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Life cycle analysis. General background, practical approach, benefits and the responsibility to make use of it

Lebensweganalyse. Allgemeiner Hintergrund, praktische Herangehensweise, Nutzen und Verantwortlichkeit bei der Anwendung
: Holley, W.

International Center for Companies of the Food Trade and Industry -CIES-:
Environmental Excellence in the Food Business. 2nd CIES Conference on the Environment. Conference Report
Environmental Excellence in the Food Business <2, 1993, Barcelona>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer ILV ( IVV) ()
environmental cost; internalisation; Internalisierung; LCA; Lebenswegbilanz; life-cycle analysis; LWB; Ökobilanz; system analysis; Systemanalyse; umweltbedingte Kosten

This presentation describes Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) as an instrument of system analysis which supports strategic decisions in connection with the general change of our economy towards sustainable development. On the basis of "analysis prior to action", LCA should be part of an approach using free market principles to meet ecological requirements. The key principle will be to transfer external costs into the internalisation of environmental costs and to minimize these costs under the conditions of a competitive market. Under this general impression in September 1992 three German institutions presented a LCA methodology paper according to the contract awarded by the German Federal Authority of Environment. This methodology has now been transformed into an EDP system. Pilot runs of this system are already availyble. An anonymous part of a LC inventory output list will be presented. In the conclusion it is pointed out that LCA does not represent an alternative, but is an aid for the proc edure of the "Internalisation of Environmental Costs". Estimating environmental cost for the internalisation purposes and the total assessment of LC inventory items are equivalent problems. Nevertheless there are fields of application of LC inventories - as they are today - in industry as well as in policy. But there are also some applications in both fields which should be avoided.