laura Lakanen, Heli Kasurinen

Footprint Analysis of Sugarcane Bioproducts

Abstract
Global warming and the generation of greenhouse gases are strongly pushing anthropocentric activities to develop methodological frameworks for measurement such as the ecological, carbon and water footprint and to apply or develop novel technologies to determine key points to drastically reduce their impacts. Agroindustries such as sugarcane and the industrialization of their waste and by-products have been evaluated in a multidisciplinary way in various environmental, technological and management contexts, mainly in the largest producing countries, where the components of the ecological footprint have been calculated. However, these values cannot be generalized to all producing countries. Therefore, local actions such as technological management are necessary to minimize the generation of environmental impacts and move toward sustainability. This work carried out the study of the impact of the sugarcane harvest with the burning system in Mexico, demonstrated as a highly emitter of greenhouse gases and significantly impacting the agroindustrial quality of stalks and the ecosystem. Besides, sustainable alternatives for the use of trash in the Cordoba-Golfo sugarcane region were evaluated. Likewise, in the La Huasteca Region, precision agriculture techniques were applied to determine the regionalization of areas highly susceptible to drought and higher requirements for inputs and water. The results showed that it is feasible to potentially reduce the ecological footprint of sugarcane cultivation through a scientific approach based on improving cane stalks production conditions and conversion of trash into bioproducts.
Noé Aguilar-Rivera

Overview of Footprint Family for Environmental Management in the Belt and Road Initiative

Abstract
Over the past few years, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by China has made a notable contribution to the rapid growth of cross-border trade. This however has been accompanied by unexpected burden shifting of resource extractions and environmental emissions to less developed countries. Given that little attention has been paid to the trade-embodied resources and emissions throughout the BRI, this paper, for the first time, accounts for the water, land, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus footprints of 65 BRI nations and traces the flows embodied in international trade between the BRI and remaining 124 economies by employing a global multi-regional input–output model. Overall, distribution of the BRI’s environmental footprints shows strong spatial heterogeneity, amongst China, India, and Russia have the highest total environmental footprints. Furthermore, reverse patterns of spatial distribution can be observed between the total and per capita footprints of BRI nations. When it comes to the global scale, the BRI as a whole is found to be a net exporter of trade-embodied flows except for virtual water. Remarkably, 29% of the BRI nations experience a role transition in supply chains across scales, either from net exporters on the BRI level to net importers on the global level, or in reverse. Our findings provide a holistic picture of environmental footprints at scales ranging from single nations, regions, BRI, and even globe, highlighting the significance of a global view in finding ways to tackle environmental challenges and fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals throughout the BRI countries by 2030.
Kai Fang, Siqi Wang, Jianjian He, Junnian Song, Chuanglin Fang, Xiaoping Jia
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