Lanza Insalata Turchese

Critical Made in Italy 5: Environment and Nutrition

A Panel Discussion with Dr. Maurizio Cellura (University of Palermo, Italy) and Wayne DeFeo (DeFeo Associates Environmental Consulting, NJ). Moderated by Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair) with remarks by Jorge Lorenzo Trueba (Earth and Environmental Studies).

THUR. SEPT. 26, 2019 6:30-8:30 p.m. – (Lecture Hall 101, Feliciano School of Business)
See Media coverage of event and See FLYER

The fifth part of this Critical Made in Italy Series, designed and initiated by the Inserra Chair in 2016, looks at environment and nutrition.

The food sector is one of the most energy intensive sectors in the modern economy, and thus a significant contributor to the potential for global warming, accounting for about 20% of the total consumption of fossil fuels in the European Union. In addition, it causes 20-30% of the environmental impact of private consumption, and >50% of the impact from eutrophication (overenrichment of water with mineral and nutrients that lead to aggressive growth of algae that in turn prevent oxygen from getting into the water). Thus, sustainable actions in the food sector are of paramount importance for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change.

Sensitive food production as well as consumption practices are crucial for assuring the biodiversity and sustainability of the agro-food sector, and the environment at large. Activated at the local level, these productions and practices can borrow from or in turn be applied to national and international contexts. In some cases, they represent niche productions linked to local socio-cultural traditions and must be valued in order to become tourist attractions and an important economic resource. Through a comparative take, the connection between Italy and the U.S. in this area will be the focus of this program.

The panel includes two presentations.

1. “Sustainability in the Food Sector: an Italian case study, TERRAVITA” by Dr. Cellura

Prof. Cellura’s contribution describes the experience developed within the Italian project “Terravita”, aimed at the valorization of Italian products in the agro-food sector made in areas of special environmental heritage. In particular, the speaker will focus on the bread of Monreale and the cheese of Madonie, two local products of Southern Italy, selected as experimental models for studying their energy and environmental footprint, their socio-economic sustainability and their chemical-nutritional characterization. Some eco-design criteria for improving the environmental sustainability of the examined products will be discussed. The project represents a key experience in focusing on a food product that is emblematic of “Italian excellence” along with discussing ways to produce it in an environmental sustainable way.

2. “Food Loop Cycle in New Jersey: Ideas Suitable to Italy and the U.S.” by Wayne Defeo

Wayne will discuss the relationship between sustainable food sourcing, planning to control food waste, and creating a closed loop cycle with food that can be implemented in any location, whether in the US or Italy. This will be an interactive discussion between the presenters and the audience.

 Maurizio Cellura is a Professor of Building Physics at the University of Palermo. His scientific activity is mainly oriented towards energy and environmental topics, with focus on energy efficiency in buildings, renewable energy and decarbonization strategies of systems and processes. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Consultation Board of the Italian Ministry of Research and University for Horizon 2020, Challenge “Secure, clean, and efficient energy”; and since 2014 he has been the representative for the University of Palermo of the “Sustainable Solutions Development Network”, agency of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
He is the coordinator of PhD courses in energy and information technologies at the University of Palermo. From December 2015 to 2018 he was member of the Scientific Council of the University of Palermo. In December 2018 he became the national representative of the Implementation Working Group 5 of the Setplan “Energy Efficiency in Buildings”. He was member of the National Ecolabel Ecoaudit Committee (2000-2004), coordinator of the national scientific committee EMAS schools (2004-2004), reviewer for the EU Commission under several funding programs, member of the workgroup for the definition of ECOLABEL criteria on buildings, chair of the workgroup “Energy and sustainable Technologies” of the Italian LCA Network. He has also been coordinator of several national and EU projects in the field of environmental sustainability of processes, life cycle of food products, eco-oriented design making, development of innovative tools and methodologies for the sustainability of products and services. His international experience in environmental sustainability and LCA includes the coordination of several research projects on energy-environmental topics, teaching experiences in courses and seminars abroad, and the  participation in many International Energy Agency work groups. He is the author of more than 300 articles in the fields of LCA, multicriteria decision-making, industrial ecology, energy efficiency in buildings and building energy simulation. He has worked in the field of LCA applied to the agro-food products in the last three decades and he is the past president of the Italian Life Cycle Assessment network.

Wayne DeFeo is the principal and founder of DeFeo Associates; a full-service Environmental Consulting firm that provides clients with environmental expertise with a strong emphasis on Environmental Sustainability. Wayne also serves as the Executive Director of the USGBC NJ Chapter. Wayne specializes in the development of sustainable solutions for commercial, institutional and residential buildings, including every component of building operation without forgetting the most important part of the building, the people in it. He helps to develop environmentally friendly purchasing policies, energy reduction strategies, LEED building practices, recycling and solid waste handling systems.
Wayne has worked on multiple LEED certified projects that have obtained Silver or better ratings. He has helped many companies reduce their energy consumption and reduce their environmental footprint by reducing disposal of all waste types. He has been recognized as an environmental expert in both state and federal courts and within multiple state legislatures. He has several published works on environmental issues. Wayne served as Vice Chairman & Commissioner on the Interstate Environmental Commission and continues to serve as a Faculty Coordinator at Rutgers University School of Continuing and Professional Education. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from Montclair State College (University). He is a Certified Teacher of Science and a LEED Accredited Professional and a New Jersey Certified Compost Facility Operator. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the environmental field. Wayne currently serves as Secretary of the Somerset County New Jersey Energy Council, Board of Directors for the Association of New Jersey Recyclers and Board of Directors, Recycling Certification Institute.[/column][/row]
  • Organized and sponsored by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies at Montclair State University, in collaboration with the Italian Program (Department of Modern Languages and Literatures), the Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, and the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at Montclair State University.
  • Inspired by a collection of essays edited by Daniele Balicco (Made in Italy and Culture), the Critical Made in Italy Series was introduced by the Inserra Chair as a space that on the University campus has for the first time opened up a regular and layered conversation about Italian creativity, national identity formation, and transnational circulation of ideas and products. Since 2016 scholars, artists, and professionals in the cultural industry, etc. have contributed to an exchange that explores the complex relationships between culture, business, language, and politics rather than simplistically celebrating one individual country as a business model. The series is part of a larger effort – the  Italian and Business project – to which the Inserra Chair has contributed since 2014 with new ideas, organizational know-how, a network of contacts and substantial financial support through the Endowment created thanks to the generosity of Mr. Inserra.

Image credit: “Insalata turchese” designed by Fabrizia Lanza (see website).
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Il paese che cambia. La svolta verde (; June 21, 2019; part I – article in Italian)
Renzo Piano “L’ecologia fa bene anche al business” (; June 21, 2019; part II – article in Italian)