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Evaluating the sustainability of electronic media: Strategies for life cycle inventory data collection and their implications for LCA results
Empa Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, St. Gallen (Switzerland). (Technology and Society Lab)
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms). School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC. Empa Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, St. Gallen (Switzerland).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7761-2350
School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC. Empa Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, St. Gallen (Switzerland); University of Zürich, Department of Informatics, Zürich (Switzerland).
2014 (English)In: Environmental Modelling & Software, ISSN 1364-8152, E-ISSN 1873-6726, Vol. 56, 27-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper compares two Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies independently carried out to assess the environmental impacts of electronic versus print media. Although the two studies lead to the same overall conclusion for the case of a news magazine namely that the tablet version of the magazine has environmental advantages over the print version there are significant differences in the details of the LCA results. We show how these differences can be explained by differences in the methodological approaches used for life cycle inventory (LCI) modelling, in particular the use of rough average data versus the attempt to use the most specific and detailed data as possible. We conclude that there are several issues in LCA practice (at least when applied in the domain of media) that can significantly influence the results already at the LCI level: The data collection strategy used (e.g. relying on desk-based research or dismantling a given device) and the decisions made at inventory level with regard to parameters with significant geographic variability, such as the electricity mix or recycling quotas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 56, 27-36 p.
Keyword [en]
Life cycle assessment, Life cycle inventory modelling, Environmental impact
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140222DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.01.001ISI: 000337555500004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84901496360OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-140222DiVA: diva2:689017
Funder
Vinnova
Note

QC 20140814

Available from: 2014-01-19 Created: 2014-01-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Ahmadi Achachlouei, Mohammad

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