Methodological aspects of applying life cycle assessment to industrial symbioses

T. Mattila (Corresponding Author), S. Lehtoranta, Laura Sokka, M. Melanen, A. Nissinen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    69 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In view of recent studies of the historical development and current status of industrial symbiosis (IS), life cycle assessment (LCA) is proposed as a general framework for quantifying the environmental performance of by‐product exchange. Recent guidelines for LCA (International Reference Life Cycle Data System [ILCD] guidelines) are applied to answer the main research questions in the IS literature reviewed. A typology of five main research questions is proposed: (1) analysis, (2) improvement, and (3) expansion of existing systems; (4) design of new eco‐industrial parks, and (5) restructuring of circular economies. The LCA guidelines were found useful in framing the question and choosing an appropriate reference case for comparison. The selection of a correct reference case reduces the risk of overestimating the benefits of by‐product exchange. In the analysis of existing systems, environmentally extended input‐output analysis (EEIOA) can be used to streamline the analysis and provide an industry average baseline for comparison. However, when large‐scale changes are applied to the system, more sophisticated tools are necessary for assessment of the consequences, from market analysis to general equilibrium modeling and future scenario work. Such a rigorous application of systems analysis was not found in the current IS literature, but would benefit the field substantially, especially when the environmental impact of large‐scale economic changes is analyzed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-60
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
    Volume16
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fingerprint

    life cycle assessment
    symbiosis
    life cycle
    systems analysis
    historical development
    economic change
    typology
    environmental impact
    restructuring
    analysis
    scenario
    market
    economy
    industry
    economics
    modeling
    performance

    Keywords

    • Circular economy
    • consequential life cycle assessment (LCA)
    • decision making
    • environmental impact
    • industrial ecology
    • industrial symbiosis

    Cite this

    Mattila, T. ; Lehtoranta, S. ; Sokka, Laura ; Melanen, M. ; Nissinen, A. / Methodological aspects of applying life cycle assessment to industrial symbioses. In: Journal of Industrial Ecology. 2012 ; Vol. 16, No. 1. pp. 51-60.
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    abstract = "In view of recent studies of the historical development and current status of industrial symbiosis (IS), life cycle assessment (LCA) is proposed as a general framework for quantifying the environmental performance of by‐product exchange. Recent guidelines for LCA (International Reference Life Cycle Data System [ILCD] guidelines) are applied to answer the main research questions in the IS literature reviewed. A typology of five main research questions is proposed: (1) analysis, (2) improvement, and (3) expansion of existing systems; (4) design of new eco‐industrial parks, and (5) restructuring of circular economies. The LCA guidelines were found useful in framing the question and choosing an appropriate reference case for comparison. The selection of a correct reference case reduces the risk of overestimating the benefits of by‐product exchange. In the analysis of existing systems, environmentally extended input‐output analysis (EEIOA) can be used to streamline the analysis and provide an industry average baseline for comparison. However, when large‐scale changes are applied to the system, more sophisticated tools are necessary for assessment of the consequences, from market analysis to general equilibrium modeling and future scenario work. Such a rigorous application of systems analysis was not found in the current IS literature, but would benefit the field substantially, especially when the environmental impact of large‐scale economic changes is analyzed.",
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    Methodological aspects of applying life cycle assessment to industrial symbioses. / Mattila, T. (Corresponding Author); Lehtoranta, S.; Sokka, Laura; Melanen, M.; Nissinen, A.

    In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2012, p. 51-60.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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