Presenter/Author Information

Reinout Heijungs
Mark A. J. Huijbregts

Keywords

uncertainty, life cycle assessment, lca

Start Date

1-7-2004 12:00 AM

Description

It is important to know to what extent the outcome of an LCA is affected by various types ofuncertainty, such as parameter, scenario and model uncertainty. These types may occur in the goal andscope definition, the inventory analysis and the impact assessment of an LCA. Information on the uncertaintyof the model outcomes provides useful information to assess the reliability of LCA-based decisionsand to guide future research towards reducing uncertainty. This paper reviews several approaches to treatdifferent types of uncertainty in LCA. It will discuss the typology of uncertainty that may be encountered inLCA, the qualitative and quantitative techniques that are available to address these uncertainties, the inclusionof these techniques in LCA software tools, the (graphical) possibilities to show uncertainty in LCAoutcomes, ways to simplify the uncertainty analysis, the inclusion of uncertainty analyses in case studies and(the difficulties in) the interpretation of uncertainty information.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

A Review of Approaches to Treat Uncertainty in LCA

It is important to know to what extent the outcome of an LCA is affected by various types ofuncertainty, such as parameter, scenario and model uncertainty. These types may occur in the goal andscope definition, the inventory analysis and the impact assessment of an LCA. Information on the uncertaintyof the model outcomes provides useful information to assess the reliability of LCA-based decisionsand to guide future research towards reducing uncertainty. This paper reviews several approaches to treatdifferent types of uncertainty in LCA. It will discuss the typology of uncertainty that may be encountered inLCA, the qualitative and quantitative techniques that are available to address these uncertainties, the inclusionof these techniques in LCA software tools, the (graphical) possibilities to show uncertainty in LCAoutcomes, ways to simplify the uncertainty analysis, the inclusion of uncertainty analyses in case studies and(the difficulties in) the interpretation of uncertainty information.