Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Production in Southwestern Ontario

Hendricks, Patrick
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University of Guelph

Greenhouse tomatoes are the most widely grown greenhouse vegetable in Ontario, with southwestern Ontario having the largest concentration of greenhouse tomato operations in North America. However, there is little data concerning the environmental impacts of producing greenhouse tomatoes in Ontario. This study was conducted to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of greenhouse tomato production in southwestern Ontario by using a life cycle assessment (LCA). Data were collected from greenhouse tomato growers in Leamington, Ontario via a survey, with additional data from documents and databases. The major source of environmental impact came from the energy and source (i.e. fossil fuels) required for heating the greenhouse, followed by fertilization, electricity use, and if included, liquid CO2. Different modelling scenarios proved effective in revealing the benefits and detriments of using various heating sources. This study revealed that energy saving methods should be investigated to mitigate the environmental burdens caused by heating the greenhouse.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Greenhouse, Tomato, Ontario