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Life-Cycle Based Sustainability Assessment of Products Walter Klöpffer LCA Consult & Review Frankfurt am Main.

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Presentation on theme: "Life-Cycle Based Sustainability Assessment of Products Walter Klöpffer LCA Consult & Review Frankfurt am Main."— Presentation transcript:

1 Life-Cycle Based Sustainability Assessment of Products Walter Klöpffer LCA Consult & Review Frankfurt am Main

2 LCA LCA = Environmental Life Cycle Assessment Full sustainability assessment needs at least two further dimensions 1st SETAC Europe LCA Symposium, Leiden, December 1991

3 Hans-Carl von Carlowitz (1713)

4 Brundtland Report Brundtland, G.: Our Common Future. Oxford University Press. Oxford 1987: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"

5 United Nations United Nations Conference of Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, 1992 Sustainability identified as the guiding principle for the 21th Century Reconfirmed in Johannesburg, 2002

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7 Sustainability Assessment of Products, Quantification SustAss = LCA + LCC + SLCA LCA: Environmental Life Cycle Assessment LCC: LCA-type Life Cycle Costing SLCA: Societal Life Cycle Assessment

8 Social or Societal LCA? Societal refers to microeconomics Social refers to macroeconomics Thus “Societal” is more appropriate to the assessment of products, in order to distinguish the method from broader concepts (Hunkeler 2006)

9 Prerequisites Equal and consistent system boundaries for the three life-cycle methods, including Physical instead of marketing life cycle in LCC Identical or compatible LCIs (SLCA will be more demanding with regard to regional resolution)?

10 Why Life-cycle based? Systems approach needed in order to Recognize and avoid trade-offs No shifting of problems into the future!* Life cycle thinking is a good starting point, but not enough for decisions Quantitative methods are needed Global system boundaries * especially important for sustainability, aspect of inter- generation fairness!

11 Status of LCA Standardized method: SETAC “Code of conduct” 1993 ISO ( ) ISO/FDIS (2006) will supersede (soon) Research and testing needed for difficult impact categories, I/O, regionalization, consequential LCA etc.

12 Status of LCC SETAC working group Book under review for SETAC Press LCC Draft guideline writing group started May 2006: To be finished for final discussion at the next SETAC World Congress July 2008 in Sidney

13 Status of SLCA Although the idea is not new (Oekoinstitut 1987, O`Brian et al. 1996), a steep increase in relevant papers occurred only recently: Presentations at the SETAC World Congress, Portland 2004 Dreyer et al. 2005; Weidema 2005, 2006; Norris 2006; Labuschagne and Brent 2006; Hunkeler 2006

14 One Assessment or three? Option 1: SustAss = LCA + LCC + SLCA Main advantage: transparency, no meaningless “sustainability points” Clear attribution of advantages and disadvantages in comparative assessments, no compensation

15 One Assessment or three? Option 2: SustAss = “LCA new” (including LCC and SLCA as additional impacts in LCIA) Question: is Option 2 compatible with ISO?

16 ISO/FDIS (2006) LCA addresses the environmental aspects and potential impacts...throughout a product´s life cycle from raw material acquisition through production, use, end-of-life treatment, recycling and final disposal (i.e. cradle-to-grave). LCA typically does not address the economic or social aspects of a product, but the life cycle approach and methodologies described in this International Standard may be applied to these other aspects.


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