Evaluating Carbon Footprint Behavior in the Agriculture and Energy Sectors: A Review

  • Andrés López Astudillo Universidad Icesi
  • Lina Marcela Rodríguez Universidad Icesi
  • Claudia Marcela Lubo Universidad Icesi
  • Fernando Arenas Universidad Icesi
  • Beatriz Eugenia Sierra Universidad Icesi
Keywords: System dynamics, simulations, carbon footprint models, greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture sector, energy sector.


Since the pre-industrial era, emissions of greenhouse gases have increased by about 70%, given anthropogenic activities. Thus, System Dynamics represents a fundamental tool that makes it possible to adopt a systemic-complex approach to the research process of modeling the behavior of these gases in different sectors. This paper presents a literature review about related case studies, mainly in the agriculture and energy sectors. By virtue of these models, it is feasible to identify alternative scenarios for a carbon footprint indicator in order to support strategic decision-making in secure environments at low risk, cost, and time. This review emphasizes the significance of modeling the carbon footprint behavior as a complex dynamic system mainly focused on the agriculture sector, which contributes 38.1% of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. Finally, it concludes with a future research project to deploy it in a sugarcane cropping system, one of the most important agro-industrial producers in Colombia.


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Author Biographies

Andrés López Astudillo, Universidad Icesi
Ph.D(c). Candidate to Doctor  in Strategy and Organization from Universidad de Valencia (Spain). Master in Information and Knowledge's Society from Universidad Oberta de Cataluña (Barcelona, Spain). Specialist in Marketing, Specialist in Production Management, MBA and Business Administrator from Universidad Icesi (Cali, Colombia). Director of  Specialization in Environmental Management at Universidad Icesi. His areas of professional interest include environmental management and topics related with carbon footprint, areas he has addressed from several research projects.
Lina Marcela Rodríguez, Universidad Icesi

Cum Laude Industrial Engineer from Universidad Icesi (Cali, Colombia). As part of Young Researchers initiative (Colciencias), she participates in the research group Icubo of the Universidad Icesi, in the project «Carbon Footprint Calculation of a Sugarcane Cultivation». In 2013, as a student, she was part of the research team of the project «Implementation of Value Stream Mapping in the process of product Storage and Dispatch without palletizing in candy plant Colombina», company where she developed her professional practice.

Claudia Marcela Lubo, Universidad Icesi

Industrial Engineer and Master in Industrial Engineering from Universidad Icesi (Cali, Colombia). As part of  Young Researchers Project (Colciencias) she is member of the  research group Icubo (Universidad Icesi), where she participates in the project «Carbon Footprint Calculation of a Sugarcane Cultivation».

Fernando Arenas, Universidad Icesi

Doctor (c) in Business Management and Strategy from Universidad de Valencia (Spain); Chemical Engineer and Master in Environmental Engineering from Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá). Post-graduate and pregraduate professor at Universidad Icesi (Cali, Colombia). Director or i3 research team, member of  the System Dynamics Society and the European Academy of Management, and reviewer at the European Management Journal.

Beatriz Eugenia Sierra, Universidad Icesi

Biologist from Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia) and Specialist in Environmental Management from Universidad Icesi  (Cali). Currently she is a professor in the areas of Design for the Environment and Degree Projects at the Department of Industrial Engineering (Universidad Icesi). She is part of the researchers team of  the «Calculation of Carbon Footprint in a Sugarcane Growing» project.


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