A Review of Social Life Cycle Assessment Methodologies

  • Yi FanEmail author
  • Ruqun Wu
  • Jiquan Chen
  • Defne Apul
Part of the Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes book series (EFEPP)


Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) is emerging as a powerful and necessary tool in sustainability science. With its great flexibility, SLCA can be applied toward quantifying social impacts on a system. However, the literature lacks a review of the current methods that hinder its applicability. This chapter provides an overview of the popular methods in SCLA, including process identifications and quantifications. Specifically, we review the four methods of Dreyer, Norris, Hunkeler, and Weidema. We found that the definition of human well-being seems to be the basis for all SLCAs. The SLCA method can effectively measure social impacts and provide a sound basis for decision-making. Case studies are included in the chapter to illustrate the applications.


SLCA Tutorial Quantification Measurement Social indicator 



We would like to thank the National Science Foundation (NSF) Sustainable Energy Pathways Program for their financial support of our sustainability research in the production of thin-film solar cells from earth-abundant, environmentally benign materials. The fund is under CHE—1230246 to Yanfa Yan and others at the University of Toledo.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of ToledoToledoUSA

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