Eco-innovation in garden irrigation tools and carbon footprint assessment
This article describes the eco-innovative characteristics implemented in electronic devices for irrigation with smart-gardening solutions, such as internet connection for weather forecast and sensors of soil moisture contents, as well as a database with different plants necessities. The main function of these products is to collect and analyze the information related to plants needs, thus reducing water and fertilizer consumption. In addition to quantify the environmental impact of savings in these two resource flows (40% water and 20% fertilizers savings) compared with conventional irrigation systems, an ISO 14067 compliant life cycle-based carbon footprint evaluation has been performed to quantify environmental impact of the product itself. The main methodological issue is finding a means on how to proceed when the main environmental benefit of the product under study is, in fact, the service it provides to other systems and when this service cannot be included directly in the product’s carbon footprint calculation due to lack of defined standard-use conditions (such as meteorology or soil composition). Implementation of smart irrigation tools in gardening and agriculture can lead the transition toward more sustainable production systems worldwide, as well as being an example of business transformation toward resource efficiency improvements through the use of information technology systems to contribute to circular economy.
KeywordsCommunication of product value Life cycle assessment Product carbon footprint Smart-gardening solutions Water and resources saving
The product was sent to compete at the 2015 Catalonia Ecodesign Awards, being acknowledged a mention to the Category A “Products” prize. The authors wish to thank the Catalan Government for this honor. The authors want to thank the financial support received from the Catalan Waste Agency for the performance of the carbon footprint study. Also thanks are due as well to the company, Involve Newtech S.L., for their collaboration during the study. One of the authors (Yuli) wants to express her gratitude to the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change (ESCI-UPF) for the warm and helpful time of her stay at the Chair. The authors are responsible for the choice and presentation of information contained in this paper as well as for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit this Organization.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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