UNEP Towards a LCSAMakingInformedChoice
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UNEP Towards a LCSAMakingInformedChoice


DisciplinaGestão Ambiental na Indústria27 materiais116 seguidores
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32 Towards a Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment: Making informed choices on products32 Towards a Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment: Making informed choices on products
Power-supply 
production in 
China
Copper 
extraction in 
Chile
Metal 
production in
 China
Laptop 
design in 
Taiwan
HDD 
production in 
China
RAM 
production in 
Korea
ODD 
production in 
the Philippines
Battery-cell 
production in 
Korea
Battery 
assembly in 
China
MB 
production in 
China
Display 
production in 
Taiwan
Display 
assembly in 
China
Fan 
production 
in China
Glass 
production in 
Korea
Plastic 
production in 
China Informal 
recycling in 
China
Formal 
recycling in 
Belgium
Final 
assembly in 
China
Bauxite 
mining in 
Indonesia 
Tin extraction 
in Indonesia
Tin 
extraction 
in China
Gold 
extraction in 
China
Cobalt 
extraction 
in DRC
Nickel 
extraction 
in DRC
Copper 
extraction 
in DRC
Positive effect
Lightly positive effect
Indifferent effects
Lightly negative effects
Negative effects
Very negative effects 
1
2
3
4
5
6
3.45
2.18
5.05
1.502.55
4.60
4
4.60
5.29
4.80
5.29
5.29
3.67
4.50
4.33
4.33
3.15
4.04
4.25
3.85
4.25
4.50
4.25
4
3.92
Figure 13 (c). Summary of the S-LCIA for all considered stakeholder groups (Ciroth and Franze, 
2011a).
3333Towards a Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment: Making informed choices on products
relevance in midpoint and endpoint 
assessment. Packaging and disposal have 
a rather low contribution in the midpoint 
perspective and hardly any in the endpoint 
assessment.
A comparison of the S-LCA and the 
(environmental) LCA shows that social 
and environmental hot spots are partly 
congruent \u2013 for mining operations or 
the production phase, for instance. 
However, there are differences: negative 
environmental effects do not automatically 
entail social hot spots and this is also true 
the other way round. In addition, social 
and (environmental) LCAs look at different 
issues. Social impacts are only to some 
extent related to environmental impacts: 
freedom of expression or discrimination are 
not linked to the environment, for example. 
Likewise, there can be environmental 
effects without direct social repercussions. 
computer. Negative effects occurred 
especially in least developed countries 
and emerging economies, but issues 
regarding social effects were also relevant 
in advanced economies. The value chain 
actors were not affected by social hot 
spots, although here also problems could 
be detected, such as anti-competitive 
behaviour or lack of transparency.
 The assessment revealed a correlation 
between the development status of a 
country and social hot spots. For instance, 
similarities were found in the mining sector 
and in the electronic industry in emerging 
economies.
The environmental profile of the notebook 
computer was strongly dominated by the 
production phase. In addition, transport 
and use added a noticeable contribution 
to the environmental burden, with different 
34 Towards a Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment: Making informed choices on products
. Phase 1 LCSA goal and scope 
The first phase of an LCSA \u2013 goal and scope 
definition \u2013 describes the purpose, delimitation 
and the target audience of the study.13 
(Environmental) LCA, LCC and S-LCA have 
different aims and this must be understood 
clearly when working towards a combined 
approach. While taking into account these 
differences, a common goal and scope are 
strongly recommended when undertaking a 
combined LCSA.
 
The goal in the LCSA of the Italian marble 
slabs case study is to assess the performance 
of the product from the extraction of raw 
materials to the manufactured and finished 
product. The assessment is based on the 
application of the three techniques: S-LCA, 
(environmental) LCA and LCC. The marbles 
analysed are the so-called \u2018Perlato di Sicilia\u2019 
and \u2018Bianco Carrara\u2019, the most exported 
Italian marble types. The target audience for 
this study consists of the involved enterprises 
for internal assessment and other similar 
enterprises to improve their sustainability 
performances. Moreover, the results can 
support local governments in the producing 
areas. Please note that this example does not 
consider all aspects covered in Chapter 3.
13 More aspects of the scope definition could be defined 
according to ISO 14040/14044 and the UNEP/SETAC 
Guidelines for Social LIfe Cycle Assessment of Products 
(UNEP/SETAC, 2009).
This section gives general indications and 
recommendations on how to start a life cycle 
sustainability assessment (LCSA) by showing 
how the approaches described in this 
publication ([environmental] LCA, S-LCA and 
LCC) can be combined to carry out an LCSA. 
To illustrate how an LCSA can be carried out,