The importance of the application context for the design of Social LCA methodology

Andreas Jørgensen

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


    In the published and unpublished literature on the development of Social LCA there has been very little explicit attention to the context in which the methodology will be used. This lack of attention may lead to development of a Social LCA methodology that does not fit the purpose for which it is applied. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap by analyzing the conditions and constraints that the context of application sets for the design of Social LCA methodology and to suggest methodological approaches that account for these contextual constraints and conditions. The relevant context comprises users of the Social LCA, their target audience, ethical considerations of relevance to the application of Social LCA, and legal limitations. The users of the Social LCA are either companies, NGOs or GOs, and the target audience is the recipients of the assessment results from the above mentioned user groups. Both users’ and their target audience’s views are found through analysis of interviews with potential user groups. Ethical considerations concern negative social impacts that may occur in relation to the application of Social LCA. These are included here, as it is assumed that the overall motive for using this methodology is to improve on the social consequences occurring during the life cycle of the assessed product or service. Making a methodology that in itself counteracts this goal is assumed undesirable. The analysis of the ethical considerations around the use of Social LCA are based on literature studies of known effects of "œcodes of conduct" and eco-labeling, having similarities to some potential effects of Social LCA. Legal limitations relate specifically to the use of Social LCA in a labeling context. It is examined whether social labeling in any way conflicts with international trade agreements and whether these conflicts may be avoided through Social LCA design. Based on the analysis of these contextual constrains and conditions, the study creates and overview and provides a framework for developing Social LCA in the most suitable manner respecting the context of application.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2007
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventCycle 2007 : Towards a Life Cycle Economy - Montreal, Canada
    Duration: 1 Jan 2007 → …
    Conference number: 3


    ConferenceCycle 2007 : Towards a Life Cycle Economy
    CityMontreal, Canada
    Period01/01/2007 → …


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