The need for an established allocation method when assessing absolute sustainability on a product level

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    Assessment of absolute sustainability within life cycle assessment (LCA) framework is operational on the country scale. However, it is difficult to apply the existing approaches to products, which are typically the scope of LCAs. How
    should we assess whether a chair is (absolutely) sustainable? If we assess the life
    cycle and relate the impact scores to the remaining capacity available for impacts, there is a risk that all products are seen absolutely sustainable. In addition, how should we decide on who can use the remaining capacity? To address these issues an allocation method is proposed for dividing the remaining capacity between and within product groups. The method is a two-
    step method developed based on the annual consumption pattern of an average person in the country and share of product sub-groups in the group. For example, in the first allocation step, the remaining capacity share allocated to furniture should correspond to the share of an average person’s income that is spent on furniture. In this way the impact of the chair is related to the remaining capacity allocated to this particular product group. In the second step, llocation is done between product sub-groups using allocation keys specific to each product group, e.g. mass for furniture, or economic revenue for IT. The proposed method facilitates assessment of absolute sustainability of products within the LCA framework.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting
    Publication date2015
    Article numberTU292
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventSETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting - Barcelona, Spain
    Duration: 3 May 20157 May 2015
    Conference number: 25


    ConferenceSETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting
    Internet address

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