The social footprint – A practical approach to comprehensive and consistent social LCA

Weidema B P (2015)

Publication info

Extended abstract for presentation at the SETAC2015, Barcelona 3-7 May 2015


The term “social” is here understood as it is used in welfare economics, to signify an accounting that encompasses the entire societal economy, as in “social costs”, combining private costs and externalities. The “social footprint” is thus to be understood as the result of a complete “life cycle sustainability assessment” (LCSA).

The practicality of social footprinting is currently hampered by a lack of focus on materiality of the impacts, an excessive data requirement, and a lack of understanding of the main impact pathways (cause-effect relationships) for social and economic impacts.
To overcome these barriers, a practical approach to accounting and assessment is proposed, without loss of comprehensiveness.

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