Keywords

Life cycle assessment, sensitivity analysis, confidentiality of data, environmental policy development

Location

Session A2: Sharing Scientific Environmental Data and Models

Start Date

17-6-2014 3:40 PM

End Date

17-6-2014 5:20 PM

Description

Increasingly, policy makers and consumers demand information on the environmental implications of industrial activities. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a standardized methodology to relate the delivery of products and services to the potential environmental impacts from that delivery, both directly and throughout the industrial supply chain. LCA requires extensive information about industrial processes throughout the global economy, and is subject to substantial parametric and epistemic uncertainty. Moreover, results often hinge on modeling decisions, such as the selection of system outcomes. Comparative results from a single study can give policy-relevant insights only if it is possible to review the sensitivity of results to both uncertainty and modeling decisions. After completing an LCA study for the state of California to inform policy on waste lubricating oil management, we were motivated to develop a data framework for formally describing life cycle inventory models and allowing them to be inspected and analyzed. A “life cycle fragment” describes a network of dependencies among industrial processes with a limited scope and simple formal structure, simplifying the computation of LCA results. Efforts to construct an online tool implementing the fragment framework for use by policy makers, stakeholders, and the general public are ongoing. The tool will facilitate use of the model to analyze parametric uncertainty and model design, thus improving transparency and communicability of the model’s results to interested parties.

 
Jun 17th, 3:40 PM Jun 17th, 5:20 PM

Life cycle fragments: development of an online tool for curating and sharing life

Session A2: Sharing Scientific Environmental Data and Models

Increasingly, policy makers and consumers demand information on the environmental implications of industrial activities. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a standardized methodology to relate the delivery of products and services to the potential environmental impacts from that delivery, both directly and throughout the industrial supply chain. LCA requires extensive information about industrial processes throughout the global economy, and is subject to substantial parametric and epistemic uncertainty. Moreover, results often hinge on modeling decisions, such as the selection of system outcomes. Comparative results from a single study can give policy-relevant insights only if it is possible to review the sensitivity of results to both uncertainty and modeling decisions. After completing an LCA study for the state of California to inform policy on waste lubricating oil management, we were motivated to develop a data framework for formally describing life cycle inventory models and allowing them to be inspected and analyzed. A “life cycle fragment” describes a network of dependencies among industrial processes with a limited scope and simple formal structure, simplifying the computation of LCA results. Efforts to construct an online tool implementing the fragment framework for use by policy makers, stakeholders, and the general public are ongoing. The tool will facilitate use of the model to analyze parametric uncertainty and model design, thus improving transparency and communicability of the model’s results to interested parties.