Social and environmental analysis contributions to floriculture in the hydrangea sector through a life cycle assessment approach

Mariluz Betancur Velez, Cindy Natalia Arenas, Nicolas Fernando Molina Saenz, Jose Adrian Rios Arango, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez Bedoya, Jaime León Botero Agudelo, Juliana Quintero, Juliana Miranda

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Abstract

In La Paz Province (Eastern Antioquia, Colombia), hydrangea floriculture has emerged as a significant driver of economic and social development following the post-conf lict situation, offering high value-added contributions to the territory. The objective was to identify both the social and environmental aspects of hydrangea cultivation by small and medium-sized growers, assessing the environmental impacts and externalities across the crop’s life cycle. This initiative aimed to foster sustainable growth in f loriculture production under eco-friendly conditions, safeguarding human health, and benefiting local stakeholders. To establish a methodological framework, the study adhered to the requirements and guidelines outlined in ISO 14040 and 14044 standards for environmental life cycle assessment, in addition to utilizing the UNEP Methodological Guide. The research revealed significant findings,
highlighting the key environmental impacts affecting hydrangea production throughout its life cycle. These impacts primarily stem from the excessive use of agrochemicals, which pose risks to human health and ecosystems due to alterations in soil properties. Moreover, the reliance on fossil resources (such as plastics and fuels) at various stages of the cultivation process contributes to these impacts. From a social perspective, the study identified stakeholders and critical aspects requiring improvement, including integration, safety, occupational health, proper agrochemical handling, regulatory compliance, and system replacement issues. These challenges underscore the complexity of
achieving sustainability, emphasizing the need for specialized technical support and new knowledge for growers. Implementing cost-effective technologies is crucial to mitigate environmental impacts, along with fostering associativity models among hydrangea crop producers, which significantly contribute to enhancing growing conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalRevista Ingenierías Universidad de Medellín
Volume Vol 22
Issue number43
Early online date15 Dec 2023
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2023

Types Minciencias

  • Artículos de investigación con calidad C

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