In a new study, life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to analyze production system components for a 11.4-cm container of wax begonia in a 12-plant shuttle tray modeled in a gutter-connected, Dutch-style greenhouse with natural ventilation in the northeastern U.S.
The global warming potential (GWP) of input products, equipment use and environmental controls for an individual plant would be 0.140 kg CO2e and the variable costs would total $0.666. Fifty-seven percent of the GWP and 43% of the variable costs would be due to the container and the portion of a 12-plant shuttle tray assigned to a plant.
Electricity for irrigation and general overhead would be only 13% of GWP and 2% of variable costs. Natural gas use for heating would be 0.01% of GWP and 0.001% of variable costs, even at a northeastern U.S. location. This was due to the rapid crop turnover, and only heated for 3 months of a 50-wk production year