Research project
18 | monthsECO_CER

Consumers acceptance of innovative ecological certification approaches for circular economy

Related toSpoke 01

Principal investigators
Agata Matarazzo

Other partecipantsAlessandro Scuderi, Biagio Pecorino, Gaetano Chinnici
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Task involved

Task 1.3.3.

Consumers perception on food innovation: analysis of consumers social and cultural acceptance of new foods (including novel food and reformulated foods), new technologies, combined with innovative distribution channels, new packaging for multiple sustainable objectives, and efficient communication systems (in connection with Spoke 4).

Project deliverables


Guidelines on responsible product purchasing in line with sustainability goals through labelling systems and other technological tools (M18)

Interaction with other spokes

State of the art

The products/services, processes and certified rural structures must meet the following fundamental general requirements, peculiar to these specifications:  Ecotoxicity and sustainability: the use of raw materials, semi-finished products, finished products and techniques deriving from environmentally and socially sustainable production, packaging rapidly and easily biodegradable, completely reintegrating into natural biological cycles and without toxicity and harmfulness must always be preferred for the protection of the user’s health and for the environmental protection. The transition to the circular economy within our country involves the quantification of appropriate indicators that determine the actualization of sustainable policies within different companies. With this in mind, UNI has also issued a new standard UNI 1608856 entitled "Measurement of Circularity" in order to be able to better quantify the level of circularity of organizations regardless of their size.

Operation plan

The idea is analyze and quantify appropriate indicators to verify the circularity of the economy in a sector with a high impact on the environment such as the wine, oil and grain industry. In these different chains special indicators will be quantified regarding the area of water management (Direct Water Scarcity Footprint and Non-Comprehensive Direct Water Degradation Footprint), atmospheric emissions (GHG and CO2 emissions) and waste production. Moreover, the Ecological Footprint is a synthetic index on the state of human pressure on natural systems, a way of estimating the amount of renewable resources that a population uses to live, calculating the total area of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems necessary to provide, in a sustainable way, the resources used and to absorb the emissions produced.

Expected results

Among the advantages inherent in quantifying these indicators, it is possible to be able to suggest industrial symbiosis processes to the companies to be able to use its waste as inputs to subsequent production processes and strategically reposition its production process toward a circular economy model.
The main benefits can be divided into three categories: 

  • Environmental: less air and water pollution, energy saving and LCA integration in the company strategy. 
  • Economic: cost reduction, stimulation of innovative strategies and creation of new market outlets.
  • Social: better organization of the company and improved relations with all categories of stakeholders.