By Frank Werner
In an environmental existence cycle evaluation of goods (LCA), an unambiguous, scientifically established, ‘objective’ attribution of fabric and effort flows to a product is natural fiction. this can be as a result of the primary epistemological stipulations of LCA as a modelling approach less than the complexity of our socio-economic process. as a substitute, numerous psychological versions and values consultant this attribution. This ends up in a practical version in a selected selection situation.
This publication indicates for the 1st time how psychological types and values impression this attribution within the lifestyles cycle stock step of LCA. one of many key findings is that the several administration ideas for a sustainable use of fabrics needs to be taken under consideration for the attribution of fabric and effort flows to a product. in a different way, development ideas advised via an LCA may perhaps end up to even irritate the environmental state of affairs if reassessed from a meta-perspective.
As a outcome of this publication, the declare of unambiguitiy (‘objectivity’) of the lifestyles cycle stock needs to be deserted. A group-model construction procedure for LCA is constructed that permits one to know the choice makers' psychological versions and values within the stock research on a case- and situation-specific foundation. purely via this, LCA effects becomes correct in a decision-making process.
Two case stories at the modelling of recycling and different end-of-life strategies of aluminium home windows and beech wooden railway sleepers in LCA supplement the methodological part.
This publication is a ‘must have’ for researchers, experts and practitioners within the fields of decision-oriented existence cycle overview in addition to product-related environmental administration, modelling and decision-making.
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Additional info for Ambiguities in Decision-oriented Life Cycle Inventories: The Role of Mental Models and Values
Responsibility must be understood here in a primarily causal sense, without necessarily having any moral connotation” (Heijungs 1994:8). The attribution problem in LCA is twofold: Attribution I: the material and energy flows and its related environmental interventions (emissions, resource consumption and wastes) ‘caused’ by the product have to be determined. In LCA-methodology this is done in the life cycle inventory analysis by defining the product system as an enclosure of socio-economic reality.
Occupational health is also disregarded. As methodological development of LCA is continuous, the positioning of LCA as a decision support tool can only be provisional. e. products including services (and plants) are objects of analysis; • LCA assesses changes in single human activities or average human activities and cannot describe the state of the environment or societal responses to environmental stress; • LCA assesses potential global environmental interventions and damages by assuming a unit-world with average meteorological and ecological conditions; • LCA compresses the time dimension in the modelling phase as well as in the impact assessment phase and does not discount the future62; • LCA relies on input-output accounting.
With this intervention, the mental models of the real world are transferred to the environmentally preferable situation (‘Mental models* of the real world’ in Figure 1-1). This means that the action, for which the information was generated, is executed. , the management rules for the environmental dimension of sustainable development (see Chap. 3). This means that they lead to ‘real’ environmental improvement if re-evaluated from a meta-perspective. The ‘descriptive’ power of LCA – and in fact its usefulness as a decision support tool – is given by the degree of how well the real world interventions deduced from LCA-models reflect the decisionmaker’s mental model of the decision situation and his/her value system if re-evaluated from a meta-perspective.
Ambiguities in Decision-oriented Life Cycle Inventories: The Role of Mental Models and Values by Frank Werner