USE OF WOODEN POLES COULD HELP REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING

OUR UNIVERSITY WILL BE THE ORGANIZER OF THE CHILEAN CONFERENCE ON LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO ALL AREAS, AND NOT ONLY TO THE ECONOMIC ASPECTS.



July 07, 2017

The use of impregnated wooden poles in vineyards would help reduce global warming, among other advantages, unlike metal supports, which are replacing these wooden structures, according to the researcher from the Department of Forest Sciences, Marcia Vásquez, who directs the Environmental Forest Management Unit.
 
 
In this regard, she stressed the importance of considering not only economic, but also social and environmental decision-making aspects related to activities of relevance for the Region. This issue was what she meant when commenting on the "Environmental Impacts of the Replacement of Wooden Poles by Metallic Poles in Vineyards" project, which she develops in tandem with Academics Alfredo Iriarte, from the Department of Engineering, and Jorge Cornejo, from the Institute of Chemistry of Natural Resources.
 
 
"Support systems with impregnated wood are being replaced by metal profiles poles, mainly by the incorporation of technology into the grape harvest process," she said, together with explaining that, in this way, jobs are lost in agriculture and in wooden poles treatment.  Furthermore, she indicated that "the impregnated wooden poles would help reduce global warming by 0.55 tons of CO2-equivalent per year in the Maule Region if all the 55 thousand vineyard hectares used this system of support," she said.
 
 
As to the reasons for which the producers prefer the use of metal poles, Vasquez identified the need for automation of the harvest system to get a more uniform fruit and a better quality wine. "There is also a factor that has to do with a sanitary aspect because it removes the contact of the human hand with the grapes," she said.
 
 
But, at the same time, he admitted the existence of social impacts associated with less use of labor in the crops and in the jobs of impregnating wooden poles.
 
 
The project is funded by the Research Office, and part of the same initiative was also raised by Marcia Vasquez at the VII International Conference on Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), which was held in Medellin, Colombia.
 
 
At this scientific event it was mentioned the organization of the II Chilean Conference on this matter that, in August 2018, will be held at the Extension Center and Graduate School of the Santiago Campus, organized by the Chilean ACV Network and our University.
 
 
The academic explained that the ACV is a management tool for decision-making in the assessment of environmental impacts of products, processes and services, in all areas. "More than a tool, the ACV is a way of thinking. Every activity generates an impact," she said.



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