Sustainable greenhouse production types and resource efficient technologies for future cultivation

The innovative greenhouse concept for improving the supply of food in regions of West Africa should have a low environmental impact, be economically viable and have a positive influence on social aspects. This addresses the three pillars of sustainability that are dealt with in this sub-project. Through the accompanying sustainability assessment already in the planning and development phase, decision-making processes can be influenced in such a way that the sustainability performance of the overall project is improved.

Due to the modular design of the project, which will only be adapted to region-specific requirements with a focus on West Africa at a later stage, a correspondingly variable evaluation system will be developed. In addition to the ecological aspects and under the condition of economically viable food production, social criteria in particular, such as the creation of jobs or also training programmes, will also flow into the evaluation system.

The sub-project of the Institute for Sustainability in Building (INaB) will create the prerequisite for the evaluation of the sustainability performance (LCSA – Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment) of the overall project.

The three-pillar concept of sustainability includes the aspects of ecology, economy and social issues. An essential part of the work plan is the modelling of the greenhouse with the life cycle assessment tool “GaBi” (“Ganzheitliche Bilanzierung”) according to ISO 14040. This processing step already takes place in the planning phase in order to identify ecologically advantageous planning steps and modules at an early stage and to incorporate them into the development of the greenhouse. Further steps in the sustainability assessment include a social hotspot analysis for the methodical preparation of a social analysis and a social acceptance study, which will contribute to an active participation of the local population before a realisation phase in West Africa. A final comparison of costs with significant environmental and social impacts rounds off the sustainability assessment.

Collaborative partners: University of Bonn, Sustainability Campus Klein-Altendorf, Rheinbach; HGoTECH GmbH, Bonn; University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics (ILR) – Centre for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn; bio innovations park Rheinland e.V., Rheinbach.

Project duration: April 2023 – March 2027

Funded by: BMBF
Budget (total): 7,997,572€
Budget (INaB): 436,865.92€


Dr.-Ing. Roland Meyer
Tel.: +49 241 80 22762