Accounting for ecosystem services in life cycle assessment, Part I: a critical review.
ABSTRACT If life cycle oriented methods are to encourage sustainable development, they must account for the role of ecosystem goods and services, since these form the basis of planetary activities and human well-being. This article reviews methods that are relevant to accounting for the role of nature and that could be integrated into life cycle oriented approaches. These include methods developed by ecologists for quantifying ecosystem services, by ecological economists for monetary valuation, and life cycle methods such as conventional life cycle assessment, thermodynamic methods for resource accounting such as exergy and emergy analysis, variations of the ecological footprint approach, and human appropriation of net primary productivity. Each approach has its strengths: economic methods are able to quantify the value of cultural services; LCA considers emissions and assesses their impact; emergy accounts for supporting services in terms of cumulative exergy; and ecological footprint is intuitively appealing and considers biocapacity. However, no method is able to consider all the ecosystem services, often due to the desire to aggregate all resources in terms of a single unit. This review shows that comprehensive accounting for ecosystem services in LCA requires greater integration among existing methods, hierarchical schemes for interpreting results via multiple levels of aggregation, and greater understanding of the role of ecosystems in supporting human activities. These present many research opportunities that must be addressed to meet the challenges of sustainability.
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ABSTRACT: Nanotechnology is a broad-impact technology with applications ranging from materials and electronics to analytical methods and metrology. The many benefits that can be realized through the utilization of nanotechnology are intended to lead to an improved quality of life. However, numerous concerns have been expressed regarding the unchecked growth of nanotechnology and the unforeseen consequences it may bring. To address the concerns, nanotechnology must be examined under the microscope of sustainability. This work applies the life cycle perspective to provide an understanding of the challenges facing the development of sustainable nanotechnology. A discussion of the holistic tools used to assess the components of sustainability serves as the basis to examine how a harmony between policy and product development can be maintained using decision making for sustainability. This harmony will be most readily achieved using an enhanced risk management strategy for sustainability that combines sustainability assessment with sustainable chemical design.Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 04/2013; 16(4):757-772. · 1.67 Impact Factor
- KIEAE Journal (Korea Institute of Ecological Architecture and Environment. 06/2014; 14(3):5-13.
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ABSTRACT: The 2012 Critical Review Discussion complements Wilson, (2012)185. Wilson , D.G. 2012. Energy supplies and future engines for land, sea, and air. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 62(6): 607–624. doi:10.1080/10962247.2012.675403 [Taylor & Francis Online]View all references, provides pointers to more detailed treatments of different topics and adds additional dimensions to the area of “energy”. These include broader aspects of technologies driven by fuel resources and environmental issues, the concept of energy technology innovation, evolution in transportation resources, and complexities of energy policies addressing carbon taxes or carbon trading. National and global energy data bases are identified and evaluated and conversion factors are given to allow their comparability.Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995) 11/2012; 62(11):1233-1248. · 1.17 Impact Factor