System boundary selection in life-cycle inventories using hybrid approaches

Suh, Sangwon, Lenzen, Manfred, Treloar, Graham J., Hondo, Hiroki, Horvath, Arpad, Huppes, Gjalt, Jolliet, Olivier, Klann, Uwe, Krewitt, Wolfram, Moriguchi, Yuichi, Munksgaard, Jesper and Norris, Gregory 2004, System boundary selection in life-cycle inventories using hybrid approaches, Environmental science and technology, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 657-664, doi: 10.1021/es0263745.

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Title System boundary selection in life-cycle inventories using hybrid approaches
Author(s) Suh, Sangwon
Lenzen, Manfred
Treloar, Graham J.
Hondo, Hiroki
Horvath, Arpad
Huppes, Gjalt
Jolliet, Olivier
Klann, Uwe
Krewitt, Wolfram
Moriguchi, Yuichi
Munksgaard, Jesper
Norris, Gregory
Journal name Environmental science and technology
Volume number 38
Issue number 3
Start page 657
End page 664
Publisher American Chemical Society
Place of publication Washington, DC
Publication date 2004
ISSN 0013-936X
Summary Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a method for evaluating the environmental impacts of products holistically, including direct and supply chain impacts. The current LCA methodologies and the standards by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) impose practical difficulties for drawing system boundaries; decisions on inclusion or exclusion of processes in an analysis (the cutoff criteria) are typically not made on a scientific basis. In particular, the requirement of deciding which processes could be excluded from the inventory can be rather difficult to meet because many excluded processes have often never been assessed by the practitioner, and therefore, their negligibility cannot be guaranteed. LCA studies utilizing economic input−output analysis have shown that, in practice, excluded processes can contribute as much to the product system under study as included processes; thus, the subjective determination of the system boundary may lead to invalid results. System boundaries in LCA are discussed herein with particular attention to outlining hybrid approaches as methods for resolving the boundary selection problem in LCA. An input−output model can be used to describe at least a part of a product system, and an ISO-compatible system boundary selection procedure can be designed by applying hybrid input−output-assisted approaches. There are several hybrid input−output analysis-based LCA methods that can be implemented in practice for broadening system boundary and also for ISO compliance.
Language eng
DOI 10.1021/es0263745
Field of Research 129999 Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, American Chemical Society
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Architecture and Built Environment
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