Input/Output‑analysis – Shortcut to life cycle data?

Nielsen A M, Weidema B P (2001)

Publication info

Proceedings of a workshop held in Copenhagen on the 29th of September 2000. Copenhagen: Danish Environmental Protection Agency. (Environmental Project 581).

Excerpt of Background

LCA has traditionally been performed as a bottom-up process analysis, based on linking the specific processes in a supply chain. Exceptions to this approach may be found, especially in the early LCA work in Japan, which was often based on IOA. The process-based method is explained in more detail by Marianne Wesnæs in Chapter 3, who also points out its capability for detail as a significant advantage of this approach. However, a major problem in process-based LCA is the likelihood that important parts of the product systems are left out of the analysis, simply because it is a very difficult task to follow the entire supply chain in detail. As pointed out by Manfred Lenzen in Chapter 4, up to 50% of the environmental exchanges related to a product can be left out, thus possibly leading to erroneous conclusions.

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