Establishing common primary data for environmental overview of product life cycles. Users, perspectives, methods, data and information systems
This report describes how information about the environmental performance of products over their life cycles can be accessed anywhere and by any stakeholder throughout the product life cycle. Particular consideration has been given to different ways of performing a life cycle assessment (LCA). The report covers different users of environmental product information, the various methods and tools used to produce and disseminate that information, and the primary data needed for those methods and tools. The report also outlines an information system organisation for potential use as a cooperative approach to supporting stakeholders of product life cycles with environmental information.
Chapter 2 contains a comprehensive (albeit not exhaustive) list of perspectives from which a stakeholder may environmentally view and assess products. A number of examples are given to describe reasons people have in practice for applying each perspective. The intention is to ensure that users find the methods and tools in chapter 3 to be truly relevant.
Chapter 3 lists and presents methods and tools for assessing environmental performance, for acquiring information about environmental impacts, and for providing information on environmental properties of products. Particular emphasis is placed on the different types of LCA that have been identified, how they differ, how to use them, and their differing data requirements.
Chapter 4 lists and presents the data and information that are used or produced by the methods and tools described in Chapter 3. This chapter includes discussion of data availability, data quality issues and data formatting.
Chapter 5 proposes an information system organisation and design taking into account all perspectives and practical needs as described in Chapter 2, as well as all information and data issues described in Chapter 4. Particular attention is paid to the need for compatibility with existing systems, the technical and economic feasibility of building small systems instead of large ones, and the necessity of a short payback time for all investments, particularly those in the private sector.
In chapter 6 the authors present outline recommendations for further work.
Life Cycle Assessment
Life cycle management (LCM)