Rethinking system boundary in LCA—reply to “Lifting the fog on the characteristics and limitations of hybrid LCA” by Thomas Gibon and Thomas Schaubroeck (2017)



The comments made by Gibon and Schaubroeck (2017) on my previous article (Yang 2017) are highly appreciated. The authors raised several interesting questions that warrant further discussion. As the limitations of the conventional linear framework are increasingly recognized (Searchinger et al. 2008b; Ferng 2009; Haberl et al. 2012; Plevin et al. 2014; McManus and Taylor 2015; Yang and Campbell 2017), it is time to reevaluate some of its long-held assumptions. One such assumption is a complete, economy-wide system boundary. It is my hope that our exchanges here will trigger further discussion and research that lead to more robust life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies for decision-making.

Rethinking a complete, economy-wide system boundary

Gibon and Schaubroeck (2017) rightly pointed out that whether promotion of one, or any, product would affect all other processes across the world “depends on the data and not only on the methodology.” But, it was not the data, but the...


Large Hadron Collider System Boundary Methodological Development Bamboo Shoot Corn Ethanol 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSRA IncFalls ChurchUSA

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