Ambiguities in Decision-oriented Life Cycle Inventories: The by Frank Werner

By Frank Werner

In an environmental existence cycle evaluate of goods (LCA), an unambiguous, scientifically established, ‘objective’ attribution of fabric and effort flows to a product is natural fiction. this can be as a result primary epistemological stipulations of LCA as a modelling approach less than the complexity of our socio-economic procedure. in its place, numerous psychological versions and values advisor this attribution. This ends up in a useful version in a particular determination situation.

This publication indicates for the 1st time how psychological versions and values impression this attribution within the lifestyles cycle stock step of LCA. one of many key findings is that the various administration principles for a sustainable use of fabrics has to be taken under consideration for the attribution of fabric and effort flows to a product. in a different way, development strategies steered via an LCA may possibly prove to even aggravate the environmental scenario if reassessed from a meta-perspective.

As a final result of this ebook, the declare of unambiguitiy (‘objectivity’) of the lifestyles cycle stock needs to be deserted. A group-model construction strategy for LCA is built that enables one to understand the choice makers' psychological versions and values within the stock research on a case- and situation-specific foundation. purely by means of this, LCA effects becomes appropriate in a decision-making process.

Two case reports at the modelling of recycling and different end-of-life techniques of aluminium home windows and beech wooden railway sleepers in LCA supplement the methodological part.

This booklet is a ‘must have’ for researchers, specialists and practitioners within the fields of decision-oriented lifestyles cycle review in addition to product-related environmental administration, modelling and decision-making.

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Additional resources for Ambiguities in Decision-oriented Life Cycle Inventories: The Role of Mental Models and Values

Example text

After an introducing Chapter 4, the standard ISO/EN 14041 is analysed in-depth for attribution rules concerning the setting up of the product system in the life cycle inventory analysis (Chapter 5). The series of standards ISO 14040 is taken as minimum consensus of the actual discussion of LCAmethodology. The attribution rules of ISO/EN 14041 are screened for decisions requiring the (implicit) use of mental models and values. LCA-literature is consulted to illustrate the influence of mental models and values on decisions made during the life cycle inventory analysis.

2 Experiences with LCA in product-related decision-making Several surveys have been conducted around Europe to investigate the current and future use of LCA87. It has been shown that in practice, the link between LCA and a decision situation is not particularly direct: “However, today, LCA is by far not yet applied as a routine tool for product innovation, as it is still used more in a retrospective than in a prospective way. This is suggested by the common trend in all countries (Germany, Sweden, Italy, and Switzerland; WF) indicating that LCA is mostly used for some existing products, and is clearly not used for green products only.

In such cases, sensitivity analysis cannot provide guidance for methodological choices. Nonetheless, methodological decisions have to be made to provide an unambiguous model as a useful basis for decision support. So, the questions remain: • Which are the methodological decisions necessary for the setting up of the product system as life cycle model within the life cycle inventory analysis? • Which mental models and value choices influence these methodological decisions? • How should these methodological decisions be made to obtain a representative, consistent28 product system and a consistent LCA, from which ‘useful’ improvement options can be derived?

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