Matériaux & Techniques
Volume 107, Number 5, 2019
Materials and Society: The Circular Economy (SAM13)
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Published online||26 February 2020|
Personalized Life Cycle Assessment – Reflecting Individuality within the Methodological Framework☆
Institute for Acoustics and Building Physics IABP, University of Stuttgart,
2 Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP, Stuttgart, Germany
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 21 January 2020
Growing environmental awareness in society increasingly influences individual everyday decisions, such as which product to buy or how to sustainably use it. Yet, available information to support these decisions is often limited, or difficult to understand particularly regarding sustainability. Effective ways of communicating environmental impacts of individual decisions are required to close this gap. While Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an established tool to evaluate environmental impacts of products and services and support environmental decision-making, the results are typically standardized and based on statistical or averaged data. However, for individuals, this information might be irrelevant, as it neglects personal situation, behavior, information need, or individual level of expertise. In tackling those central issues of personalization in LCA, this article focuses on two main questions: How can individual aspects be addressed in LCA and at which stages of the methodology can LCA be personalized? For this purpose, the ISO 14040/44 standards are analyzed regarding individuality, and current approaches in literature are presented. In an explorative approach, this research identifies two general approaches of personalizing LCA. A personalized Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) enables evaluating the environmental impacts of personal(ized) products and conditions. A broader personalization approach based on the flexibility of the methodological framework of LCA aims at providing understandable and relevant results for individual stakeholders. This article provides an overview, outlines key aspects of this vision, and points out further research needs to bring the concept into application.
Key words: mass personalization / life cycle assessment / individuality / environmental awareness / pro-environmental behavior
© SCF, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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