LCA History

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    Abstract

    The idea of LCA was conceived in the 1960s when environmental degradation and in particular the limited access to resources started becoming a concern. This chapter gives a brief summary of the history of LCA since then with a focus on the fields of methodological development, application , international harmonisation and standardisation , and dissemination. LCA had its early roots in packaging studies and focused mainly on energy use and a few emissions, spurring a largely un-coordinated method development in the US and Northern Europe . Studies were primarily done for companies, who used them internally and made little communication to stakeholders. After a silent period in the 1970s, the 1980s and 1990s saw an increase in methodological development and international collaboration and coordination in the scientific community and method development increasingly took place in universities. With the consolidation of the methodological basis, application of LCA widened to encompass a rapidly increasing range of products and systems with studies commissioned or performed by both industry and governments, and results were increasingly communicated through academic papers and industry and government reports. To this day, methodological development has continued, and increasing attention has been given to international scientific consensus building on central parts of the LCA methodology, and standardisation of LCA and related approaches.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLife Cycle Assessment: Theory and practice
    PublisherSpringer
    Publication date2018
    Pages17-30
    Chapter3
    ISBN (Print)9783319564746
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319564753
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Keywords

    • Business and Management
    • Sustainability Management
    • Sustainable Development
    • Renewable and Green Energy
    • Manufacturing, Machines, Tools
    • Operating Procedures, Materials Treatment

    Cite this

    Bjørn, A., Owsianiak, M., Molin, C., & Hauschild, M. Z. (2018). LCA History. In Life Cycle Assessment: Theory and practice (pp. 17-30). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56475-3_3