Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): Discussion on Full-Scale and Simplified Assessments to Support the Product Development Process

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Abstract

The environmental impacts observed throughout a product life cycle are, to a large extent, determined during its development phase, especially on the initial stages of product development process. These stages are characterized by a high level of uncertainty, environmental performance improvement potential and by the unavailability of quantitative and detailed data of the product for performing fullscale LCAs, since it is still under development. Companies are more than ever recognizing the need for adopting a systemic view of the environmental impacts in the first stages of product development but, the complexity and slowness of fullscale LCA studies coupled with the lack of technical expertise of the designers to apply LCA, prevents the use of the results in the decision making process of product
development. In order to overcome this problem, a large amount of ecodesign practitioners and academics has developed simplified methods and tools to assess the environmental impacts in the product life cycle. In this context, the main goal of this study is to discuss the use of full-scale and simplified LCA in product development process context and present an overview of the so called simplified LCA, obtained during a systematic literature review on ecodesign methods and tools.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication3rd International workshop on advances in cleaner production : Cleaner production initiatives and challenges for a sustainable world
Number of pages10
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd International workshop on advances in cleaner production - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Duration: 18 May 201120 May 2011

Conference

Conference3rd International workshop on advances in cleaner production
Country/TerritoryBrazil
CitySao Paulo
Period18/05/201120/05/2011

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