Bring on the ‘soft’ sciences: Exploring implications of grounding life cycle methods in three socio-material philosophies
Paper in proceedings, 2013

By not separating product flows from management, we target the little studied problem of how different management practices actually influence the environment. We test the socio-material philosophies actor-network theory, object-oriented ontology and agential realism on the life cycle assessment (LCA) cases bread and cement, through three examples. We conclude that socio-materiality point out that managers could benefit from an increased contextual understanding of the material and energy flows that their decisions influence. For LCA analysts, it highlights that including actual practices and action networks of people handling the flows could be useful for reaching effective use of LCA flow model results.

case studies


philosophy of science




Mathias Lindkvist

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Henrikke Baumann

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

6th International Conference on Life Cycle Management, Gothenburg, Sweden, 25-28 August 2013

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Other Engineering and Technologies


Other Social Sciences

Environmental Sciences

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