Environmental life cycle assessment is often thought of as cradle to grave and therefore as the most complete accounting of the environmental costs and benefits of a product or service. However, as anyone who has done an environmental life cycle assessment knows, existing tools have many problems: data is difficult to assemble and life cycle studies take months of effort. A truly comprehensive analysis is prohibitive, so analysts are often forced to simply ignore many facets of life cycle impacts. But the focus on one aspect of a product or service can result in misleading indications if that aspect is benign while other aspects pollute or are otherwise unsustainable. This book summarizes the EIO-LCA method, explains its use in relation to other life cycle assessment models, and provides sample applications and extensions of the model into novel areas. A final chapter explains the free, easy-to-use software tool available on a companion website. (www.eiolca.net) The software tool provides a wealth of data, summarizing the current U.S. economy in 500 sectors with information on energy and materials use, pollution and greenhouse gas discharges, and other attributes like associated occupational deaths and injuries. The joint project of twelve faculty members and over 20 students working together over the past ten years at the Green Design Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, the EIO-LCA has been applied to a wide range of products and services. It will prove useful for research, industry, and in economics, engineering, or interdisciplinary classes in green design.
'[This book] is sure to find its place on the shelf of both specialists and generalists interested in knowing more about the potential for life cycle analysis - and its variant EIO-LCA - to advance the rationalization of decisionmaking in the sustainable development context.' Inside Green Business
Preface Section I: Introduction Preface Exploring Environmental Impacts and Sustainability Through Life Cycle Assessment Hybrid LCA Analysis: Combining the EIO-LCA Approach with Other Models Environmental Valuation for Life Cycle Assessment Uncertainty in Estimating Effects Using the Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment Software Section II: Example Applications Preface A Life Cycle Analysis of a Midsize Passenger Car Comparison of Steel and Plastic Fuel Tank Systems for Automobiles Effects of Using Nanotechnology to Stabilize Platinum Group Metal Particles in Automotive Catalysts E-Commerce, Book Publishing and Retail Logistics Construction Materials for Roads and Bridges Environmental Impacts of Services Life-cycle Assessment of Electricity Generation Comparison of Energy Transportation Modes: Coal by Rail and Electricity Transmission Life Cycle Assessment of Residential Buildings in the United States Section III: Further Developments in the EIO-LCA Method Preface Occupational Safety Risks in an Input-Output Framework Development of Regional Economic Input-Output Life-cycle Assessment Models Canadian Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment Model Enterprise and Materials Flow Input-Output Analysis References Appendices: I: Sectors and Outputs in the 1997 US Benchmark EIO-LCA II: Some Alternative Model Forms for EIO-LCA III: Disaggregation Options for Conducting Hybrid Life Cycle Assessments IV: Uncertainty in Leontief Input-Output Equations: Some Numerical Examples V. Potential Compliance of an LCA Study Conducted Using the EIO-LCA Model with the Requirements of ISO 14040, 14041, 14042 and 14043 Standards