Advertisement

Introduction to Life Cycle Assessment

Chapter
Part of the Springer Series in Supply Chain Management book series (SSSCM, volume 4)

Abstract

This chapter gives an overview of the mainstream method of life cycle assessment (LCA) on the basis of the generally accepted principles as laid down in International Organization for Standardization (ISO) series of Standards on LCA. The first part is devoted to the key questions addressed by LCA and sketches the historical development towards that method. The second part provides an overview of the LCA method itself, while the third part discusses some examples of LCA applications. Finally, the fourth part discusses some of the future challenges to LCA including life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) and streamlined LCA techniques.

Keywords

Life Cycle Assessment Impact Category Characterization Factor Life Cycle Assessment Study Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Anex R, Lifset R (2014) Life cycle assessment—different models for different purposes. J Ind Ecol 18(3):321–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Assies JA (1992) Introduction paper to SETAC-Europe workshop on environmental life cycle analysis of products. In life-cycle assessment, Proceedings of a SETAC-Europe workshop on Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Products. December 2–3 1991, Leiden. SETAC-Europe, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  3. Baumann H, Tillman A-M (2004) The hitch hiker’s guide to LCA. Studentlitteratur, LundGoogle Scholar
  4. Benoît C, Mazijn B (eds) (2009) Guidelines for social life cycle assessment of products; UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, Paris. http://www.estis.net/includes/file.asp?site=lcinit&file=524CEB61-779C-4610-8D5B-8D3B6B336463
  5. Birkved M, Heijungs R (2011) Simplified fate modelling in respect to ecotoxicological and human toxicological characterisation of emissions of chemical compounds. Int J Life Cycle Assess 16(8):739–747CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blass V, Chebach TC, Ashkenazy A (2017) Sustainable non-renewable materials management. In: Bouchery Y, Corbett CJ, Fransoo J, Tan T (eds) Sustainable supply chains: a research-based textbook on operations and strategy. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Boukherroub T, Bouchery Y, Corbett CJ, Fransoo J, Tan T (2017) Carbon footprinting in supply chains. In: Bouchery Y, Corbett CJ, Fransoo J, Tan T (eds) Sustainable supply chains: a research-based textbook on operations and strategy. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Bovea MD, Ibáñez-Forés V, Gallardo A, Colomer-Mendoza FJ (2010) Environmental assessment of alternative municipal solid waste management strategies: a Spanish case study. Waste Manag 30(11):2383–2395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brandão M, Clift R, Cowie A, Greenhalgh S (2014) The use of LCA in the support of robust (climate) policy-making: comment on “Using attributional life cycle assessment to estimate climate-change mitigation …”. J Ind Ecol 18(3):461–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Curran MA (ed) (2012) Life cycle assessment handbook: a guide for environmentally sustainable products. Scrivener Publishing, BeverlyGoogle Scholar
  11. Dale B, Kim S (2014) Can the predictions of consequential life cycle assessment be tested in the real world? Comment on “Using attributional life cycle assessment to estimate climate-change mitigation …”. J Ind Ecol 18(3):466–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ekvall T (2000) A market-based approach to allocation at open-loop recycling. Resour Conserv Recycl 29(1–2):93–111Google Scholar
  13. Ekvall T, Assefa G, Björklund A, Eriksson O, Finnveden G (2007) What life-cycle assessment does and does not do in assessments of waste management. Waste Manag 27(8):989–996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fargione J, Hill J, Tilman D, Polasky S, Hawthorne P (2008) Land clearing and the biofuel carbon debt. Science 319(5867):1235–1238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gregory JR, Montalbo TM, Kirchain RE (2013) Analyzing uncertainty in a comparative life cycle assessment of hand drying systems. Int J Life Cycle Assess 18(8):1605–1617. doi: 10.1007/s11367-013-0606-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grotz S, Rubik F (1997) Bibliographie Produktbilanzen. Publication series of the Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung, Berlin, No. 92/97Google Scholar
  17. Guinée JB (ed), Gorrée M, Heijungs R, Huppes G, Kleijn R, de Koning A, van Oers L, Wegener Sleeswijk A, Suh S, Udo de Haes HA, de Bruijn JA, van Duin R, Huijbregts MAJ (2002) Handbook on life cycle assessment: operational guide to the ISO standards. Eco-Efficiency in industry and science, vol 7. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  18. Guinée JB, Heijungs R (2011) Life cycle sustainability analysis: framing questions to approaches. J Ind Ecol 15(5):656–658. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2011.00398.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Guinée JB, Udo de Haes HA, Huppes G (1993) Quantitative life cycle assessment of products 1: goal definition and inventory. J Clean Prod 1(1):3–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Guinée JB, Heijungs R, Huppes G, Zamagni A, Masoni P, Buonamici R, Ekvall T, Rydberg T (2011) Life cycle assessment: past, present and future. Environ Sci Technol 45(1):90–96. doi: 10.1021/es101316v CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. ILCD Handbook (2010) General guide for life cycle assessment—provisions and action steps. European Commission, JRC-IES, Ispra. http://lct.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pdfdirectory/ILCD-Handbook-General-guide-for-LCA-ROVISIONSonline-12March2010.pdf. Accessed 29 Mar 2010
  22. Hawkins TR, Singh B, Majeau-Bettez G, Strømman AH (2012) Comparative environmental life cycle assessment of conventional and electric vehicles. J Ind Ecol 17(1):53–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Heijungs R, Guinée JB (2012) An overview of the life cycle assessment method—past, present, and future. In: Curran MA (ed) Life cycle assessment handbook: a guide for environmentally sustainable products. Scrivener Publishing, Beverly, pp 15–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Heijungs R, Kleijn R (2001) Numerical approaches to life-cycle interpretation. Five examples. Int J Life Cycle Assess 6(3):141–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Heijungs R, Suh S (2002) The computational structure of life cycle assessment. Kluwer Academic Publishers, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Henriksson PJG, Guinée JB, Heijungs R, de Koning A, Green DM (2013) A protocol for horizontal averaging of unit process data—including estimates for uncertainty. Int J Life Cycle Assess 19(2):429–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Henriksson PJG, Heijungs R, Dao HM, Phan LT, de Snoo GR, Guinée JB (2015) Product carbon footprints and their uncertainties in comparative decision contexts. PLoS One 10(3), e0121221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hertwich E (2014) Understanding the climate mitigation benefits of product systems: comment on “Using attributional life cycle assessment to estimate climate-change mitigation …”. J Ind Ecol 18(3):464–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hoekstra AY (2017) Water footprint assessment in supply chains. In: Bouchery Y, Corbett CJ, Fransoo J, Tan T (eds) Sustainable supply chains: a research-based textbook on operations and strategy. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. Hoschorner E, Finnveden G (2003) Evaluation of two simplified life cycle assessment methods. Int J Life Cycle Assess 8(3):119–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Huijbregts MAJ, Rombouts LJ, Hellweg S, Frischknecht R, Hendriks AJ, van de Meent D, Ragas AM, Reijnders L, Struijs J (2006) Is cumulative fossil energy demand a useful indicator for the environmental performance of products? Environ Sci Technol 40(3):641–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hunkeler D, Lichtenvort K, Rebitzer G (eds) (2008) Environmental life cycle costing. CRC Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Hunt RG, Boguski TK, Weitz K, Sharma A (1998) Case studies examining LCA streamlining techniques. Int J Life Cycle Assess 3(1):36–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. ISO International Standard 14040 (1996) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—principles and framework. International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  35. ISO International Standard 14041 (1998) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—goal and scope definition and Inventory analysis. International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  36. ISO International Standard 14042 (2000a) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—life cycle Impact assessment. International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  37. ISO International Standard 14043 (2000b) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—life cycle Interpretation. International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  38. ISO International Standard 14044 (2006) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—requirements and guidelines. International Organization for Standardization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  39. ISO International Standard 14067 (2012) Greenhouse gases—carbon footprint of products—requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication. GenevaGoogle Scholar
  40. ISO Technical Report 14047 (2003) Environmental management—life cycle impact assessment—examples of application of ISO 14042. International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  41. ISO Technical Report 14047 (2012a) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—illustrative examples on how to apply ISO 14044 to impact assessment situations. International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  42. ISO Technical Report 14049 (2000) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—illustrative examples on how to apply ISO 14041—LCA—goal and scope definition and Inventory analysis (draft). International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  43. ISO Technical Report 14049 (2012b) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—illustrative examples on how to apply ISO 14044 to goal and scope definition and inventory analysis. International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  44. ISO Technical Specification 14048 (2002) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—data documentation format. International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  45. Journal of Industrial Ecology (JIE) (2012) Special issue: meta-analysis of life cycle assessments, April 2012, vol 16, Issue Supplement s1, pp S1–S205. WileyGoogle Scholar
  46. Klöpffer W (2008) Life cycle sustainability assessment of products. Int J Life Cycle Assess 13(2):89–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Klöpffer W, Grahl B (eds) (2014) Life cycle assessment (LCA): a guide to best practice. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, WeinheimGoogle Scholar
  48. Klöpffer W, Renner I (2007) Lebenszyklusbasierte Nachhaltigkeitsbewertung von Produkten. Technikfolgenabschätzung—Theorie und Praxis (TATuP) 16:32–38Google Scholar
  49. Matthews SH, Hendrickson C, Weber CL (2008) The importance of carbon footprint estimation boundaries. Environ Sci Technol 42(16):5839–5842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pesonen H-L, Horn S (2013) Evaluating the Sustainability SWOT as a streamlined tool for life cycle sustainability assessment. Int J Life Cycle Assess 18(9):1780–1792. doi: 10.1007/s11367-012-0456-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Plevin RJ, Delucchi MA, Creutzig F (2014a) Using attributional life cycle assessment to estimate climate-change mitigation benefits misleads policy makers. J Ind Ecol 18(1):73–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Plevin RJ, Delucchi MA, Creutzig F (2014b) Response to comments on “Using attributional life cycle assessment to estimate climate-change mitigation …”. J Ind Ecol 18(3):468–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Plevin RJ, Delucchi MA, Creutzig F (2014c) Response to “On the uncanny capabilities of consequential LCA” by Sangwon Suh and Yi Yang (Int J Life Cycle Assess, doi:10.1007/s11367-014-0739-9). Int J Life Cycle Assess 19(8):1559–1560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Schmidt JH (2010) Comparative life cycle assessment of rapeseed oil and palm oil. Int J Life Cycle Assess 15(2):183–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Suh S, Yang Y (2014) On the uncanny capabilities of consequential LCA. Int J Life Cycle Assess 19(6):1179–1184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. BUS (Bundesamt für Umweltschutz) (1984) Ökobilanzen von Packstoffen. Schriftenreihe Umweltschutz no. 24. Bern, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  57. van der Giesen C, Kleijn R, Kramer GJ (2014) Energy and climate impacts of producing synthetic hydrocarbon fuels from CO2. Environ Sci Technol 48(12):7111–7121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wardenaar T, van Ruijven T, Beltran AM, Vad K, Guinée J, Heijungs R (2012) Differences between LCA for analysis and LCA for policy: a case study on the consequences of allocation choices in bio-energy policies. Int J Life Cycle Assess 17(8):1059–1067. doi: 10.1007/s11367-012-0431-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Weidema B (2000) Avoiding co-product allocation in life-cycle assessment. J Ind Ecol 4(3):11–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Weidema BP (2003) Market information in life cycle assessment. Environmental Project no. 863. Danish Environmental Protection Agency. CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  61. Weidema BP, Ekvall T, Heijungs R (2009) Guidelines for application of deepened and broadened LCA. Technical Report of CALCAS project. http://www.calcasproject.net
  62. Wenzel H, Hauschild M, Alting L (1997) Methodology, tools and case studies in product development, vol 1, Environmental assessment of products. Chapman & Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  63. Zamagni A, Buttol P, Porta PL, Buonamici R, Masoni P, Guinée JB, Heijungs R, Ekvall T, Bersani R, Bieńkowska A, Pretato U (2008). Critical review of the current research needs and limitations related to ISO-LCA practice. Deliverable 7 of the CALCAS project (http://www.estis.net/sites/calcas/)
  64. Zamagni A, Guinée J, Heijungs R, Masoni P, Raggi A (2012) Lights and shadows in consequential LCA. Int J Life Cycle Assess 17(7):904–918. doi: 10.1007/s11367-012-0423-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Yann Bouchery, Charles J. Corbett, Jan C. Fransoo, and Tarkan Tan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenNetherlands

Personalised recommendations