Title: Towards an overall analytical framework for the integrated Sustainability Assessment of the Production and Supply of Raw Materials and Primary Energy Carriers
Citation: JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY vol. 19 no. 6 p. 963-977
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC91597
ISSN: 1088-1980
URI: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jiec.12289/abstract
DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12289
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The sustainable production and supply of raw materials (‘non-energy raw materials’) and primary energy carriers (‘energy raw materials’) is at stake in many policies: their natural resource base for their production and supply, and the access to are limited; moreover, it is high on environmental and social impact agendas as well. A broad-in scope and quantitative framework that supports decision makers is recommended to make use of raw materials and primary energy carriers more sustainably. First, this paper proposes a holistic classification of the full set of raw materials and primary energy carriers our society relies on; this is an essential prerequisite when one aims at developing an Integrated Sustainability Assessment Framework (ISAF) that is to be applicable generically. Indeed, frequently only a subset of the raw materials and primary energy carriers is considered in function of the source, sector or final application. Here, overall 85 raw materials and 30 primary energy carriers are identified, grouped respectively into seven and five subgroups. Next, it proposes a quantitative ISAF of the production and supply of raw materials and primary energy carriers, envisaging all the sustainability pillars. Seeking for comprehensiveness, the proposed ISAF integrates sustainability issues that have been covered and modeled in quite different quantitative frameworks: ecosystem services, environmental life cycle assessment, social life cycle assessment, resource criticality assessment, and particular international concerns (conflict minerals assessment). The resulting four areas of concerns, i.e. environmental, technical, economic and social/societal, have been detailed into 10 specific sustainability concerns. Finally, these concerns have been given shape through 15 indicators enabling the quantitative sustainability assessment of the production and supply of raw materials and primary energy carriers.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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