Research project
24/36 | monthsPER_REP

Decision-making tool for sustainability performance assessment communication and reporting

Related toSpoke 01

Principal investigators
Paola Caputo

Other partecipantsFederico Caniato; Giulio Ferla (POLIMI); Agata Matarazzo (UNICT); Cristina Mora, Davide Menozzi, Giovanni Sogari, Rungsaran Wongprawmas, Giulia Andreani (UNIPR); Giovanna Del Gaudio (UNINA); Daniele Vergamini (UNIPI)
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Task involved

Task 1.3.4.

Sustainable decision-making definition of a Decision Support System by means of multi-criteria toolset to design fair governance decisions.

Project deliverables


Implementation of a Decision Support System to reach fair governance and management decisions for food consumption (M24)

State of the art

Research on food sustainability is affected by the fact that data available are often not complete and uniform, which makes difficult to compare different models and to support decisions aimed at optimizing them. Therefore, surveys, data collection and definitions of methods and indicators aimed at achieving analytical and communicable results are necessary to really support decisions at different levels and monitor their effects over time. 
Rarely measures to promote sustainability in the food supply chains are integrated to consider both production and distribution models.  Environmental, economic and social aims involve the evaluation of heterogeneous quantities and different scales. In supporting decisions oriented to achieve more sustainable and healthy food patterns, different aims have to be integrated and harmonized to avoid, along the overall life cycle, the generation of waste, inefficiencies and unexpectable effects in contrast to the initial objectives.

Operation plan

The task starts with a framework analysis of existing patterns, selected supply chains, main stakeholders and targets (e.g. large distribution, institutional catering, purchase group, suppliers) and most significant stages of the process.  
The involvement of the consumers in a process of adhesion and adherence to more sustainable and healthy patterns could be investigated based on the theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and by surveys. The impacts of different patterns are calculated based on a set of criteria and indicators for measuring sustainability. They should be transparent, communicable, compatible to the available resources, in accordance with methods and tools for Multiple-criteria decision-making or analysis (MCDM or MCDA), and aimed at representing different aspects of sustainability (e.g. energy consumption and GHG emissions). An implementation test is then accomplished on selected food supply chain/chains (e.g. Mediterranean products, short supply chains).

Expected results

The activities of the task result in a dataset and report with the following main sections:

1) State of the art of the available multi-criteria tools to support decision in sustainable food production and distribution.

2) Definition of a set of appropriate quantitative criteria and indicators to be consider in the evaluation of sustainable food production and distribution.

3) Design of a supporting decision system based on the defined criteria and test on a selected case of study.