Inedit Innovacio SL UAB Research Park

Cabrils, Spain

Inedit Innovacio SL UAB Research Park

Cabrils, Spain
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Rives J.,Inedit Innovacio SL UAB Research Park | Rives J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Fernandez-Rodriguez I.,Catalan Cork Institute | Rieradevall J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Gabarrell X.,Autonomous University of Barcelona
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

This study presents an environmental analysis of the cork sector by integrating and evaluating the production of the products that are most commonly made of cork: natural cork stoppers, champagne cork stoppers, white cork granulate and black cork granulate, in order to propose environmental strategies that could contribute to minimising the potential impacts of the cork sector. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was the methodology used in order to assess the potential environmental impacts of the cork sector and its main products. Inventory was supported by 15 companies in Catalonia. Different environmental midpoint impact categories were reported and analysed according to CML 2001 method such as Abiotic Depletion (ADP), Acidification Potential (AP), Eutrophication Potential (EP), and many other. Also, the Global Warming Potential (GWP 100 years), was assessed, and it was found that the cork sector contributed to fixing carbon dioxide and consequently can help to mitigate climate change, besides generating cork products. Specifically, 3.4 tonnes of CO2 eq. were emitted to convert a tonne of raw cork from the forest into products, while 18 tonnes of CO2 are fixed per tonne as a result of the existence of cork oak forests; the resulting balance was that 14.6 tonnes of CO2 are fixed. A sensitivity analysis was carried out of the distribution of environmental impacts between products; it was observed that allocation rules were an important point of the assessment. The use of cork, a natural, renewable and local material, can help to reduce the environmental impact of products. The use of cork stoppers contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of beverages such as wines, champagnes, beers, ciders, brandies and many other beverages. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Rives J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Rives J.,Inedit Innovacio SL UAB Research Park | Fernandez-Rodriguez I.,Catalan Cork Institute | Rieradevall J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Gabarrell X.,Autonomous University of Barcelona
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2012

Cork oak grows endemically in a narrow region bordering the western Mediterranean, and especially in the Iberian Peninsula. The importance of cork agro-forestry systems lies in the fact that a natural and renewable raw material - cork - can be extracted sustainably without endangering the tree or affecting biodiversity. This paper describes an environmental analysis of the extraction of raw cork in cork oak forests in Catalonia, using data from five representative local forest exploitations. The evaluation was carried out using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, and all the forestry management required to obtain a tonne of raw cork was included. The aim of the study was to evaluate the environmental impacts - in terms of global warming, acidification, eutrophication, human toxicity, and so on - caused by cork extraction and determine the carbon dioxide balance of these forestry systems, with a tree lifespan of about 200 years.During the life cycle extraction of cork in Catalonia, 0.2 kg of CO2 eq. was emitted per kg of raw cork extracted. Moreover, cork cannot be extracted without the tree, which will be fixing carbon dioxide throughout its technological useful life (200 years), despite the fact that the bark is removed periodically: every 13-14 years. If the emission from extraction and the carbon contained in the material is discounted, the carbon dioxide balance indicates that 18 kg of CO2 are fixed per kg of raw cork extracted. Therefore, cork is a natural, renewable and local material that can replace other non-renewable materials, at local level, to reduce the environmental impacts of products, and particularly to reduce their carbon footprint. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Farreny R.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Farreny R.,Inedit Innovacio SL. UAB Research Park | Sola J.O.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Sola J.O.,Inedit Innovacio SL. UAB Research Park | And 4 more authors.
Environment and Planning A | Year: 2011

Despite covering only 2.7% of the world's total surface area, the world's cities are responsible for 75% of the world's energy consumption and 80% of greenhouse-gas emissions. For this reason, the redesign of cities is essential in the transition towards sustainability. However, planning and designing sustainable neighbourhoods is not a simple task, given that there is no agreement on what the sustainable settlement should be, nor on how this should be achieved. Furthermore, planners have to strive to achieve a balance between financial, environmental, and social goals, and must deal with multiple actors and stakeholders and with site-specific character- istics. The aim of this work is to describe the key determining factorsöboth opportunities and constraintsöfound in the process of designing and planning a neighbourhood, based on a case study in the city of Barcelona. In this practical experiment, led by the authors, the ecodesign methodology was applied on an urban scale in the neighbourhood of Vallbona, Barcelona, which occupies an area of 32.6 ha and will host 2120 dwellings. From this neighbourhood ecodesign exercise, it was found that territorial (urban form, urban fabrics, and density; availability of local resources), financial, legal, and political (local government's wishes and leadership) determinants are the most important. It is concluded that there is no single path to achieve urban sustainability, since the design of neighbourhoods in different locations will lead to different results. © 2011 Pion Ltd and its Licensors.

Foidart F.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Oliver-Sola J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Oliver-Sola J.,Ine dit Innovacio S.L. UAB Research Park | Gasol C.M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 3 more authors.
Energy Policy | Year: 2010

Despite recent consumption decrease due to recession, European electricity sector is struggling to reach ambitious targets for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. Our objective is to carry out a macro analysis of the energy mix in two European countries: Belgium and Spain. Life Cycle Assessments are carried for 2005 as well as for seven possible referenced scenarios to reach EU and also national legal objectives at the horizon 2020 and 2030. Ambitious renewable energy sources' deployment plans can decrease impacts on the environment significantly as those sources replace polluting traditional sources, such as coal/lignite, oil or gas. When concentrating on projections for the future in Spain, results show that a mix with little coal and oil replaced by up to 54% of RES-E energy sources could bring environmental benefits with CO2 emissions equivalent around 0.2 kg per kWh produced (compared with 0.54 kg in 2005). In Belgium, all future scenarios presented include more coal and gas with a limited share of RES-E; those mixes present more environmental harmful impacts (up to 0.56 kg CO2 equivalent). This is why RES-E deployment is crucial as long as it is part of an electricity mix with reduced quantities of traditional fossil fuels. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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