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Systematic approach for the transferability of life cycle inventory data between countries

: Makishi Colodel, C.

Society of Non-Traditional Technology, Tokyo:
8th International Conference on EcoBalance 2008 : Tokyo (Japan), 10-12.12.2008; The challenge of creating social and technological innovation through system-thinking
Tokyo, 2008
4 pp.
International Conference on EcoBalance <8, 2008, Tokyo>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IBP ()

In a globalised world, where product parts are produced and assembled in different countries, country-specific life cycle inventory (LCI) data gain even more relevance. Nevertheless, many countries still face the problem of having very few or no datasets at all, being often 'forced' to use data from other countries, e.g. European background data, in order to fill in their gaps or even for being able to perform a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Whereas methodology transfer among countries can take place, simply transfer of inventory data can lead to wrong results and conclusions. In this paper, a systematic approach for the transferability of data between countries is proposed. Firstly, relevant parameters influencing the unit process are identified (bottom-up approach). This refers to environmental laws, technology efficiency, production route, etc. Next, country indicators that reflect these parameters in a macroscopic level are investigated (top-down approach). The combination of these two aspects is analysed in order to calculate transfer factors. They are the ones, that applied to the inventory of one reference country generate the inventory of other country. The availability of country indicators data and the possibility of producing more appropriate country-specific LCIs can be seen as the main advantages of this approach.