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Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Goods and Services: An Input-Output Approach

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Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Goods and Services

An Input-Output Approach

By Chris T. Hendrickson, Lester B. Lave, H. Scott Matthews

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Format: Paperback, 274 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United States, 12 April 2006

This is the first comprehensive guide to green design using economic input-output life cycle assessment (EIO-LCA) models. It is a must-have for companies trying to improve the environmental profile of their products and processes, for regulators attempting to quantify life cycle implications of products and services, and for students and scholars of green design.

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. 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.

Table of Contents

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

EAN: 9781933115245
ISBN: 1933115246
Publisher: Resources for the Future
Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 1.4 centimetres (0.39 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years

About the Author

Chris T. Hendrickson is the Duquesne Light Company Professor of Engineering, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Engineering and Research, and co-director of the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Lester B. Lave is the Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor of Economics in the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business and co-director of both the Electricity Industry Center and the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. H. Scott Matthews is the research director of the Green Design Institute and a faculty member in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.


'[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

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