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Life cycle assessment

Life cycle assessment The basic idea of LCA is that all environmental burdens connected with a product or service have to be assessed, back to the raw materials and down to waste removal. Therefore, the term “Life Cycle Assessment” is more precise than the German “Ökobilanz” or the French “écobilan”. This basic idea is undoubtedly true, and LCA is the only environmental assessment tool which avoids positive ratings for measurements which only consists in the shifting of burdens.In the years from 1990 to 1993, SETAC and SETAC-Europe shaped the development of LCA in a series of important workshops culminating in the “Code of Practice” of 1993. The results of these workshops can be illustrated by the famous SETAC-triangle. It shows the basic structure which is now underlying the standardizing activities of ISO: 1. Goal definition and scoping, 2. Inventory analysis, 3. Impact assessment, 4. Improvement assessment.The structure recently defined by ISO differs from the SETAC structure only in the last element which is called “Interpretation” in the international standard 14040. According to ISO, “Improvement Assessment” is only one of the many activities which may follow LCA but is not part of the true analysis.The components of an LCA are described and interpreted in detail, SETAC vs. ISO. Recent developments and activities initiated by ISO, SPOLD and other organisations complete the review. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Science and Pollution Research Springer Journals

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References (24)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © Ecomed Publishers 1997
ISSN
0944-1344
eISSN
1614-7499
DOI
10.1007/bf02986351
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The basic idea of LCA is that all environmental burdens connected with a product or service have to be assessed, back to the raw materials and down to waste removal. Therefore, the term “Life Cycle Assessment” is more precise than the German “Ökobilanz” or the French “écobilan”. This basic idea is undoubtedly true, and LCA is the only environmental assessment tool which avoids positive ratings for measurements which only consists in the shifting of burdens.In the years from 1990 to 1993, SETAC and SETAC-Europe shaped the development of LCA in a series of important workshops culminating in the “Code of Practice” of 1993. The results of these workshops can be illustrated by the famous SETAC-triangle. It shows the basic structure which is now underlying the standardizing activities of ISO: 1. Goal definition and scoping, 2. Inventory analysis, 3. Impact assessment, 4. Improvement assessment.The structure recently defined by ISO differs from the SETAC structure only in the last element which is called “Interpretation” in the international standard 14040. According to ISO, “Improvement Assessment” is only one of the many activities which may follow LCA but is not part of the true analysis.The components of an LCA are described and interpreted in detail, SETAC vs. ISO. Recent developments and activities initiated by ISO, SPOLD and other organisations complete the review.

Journal

Environmental Science and Pollution ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 1, 1997

Keywords: Club of Rome; Code of Practice; environmental assessment; goal definition and scoping; history, LCA; impact assessment; improvement assessment; interpretation assessment; inventory analysis; Inventory Table; ISOLP; LCA; Life Cycle Assessment; SETAC; SPOLD

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