Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Conference paper - Peer-reviewed, 2023

The two sides of the coin: sustainability and controlled environment horticulture

Alsanius, Beatrix; Khalil, Sammar; Karlsson, Maria ; Hellström, Maria; Vendrame, Marta; Rosberg, Anna Karin

Abstract

Sustainability, although already outlined in the late 1980s, has evolved into a game changer in the discourse of production systems. This review puts a finger on the pulse of horticultural research with respect to i) the 17 UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) and identifies areas (targets) directly or indirectly providing benefits and trade-offs based on scrutiny of 169 targets and to ii) grouping outputs of a systematic literature search with respect to basic sustainability and resilience criteria. Direct and indirect benefits of the SDGs to horticulture were identified within SDG 2 (Zero hunger), 3 (Health and wellbeing), 4 (Quality education), 6 (Clean water and sanitation), 7 (Clean energy) and 9 (Innovation, infrastructure and industry), whereas SDGs that benefit from horticulture within the SDGs 2, 4, 6, 9, 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and 13 (Climate action). 104 publications were extracted and 53 of these were found eligible for the systematic literature analysis based on the criteria for exclusion and inclusion. Few publications considered the concept of resilience, in terms of absorbance, recovery and adaptation to disturbances. Meanwhile, the majority of publications focused on sustainability, but rather referred to the term than integrated sustainability as a concept. Studies involving life cycle analysis highlight the strong energy dependence of high-tech horticulture, underlining the interactivities with SDG7. Fine-tuning of input means and measures were prioritized to the detriment of holistic approaches. The shift in the global challenges framework requests a shift in perspective of horticulture research. To holistically focus on the food system-horticulture-SDG link, an agenda for research on high-tech horticulture was established. Current pandemic and geopolitical disturbances urge for a stronger engagement of resilience research in horticulture.

Keywords

benefits; high-tech horticulture; resilience; sustainable development goals (SDGs); trade-offs

Published in

Acta Horticulturae
2023, number: 1377, pages: 427-438
Title: XXXI International Horticultural Congress (IHC2022) : Proceedings of the International Symposium on Innovative Technologies and Production Strategies for Sustainable Controlled Environment Horticulture
ISBN: 978-94-62613-77-5
Publisher: International Society for Horticultural Science

Conference

XXXI International Horticultural Congress (IHC2022): International Symposium on Innovative Technologies and Production Strategies for Sustainable Controlled Environment Horticulture