Beyond Production—the Relevance of User Decision and Behaviour in LCA

  • Johanna PohlEmail author
  • Paul Suski
  • Franziska Haucke
  • Felix M. Piontek
  • Michael Jäger
Part of the Sustainable Production, Life Cycle Engineering and Management book series (SPLCEM)


The way in which products and services are used can have a significant impact on their environmental performance. Practice shows, however, that life cycle assessment (LCA) studies often either assume average usage parameters, or only address a limited number of life cycle phases (‘cradle to gate’), without considering the use phase. This chapter therefore aims to emphasize the relevance of user decision and behaviour in LCA and to discuss related modelling aspects with regard to the definition of system boundaries, the definition of the use phase and the collection of inventory data. Furthermore, processes of decision-making in the context of LCA are critically reflected and suggestions for improvements are discussed.


Life cycle assessment (LCA) Product-service system (PSS) Sharing economy Use phase modelling Rebound effect Decision making 



This research has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of its “Research for Sustainable Development Framework Program”/”Social-Ecological Research”. This work is also part of the project “Sustainable Consumption of Information and Communication Technology in the Digital Society—Dialogue and Transformation through Open Innovation.” The project is funded by the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony and the Volkswagen Foundation (Volkswagen-Stiftung) through the Niedersächsisches Vorab grant program (grant number VWZN3037).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johanna Pohl
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Suski
    • 2
  • Franziska Haucke
    • 3
  • Felix M. Piontek
    • 4
  • Michael Jäger
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Technology and Society, Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Division Sustainable Production and ConsumptionWuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, EnergyWuppertalGermany
  3. 3.Universität Osnabrück, Neuer GrabenOsnabrückGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Sustainable Corporate Management, Ulm UniversityUlmGermany
  5. 5.Department Life Cycle EngineeringFraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBPStuttgartGermany

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