METHODOLOGY FOR CHOOSING LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT SECTOR-SPECIFIC INDICATORS
DS 68-5: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 5: Design for X / Design to X, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Malmqvist, J.
Author: Chevalier, Bruno; Reyes, Tatiana; Laratte, Bertrand
Section: Design for X, Design to X
There is a wide range of indicators available for use in Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA). For designers with limited experience of Life Cycle Assessment, it is difficult to decide which is the most likely to lead to a more environmentally friendly product. In industry, and in SMEs in particular, designers lacking the expertise needed to use LCA in an eco-design approach are liable to pay insufficient attention to indicator selection and may use inappropriate indicators that result in design faults. The lack of sector-specific methodological guidelines to assist them is another similar cause of problems. This article describes the methodology of choice for selecting the most appropriate impact categories and characterisation models for a LCIA in order to facilitate the choice of eco-design solutions. The two main stages of the methodology are described and explained. This procedure can be used directly by individuals carrying out an LCA or by developers of specialised LCA tools that choose indicators for the user. This methodology will make the LCA technique more accessible and better suited to designers' needs and so help encourage wider acceptance of the eco-design approach.