Limits...
The changing nature of life cycle assessment.

McManus MC, Taylor CM - Biomass Bioenergy (2015)

Bottom Line: Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being.The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored.Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK.

ABSTRACT

LCA has evolved from its origins in energy analysis in the 1960s and 70s into a wide ranging tool used to determine impacts of products or systems over several environmental and resource issues. The approach has become more prevalent in research, industry and policy. Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being. Carbon policy for bioenergy has driven many of these changes. Enabling assessment of complex issues over a life cycle basis is beneficial, but the process is sometimes difficult. LCA's use in framing is increasingly complex and more uncertain, and in some cases, irreconcilable. The charged environment surrounding biofuels and bioenergy exacerbates all of these. Reaching its full potential to help guide difficult policy discussions and emerging research involves successfully managing LCA's transition from attributional to consequential and from retrospective to prospective. This paper examines LCA's on-going evolution and its use within bioenergy deployment. The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored. Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Developing trends in LCA metrics.
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fig9: Developing trends in LCA metrics.

Mentions: LCA has become a tool used to help drive and shape policy. Because of its history of efficacy, much of the emerging attempts to quantify such effects are appearing in LCA development and the published literature. Fig. 9 shows the expansion of LCA use in sustainability categories. Presently there is a drive towards ecosystem services, water and social impacts as well as the move from attributional to consequential LCA (Fig. 9). Although cLCA's expansion began around 2006, its uptake correlates with the growing emphasis on social and ecosystem service metrics that has started to expand from about 2010. Social aspects have expanded almost as rapidly as have indirect or consequential, and the beginnings of a formalisation of Social LCA can be seen just starting to emerge.


The changing nature of life cycle assessment.

McManus MC, Taylor CM - Biomass Bioenergy (2015)

Developing trends in LCA metrics.
© Copyright Policy - CC BY
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4643755&req=5

fig9: Developing trends in LCA metrics.
Mentions: LCA has become a tool used to help drive and shape policy. Because of its history of efficacy, much of the emerging attempts to quantify such effects are appearing in LCA development and the published literature. Fig. 9 shows the expansion of LCA use in sustainability categories. Presently there is a drive towards ecosystem services, water and social impacts as well as the move from attributional to consequential LCA (Fig. 9). Although cLCA's expansion began around 2006, its uptake correlates with the growing emphasis on social and ecosystem service metrics that has started to expand from about 2010. Social aspects have expanded almost as rapidly as have indirect or consequential, and the beginnings of a formalisation of Social LCA can be seen just starting to emerge.

Bottom Line: Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being.The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored.Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK.

ABSTRACT

LCA has evolved from its origins in energy analysis in the 1960s and 70s into a wide ranging tool used to determine impacts of products or systems over several environmental and resource issues. The approach has become more prevalent in research, industry and policy. Its use continues to expand as it seeks to encompass impacts as diverse as resource accounting and social well being. Carbon policy for bioenergy has driven many of these changes. Enabling assessment of complex issues over a life cycle basis is beneficial, but the process is sometimes difficult. LCA's use in framing is increasingly complex and more uncertain, and in some cases, irreconcilable. The charged environment surrounding biofuels and bioenergy exacerbates all of these. Reaching its full potential to help guide difficult policy discussions and emerging research involves successfully managing LCA's transition from attributional to consequential and from retrospective to prospective. This paper examines LCA's on-going evolution and its use within bioenergy deployment. The management of methodological growth in the context of the unique challenges associated with bioenergy and biofuels is explored. Changes seen in bioenergy LCA will bleed into other LCA arenas, especially where it is important that a sustainable solution is chosen.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus