Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) of Sassuolo Industrial District (Italy)

Version 1 : Received: 29 April 2018 / Approved: 1 May 2018 / Online: 1 May 2018 (12:04:34 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 2 May 2018 / Approved: 3 May 2018 / Online: 3 May 2018 (11:35:10 CEST)
Version 3 : Received: 12 June 2018 / Approved: 13 June 2018 / Online: 13 June 2018 (09:49:25 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

DOI: 10.1108/SASBE-07-2018-0038


One of the biggest challenges for European industry is to introduce sustainability principles into business models. This is particularly important in raw material and energy intensive manufacturing sectors such as the ceramic industry. The present state of knowledge lacks a comprehensive operational tool for industry to support decision-making processes geared towards sustainability. In the ceramic sector, the economic and social dimensions of the product and processes have not yet been given sufficient importance. Moreover, the traditional research on industrial districts lacks an analysis of the relations between firms and the territory with a view to sustainability. Finally, the attention of scholars in the field of economic and social sustainability, has not yet turned to the analysis of the Sassuolo district. Therefore, in this paper we introduce the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), as a method that can be a suitable tool to fill this gap, because through a mathematical model it is possible to obtain the information useful for decision makers to integrate the principles of sustainability both at the microeconomic level in enterprises, and at the meso-economic level for the definition of economic policies and territorial governance. Environmental and socio-economic analysis was performed from the extraction of raw materials to the packaging of the product on different product categories manufactured by the Italian ceramic industries of the Sassuolo district (northern Italy). For the first time the LCSA model, usually applied to unitary processes, is extended to the economic and industrial activities of the entire district, extending the prospect of investigation from the enterprise and its value chain to the integrated network of district enterprises.


sustainability; Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA); Sassuolo industrial district; Italian ceramic industry; meso-economic level; interpretative method


SOCIAL SCIENCES, Organizational Economics & Management

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