The case study shows an example application of life cycle assessment (LCA) to the field of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), analysing dematerialization in a Public Administration. The Municipality of Rimini (Italy) was taken as the geography of focus, since its economic framework is representative of the whole Province. Some of the procedures existing between the City itself and the companies operating in the tourism sector were considered. In particular, three types of procedures managed by SUAP (Sportello Unico Attività Produttive, Central Office for Production Activities) were chosen for evaluation: 1) the opening/closing of hotel communication, 2) the opening declaration for new activities with structural changes and 3) the same without structural changes. Administrative operations imply at present the printing of forms and their delivery, personally or by fax to SUAP for each procedure (traditional system), but a new system (innovative system) is replacing the old one and schedules such procedures through the use of ICT. The LCA methodology was applied to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with the two proposed systems (traditional and innovative) and to provide an opportunity to make a comparative analysis. The results show that the innovative system creates lower environmental impacts. The improvements range from a maximum value of 99.2% for the category Land occupation to a minimum value of 54.5% for the category Mineral extraction. In the traditional scenario, transportation is the main source of potential impacts for all categories, from a peak of 96.2% for the category respiratory inorganics to a minimum of 54.5% for Land occupation. To check the reliability of results, two different scenario analyses were performed. In the first one, we changed the assumptions about transportation in the traditional scenario: in traditional system A transport by car was reduced by considering one way delivery, while in traditional system B fax was supposed to be used whenever is possible, which means a reduction of transport by car by 78%. The results of this scenario analysis confirmed that the traditional system leads to greater environmental burden compared to the innovative one. The second scenario analysis supposed a further implementation of the innovative management system to the whole SUAP office and procedures and proved that increasing the scope of intervention cause environmental benefits to increase as well. Transportation was identified as the main source of environmental impacts for the traditional system, the innovative system has 80% less impacts. We can conclude that the implementation of the new ICT system will have a positive effect from an environmental point of view and greater benefits could be achieved with implementation at a large scale. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Titolo:||Life cycle assessment of Information and Communication Technology application: A case study of dematerialization in the Italian Public Administration|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|