Now that we’ve discussed the entrepreneur’s concerns – location
financial considerations, and other factors
that contribute to the cost differences between vertical farms and greenhouses – let’s focus on what motivates consumers
to care about indoor agriculture: The environment and the food.
There are big differences in the environmental impact between indoor and outdoor agriculture, and some of them are surprising. Crop variety, quality, and output also vary, and in this article we’ll discuss the factors affecting all of these differences.
Since vertical farms and high-tech greenhouses are both such new innovations, few Life Cycle Assessments or other comprehensive studies have been done comparing these impacts in detail. But it’s still useful to compare the basic factors that determine their ecological footprints (beyond energy and climate, which we discussed in Part 2
): These include water use, soil, pesticides and GMOs.