302 pages | 93 B/W Illus.
Environmental Life Cycle Assessment is a pivotal guide to identifying environmental problems and reducing related impacts for companies and organizations in need of life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA, a unique sustainability tool, provides a framework that addresses a growing demand for practical technological solutions. Detailing each phase of the LCA methodology, this textbook covers the historical development of LCA, presents the general principles and characteristics of LCA, and outlines the corresponding standards for good practice determined by the International Organization for Standardization. It also explains how to identify the critical aspects of an LCA, provides detailed examples of LCA analysis and applications, and includes illustrated problems and solutions with concrete examples from water management, electronics, packaging, automotive, and other industries.
In addition, readers will learn how to:
Geared toward graduate and undergraduate students studying environmental science and industrial ecology, as well as practicing environmental engineers, and sustainability professionals who want to teach themselves LCA good practices, Environmental Life Cycle Assessment demonstrates how to conduct environmental assessments for products throughout their life cycles. It presents existing methods and recent developments in the growing field of LCA and systematically covers goal and system definition, life cycle inventory, life cycle impact assessment, and interpretation.
"This is a very clear, comprehensive and well-structured textbook on LCA … The book covers all the main elements and issues of LCA and the scope is just right for people with intermediate or no LCA knowledge."
—Roland Geyer, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA
"This new book by Jolliet and colleagues will be a valuable addition to the existing LCA textbooks. It is presented in a very easy-to-read, lucid style making it useful even for beginners. However, it also contains the necessary information for advanced users. The coverage of topics is comprehensive and up-to-date. Starting from the very basic 'steps of LCA' which are clearly explained, advanced topics such as input-output analysis, uncertainty analysis and data quality are all covered. Examples, highlighting of key ideas and exercises at the end of the chapters add value."
—Professor Shabbir H. Gheewala, The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment, Thailand
"… the text is written in an easy to follow style… easy to read and contains pretty much everything that a newcomer (and a not so newcomer) needs to know to successfully conduct an environmental LCA. … and authorship by Professor Jolliet is in itself a credential for this book."
—Ivan Muñoz Ortiz, International Life Cycle Academy, Spain
Priorities for the Environment
Critical Approach, Objectives, and Book Structure
Background and Standardization
Use of the LCA Tool
General Principles of Life Cycle Assessment
Definition of the Four LCA Phases
Performing an LCA
Characteristics Specific to LCA and Comparison with Other Environmental Analysis Tools
Simple Application: Comparing Different Types of Cups
Goal and System Definition
Functional Unit and Reference Flow
Inventory Analysis of Emissions and Extractions
Principles of Inventory Analysis
Process-Based Calculation of the Inventory
Inventory Databases for Process-Based Approach
Input–Output Approach for Extractions and Emissions Inventory
Coproducts and Allocation
Life Cycle Impact Assessment
Purpose of Impact Assessment
Principles of Impact Assessment
Application Example of the IMPACT World+ Method: Front-End Panel of an Automobile
Overview of the Main Impact Assessment Methods
Description of the Main Impact Assessment Methods
Interpret! Interpret! Interpret!
Identification of Action Priorities
Interpretation Example: Desktop versus Laptop Computer
Overview of Uncertainty, Variability, and Data Quality
Assessment and Mitigation of Uncertainty
Environmental Evaluation and Socioeconomic Evaluation
Conclusions and Key Points
Key Points of a Life Cycle Assessment
Limitations of an LCA
Potential Applications of an LCA
LCA through Example from A to Z: Treating Urban Sewage Sludge
Goal and Scope Definition
Interpretation and Recommendations
Metacomparison of the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of Bio-Based Products
Methods: Meta-Analysis of LCA Studies
Results and Discussion