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Schmidt-Rivera, X. S., Rodgers, B., Odanye, T., Jalil-Vega, F., & Farmer, J. (2023). The role of aeroponic container farms in sustainable food systems – The environmental credentials. Sci. Total Environ., 860, 160420.
Abstract: Sustainable food production and consumption are key to face the current climate and environmental crisis, hence innovation to produce food with lower impacts are taking more attention. Controlled environment agriculture, also known as vertical farming, is seen as one innovative approach to reduce impacts of producing food while also improv-ing food security. Aeroponic is one of such innovations, which environmental impacts have not been well understood yet. Therefore, this study assesses the environmental impacts of aeroponic farm container system in the UK, including a full set of 19 indicators. The results show that energy requirements drive all the impacts, with climate change estimated at 1.52 kg CO2eq. per 1 kg of microgreens (pea shoots) using 2021 UK grid. Renewable powered systems improve almost all the impacts, with climate change reduced by up to 80 %, making this system competitive with con-ventional agricultural systems. This study proves that aeroponic farm container could offer lower impact food than equivalent imported to the UK, and that also could improve food security in terms of availability, stability, and access to food. Affordability issues need to be assessed in future work.