The analysis of complex systems requires an integrated application of different assessment methods also taking into account different scales and points of view to gain a systemic understanding of the investigated case study. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Emergy Accounting (EMA) are both environmental assessment methods, showing many similarities in the way they are performed, especially with respect to the inventory construction and to the interpretation of results. They also show great differences, the main residing in the different perspectives they give. LCA applies a consumer side perspective, and its space and time scales are set at a boundary capable to include all the process phases in terms of location and durability and their direct impacts on the investigated areas. On the other hand, throughout its donor side perspective, EMA expands the boundaries of the system over the entire biosphere space and time scales. Differences and similarities between LCA and EMA may gain added value by their implementation within a procedural framework which exploits the characteristics of the two methods. The present work proposes a methodological procedure based on the sequential and integrated application of LCA and EMA methods, called LEAF (LCA & EMA Applied Framework). The traditional Amalfi paper production is used as a test case study. The procedure stems include: (i) an ex-ante LCA analysis, to identify the hotspots of the investigated case study; (ii) the assessment of the environmental performance of the system through the development of different EMA-based improvement scenarios built around the chosen hotspots; and (iii) an ex-post LCA application built on each scenario results in order to detect the different environmental burdens. The application of LEAF to the traditional Amalfi paper production shows that the use of a more sustainable energy source is an effective solution (among the set of proposed options) to increase the sustainability of the investigated system.

Developing a procedure for the integration of Life Cycle Assessment and Emergy Accounting approaches. The Amalfi paper case study

Fiorentino G.;
2020

Abstract

The analysis of complex systems requires an integrated application of different assessment methods also taking into account different scales and points of view to gain a systemic understanding of the investigated case study. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Emergy Accounting (EMA) are both environmental assessment methods, showing many similarities in the way they are performed, especially with respect to the inventory construction and to the interpretation of results. They also show great differences, the main residing in the different perspectives they give. LCA applies a consumer side perspective, and its space and time scales are set at a boundary capable to include all the process phases in terms of location and durability and their direct impacts on the investigated areas. On the other hand, throughout its donor side perspective, EMA expands the boundaries of the system over the entire biosphere space and time scales. Differences and similarities between LCA and EMA may gain added value by their implementation within a procedural framework which exploits the characteristics of the two methods. The present work proposes a methodological procedure based on the sequential and integrated application of LCA and EMA methods, called LEAF (LCA & EMA Applied Framework). The traditional Amalfi paper production is used as a test case study. The procedure stems include: (i) an ex-ante LCA analysis, to identify the hotspots of the investigated case study; (ii) the assessment of the environmental performance of the system through the development of different EMA-based improvement scenarios built around the chosen hotspots; and (iii) an ex-post LCA application built on each scenario results in order to detect the different environmental burdens. The application of LEAF to the traditional Amalfi paper production shows that the use of a more sustainable energy source is an effective solution (among the set of proposed options) to increase the sustainability of the investigated system.
Emergy Accounting
Environmental assessment
Integrated framework
LEAF
Life Cycle Assessment
Paper production
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/56915
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