41 Making Carbon Footprints by using input-output in a hybrid LCA

Content description: The workshop will focus on how to carry out carbon footprint studies using a combination of process-based LCA and IO-LCA, i.e. a hybrid approach. The set-up is mainly a hands-on and workshop form, where participants solve identified challenges through workshops. A few essential lectures will be held by leading scientists within the field. In the workshops, the LCA software used is SimaPro 7. The workshop is followed by a Ph.D colloquium covering this issue and others. Background Carbon footprint as well as input-output LCA (IO-LCA) are fields which face significant growth the latest years. Carbon footprint is used for documenting GHG emissions related to products in a life cycle perspective, and GHG emissions related to a company’s activities including upstream and possibly downstream exchanges. The traditional approach for carbon footprinting is the so-called process-based LCA, where a number of unit processes are identified, and defined as being part of the product system. These unit processes are usually connected via physical flows (based on engineering knowledge). A major problem related to process-based LCA is the applied cut-off rule. Cut-off rules specify processes which are not included in the product system. Typically, service inputs such as business travelling, marketing, consultancy, accounting, legal assistance, education etc. are not included. Also, sometimes capital goods (buildings, machinery etc.) are not included. Despite the fact that cut-off rules exclude many potentially significant GHG emission contributors, they can seldom be consistently applied. According to the PAS2050 and the ISO 14044 cut-off criteria may be environmental significance. However, since the environmental significance is first known when the inputs of concern are inventoried, such criteria are problematic for the LCA practitioner. To overcome the problems of cut-off rules, IO-LCA data can be used “to fill the gaps” in the process-based LCA. IO-data are based on a nation’s total economic transactions combined with total emissions accounts (NAMEAs). Therefore, such data do by definition not imply any cut-off rules – all transactions and all emissions are included. The workshop is followed by a Ph.D colloquium during which the Ph.D students present their studies, get feedback, and solve identified challenges. The student presentations will be supplemented with expert inputs and short lectures.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Jannick H. Schmidt