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`Bottom-up' approach to the implementation of environmental life cycle assessment (LCA)

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2 Author(s)
Mitchell, P. ; Dept. of Archit., Queensland Univ., St. Lucia, Qld., Australia ; Hyde, R.

A new `bottom-up' approach to life cycle assessment (LCA) which addresses industry needs is discussed. The current state of knowledge in the LCA field has recently been assessed within the broader sphere of sustainable development and problems have been identified. In order for industry to take responsibility for its environmental impacts it requires an environmental management toolbox which can be implemented to assess operations and production processes. LCA is a powerful evaluative tool that has the potential to aid industry in their environmental assessment strategy. Current LCA methodologies however are complex and their generic nature focus on `up-stream' decision making. This paper discusses one way to address inherent LCA problems and to thereby aid the implementation process in industry. This approach has evolved out of an architectural design philosophy, addressing issues at a sustainable community level. The `bottom-up' approach to LCA accepts the argument that local impacts lead to global implications and focuses on giving industry the ability to implement small-scale positive changes. The authors are using the Australian Plywood industry to test this approach and the paper discusses the findings to date

Published in:

Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing, 1999. Proceedings. EcoDesign '99: First International Symposium On

Date of Conference:

1-3 Feb 1999