Life cycle assessment (part of the green supply chain series)

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Learning objectives:
- Overview of the basic characteristics of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
- Summarise the basic process of an LCA
- Introduce what is required from each step of the LCA process
- Describe the main limitations of LCA
- Briefly introduce the history, purpose and impact of LCA’s ISO standard: 14040

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Life cycle assessment (part of the green supply chain series)

  1. 1. LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (PART OF THE GREEN SUPPLY CHAIN SERIES)Sunday, 04 March 1 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  2. 2. › Overview of the basic characteristics of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) › Summarise the basic process of an LCA › Introduce what is required from each step of the LCA process › Describe the main limitations of LCA › Briefly introduce the history, purpose and impact of LCA’s ISO standard: 14040 LEARNING OBJECTIVESSunday, 04 March 2 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  3. 3. Life Cycle Assessment is an advancedstrategy that is becoming mainstream Extended …Producer Industrial Resp. Ecology (EPR) Life Cycle (IE) Assessment Green (LCA) Purchasing Supplier managementBusiness as usualSunday, 04 March 3 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  4. 4. It is a technique for assessing the environmental aspects of a product› Assessment counts over a product’s: › Entire life cycle › Entire chain of events and activities to support a process or product› Considers all stages of a product’s life as independent from each other› The LCA process is designed to supports decisions, not make themSunday, 04 March 4 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  5. 5. There are four steps in the process: 1 2 3 4 Goal and Lifecycle Lifecycle scope impact Interpret inventory definition assessmentSunday, 04 March 5 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  6. 6. Step 1 is to define the goal and scope› Factors to consider in goal setting: › How is the LCA going to be applied? › What are the reasons and/or goals for the study? › Who is going to use/observe the study? What is the audience? Knowing the goals help you make sure the assessment is useful and purposeful for your business.Sunday, 04 March 6 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  7. 7. The most important part in Step 1 is the five factors in scoping Identify the product i.e. set of unit processes linked by flows of system intermediate products or waste Identify the functional i.e. quantitative values of inputs and outputs units to be used These constrain how widely and deeply you System boundaries take your assessment Allocation procedures Data requirementsSunday, 04 March 7 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  8. 8. Including the system boundaries to narrow and focus your LCASince different systems are highly interrelated, it can be verydifficult to trace everything, so an important part of scoping is toidentify the system boundaries. Here are some main types ofsystem boundaries:Between system and Identify the types of environmental process thatenvironment are included and excludedBetween system and Determine how the environmental load isrelated systems allocated in a multifunctional processBetween relevant and Determine which processes should be includedirrelevant processes for simplicity’s sake, or if there is a lack of dataSunday, 04 March 8 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  9. 9. Step 2, Life Cycle Inventory, has three simple sub-steps Step 1 Step 2 Step 3Draw a flow diagram Calculate theconsistent with the total resourcessystem’s boundaries used, or the Collect all› Show the activities in pollution or inventory data the system with their emissions, input and output depending on flows the scopeSunday, 04 March 9 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  10. 10. After these 2 steps, it is often usefulto stop and evaluate your information Can the collected data give a good indication of the environmental impacts? Can the information help decision making? If the answer is yes, proceed with the rest of the steps CONTINUESunday, 04 March 10 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  11. 11. The third step is the Life Cycle Assessment stageThis stage evaluates the significance of the environmental impacts, andpresents it in a convenient way for decision makers. Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Identify and select Classify LCI Quantification impact categories (step 2) results › Inventory data › E.g. climate › Assign is put into a change, ozone inventory data category depletion, ocean to impact indicator to acidification, etc. categories quantify itSunday, 04 March 11 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  12. 12. Finally, Step 4 interprets theassessment results using various tools Sensitivity analysis Normal- isation Aggregation Uncertainty Interpretation analysis Weighting Valuation Variation analysisSunday, 04 March 12 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  13. 13. The process is popular, but it has many limitations Data requirements: Limited guidance: Scientific basis: LCA has limited, not publicly what’s available is no scientific basis available usually location-specific Resource & time Uncertainties over the Lack of awareness and requirements: requires implementation of perceived need specific expertise, etc. results Lack of appropriate Organisational Validity: LCA results canmethodologies: ISO has structure: LCA staff are not be checked! limited coverage disconnectedSunday, 04 March 13 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  14. 14. A popular industry (minimum) standard is provided by ISO› 1997: ISO 14040 Generated a general acceptance of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)› 1999: ISO 14041 Revision which cancelled and› 2000: ISO 14042 replaced ISO 14041/2/3 ISO 14043 › Addition of LCA principles › Clarification of LCA for comparative› 2006: ISO 14040 assessments ISO 14044 › Clarification of critical review panel › Reduce number of standards › Reduce number of annexes › Aligned all definitionsSunday, 04 March 14 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  15. 15. Since ISO 14040 is only an overview, its practical use is limited› Purpose: an overview of the practice of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its: › Applications › The relationships › Limitations between stages › Reporting › Conditions for use of › Critical review value choices› Impact: general acceptance of LCA and consolidation of its procedures and methodsSunday, 04 March 15 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  16. 16. Unit 7 Course Material, Managing Social and Environmental Responsibility, 2011, SOAS CEDEP Vogel, 2005, The Market for Virtue Chertow, 2007, Uncovering Industrial Symbiosis Welford & Frost, 2006, Corporate social responsibility in Asian supply chains REFERENCESSunday, 04 March 16 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.
  17. 17. Unit 7 Course Material, Environmental Auditing and Environmental Management Systems, 2011, SOAS CEDEP Finkbeiner, Inaba, Tan, Christiansen & Kluppel, 2006, The new international standards for life cycle assessment: ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 REFERENCESSunday, 04 March 17 of 172012 Inspired by SOAS CeDEP study programmes. Presentation © 2012 by Darren Willman.

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