Title: Positive impacts in Social Life Cycle Assessment: state of the art and the way forward
Authors: DI CESARE SILVIASILVERI FEDERICASALA SERENELLAPETTI LUIGIA
Citation: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT vol. 23 no. 3 p. 406-421
Publisher: SPRINGER HEIDELBERG
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC96876
ISSN: 0948-3349
URI: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11367-016-1169-7
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC96876
DOI: 10.1007/s11367-016-1169-7
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Social LCA (SLCA) is a methodology under continuous development, which may be applied at different scales: from product to economic sectors up to systems at meso and macro scales. Traditionally, SLCA has been focusing on the assessment of negative social externalities, whereas also positive social impacts could be associated to human interventions. The purpose of the present study is to understand how positive impacts are defined and how they could be assessed supporting decision making in business and policy context. Material and methods A literature review has been conducted in order to assess how positive impact are defined and to analyse the types of indicators adopted. As far as indicators are concerned, a clear definition was given by (Paragahawewa et al. 2009): “Indicators are ‘pointers’ to the state of the impact categories (and/or subcategories) being evaluated by the S-LCA”. Indicators can be quantitative, semi-quantitative or qualitative. The review was carried out in order to identify and analyse positive impacts and indicators. Finally 47 papers were considered relevant among theoretical frameworks and 46 among case studies. Results and discussion Within the concept of “positive impact”, in the opinion of the authors, no reference is made merely to the utility of a product or service. In a broader sense, the reference is to the so called "win-win" situations, in which solutions that improve the condition of various stakeholders involved are identified. In other words these are solutions that carry a positive contribution to one or more stakeholders without harming others. Conclusion. So far positive impacts are barely covered in literature. There is a clear need of streamlining definition and indicators, especially if they should be applied in a policy context complementing traditional –and often monetary-based, cost benefit analysis.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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