Title: Overcoming Barriers to the Broader Implementation of Life Cycle Thinking in Business and Public Administration
Authors: PENNINGTON DAVIDWOLF Marc-AndreeBERSANI RAFFAELLAPRETATO UGO
Citation: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT vol. 12 no. 7 p. 458-460
Publisher: ECOMED PUBLISHERS
Publication Year: 2007
JRC Publication N°: JRC38112
ISSN: 0948-3349
URI: http://www.scientificjournals.com/sj/lca/inhalt/Band/12/Ausgabe/7/Jahrgang/2007
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC38112
Type: Articles in Journals
Abstract: Challenges To move towards sustainable consumption and production it is essential for decision-makers – whether product developers, consumers, policy advisors, or others – to consider the up-stream and down-stream trade-offs of goods and services (products). The full life cycle of products must be taken into account, from the extraction of raw materials to the disposal of remaining wastes (the 'cradle-to-grave'). The shifting of burdens within the life cycle, across impacts such as climate change, carcinogenic effects and others, or among regions is to be avoided. Life cycle thinking is therefore not only an option, but indispensable in decision support in businesses and public administrations. Yet, the true potential of life cycle thinking remains to be realized. While there have been important achievements, for example the international standards for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) , there are still barriers that inhibit the broader implementation of life cycle thinking. These barriers are on both the demand and the supply side: On the demand side there are needs for greater awareness of its benefits and to strengthen the use of related tools such as Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) in support of Business-to-Business communication and Eco-labels for Business-to-Consumer communication. On the supply side, there is a wealth of methods and data available, but direction is needed on what to use when along with further guarantees ensuring results of studies do not depend on the experts conducting them. This is particularly important for life cycle thinking to become better accepted and more efficiently integrated into public decision making. Achieving this requires that private and national interests must be put aside.
JRC Institute:Institute for Environment and Sustainability

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