5 years ago

A Revision of What Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment Should Entail: Towards Modeling the Net Impact on Human Well-Being

Thomas Schaubroeck, Benedetto Rugani
The main goal of a sustainability assessment is to evaluate the impact of systems (e.g., human or natural ones) on areas sought to be protected and maintained over time (e.g., human well-being, ecosystems, etc.). These are called areas of protection (AoPs). Life cycle sustainability assessment is a type of sustainability assessment that focuses on the impact of industrial production systems on AoPs. To further this field, three conceptual challenges should be tackled: (1) framing which areas should primarily be sustained and hence on which the impact should be assessed, that is, (re)defining of the AoPs; (2) accounting for the interconnectedness among AoPs (e.g., influence of ecosystems on human well-being); and (3) the assessment of both benefit and damage to the AoPs (e.g., benefit of industrial products and damage of their production). The aim of this study is to provide a first roadmap to address these three issues and to suggest potential solutions. Regarding the first issue, our conclusion is that human well-being, encompassing health and happiness, is the primary AoP. This is based on the argument that the sustainability concept is inherently anthropocentric. In this regard, other entities such as ecosystems as a whole are sustained in light of human well-being. The well-being adjusted life years, interpreted as years of perfect well-being, is pinpointed as the most promising holistic indicator. To conduct a respective sustainability assessment that tackles the remaining two issues—integrated system modeling of the earth and its support to well-being—is argued as the most suitable approach.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12653

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.