Title: Social issues in classical and social LCA: from identification of overlaps to an integrated framework
Citation: Social LCA in progress p. 27-33
Publisher: FruiTrop Thema
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC91605
ISSN: 1256-5458
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC91605
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In order to come to an overall Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), it has been stated many times that classical Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) should be extended with economic and social impact assessment like Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA), sometimes offering the simple equation: LCSA=LCA+LCC+SLCA. However, this is not that straightforward, as existing environmental and economic assessment frameworks already go beyond their own particular sustainability pillar by incorporating social impact issues, e.g. human health, and resources as areas of protection in LCA. Concerning the latter, scarcity based indicators for assessing resource depletion – even though traditionally included in the environmental pillar – have a socio-economic reasoning and look at potential negative consequences for human societies. Moreover, recent methodological developments on the resource impact assessment gathered the concept of resource criticality, and, therefore, include governance related aspects and human development (Adibi et al., 2013; Graedel et al., 2012; Schneider et al., 2014). On the other hand, SLCA development sometimes brings an overlap with environmental and/or economic assessment frameworks, e.g. human health. Even environmental impact on air, water, terrestrial systems and biodiversity has been proposed to quantify the social impact on future generations (Paragahawewa et al., 2009). In this contribution, we identify social issues in existing classical frameworks like environmental LCA, resource criticality and resource policy. This identification may be essential in bridging the gap and in developing proper synergies between SLCA and existing frameworks if one aims at an integrated and consistent sustainability assessment.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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