Social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) emerged in the last years as a methodological approach aimed at evaluating social and socioeconomic aspects of products and their potential positive and negative impacts along their life cycle. According to the Guidelines for social life cycle assessment of products (Benoît and Mazijn 2009), developed within the UNEPS/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, social impacts are those that may affect stakeholders along the life cycle of a product and may be linked to company behaviour, socioeconomic processes and impacts on social capital. This definition includes two strengths of S-LCA that together distinguish it from other social assessment methods: (1) the focus on the product and (2) the broad definition of social impacts, which encompasses both the company behaviour and the socioeconomic perspective. From a company perspective, one of the main added values of S-LCA is the possibility to spend the results of the evaluation on the market. This could be achieved, for example by means of a social label, in a way similar to what is done for the carbon footprint. Based on the powerful potential of S-LCA, the authors would like to point out that the two strengths of the methodology might also represent a source of bias and risks, if not dealt with properly and responsibly. We would like to briefly work this concept out, giving hints for further reflection.

Strengths or bias in social LCA?

Buttol, Patrizia;Amerighi, Oscar;Zamagni, Alessandra
2011

Abstract

Social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) emerged in the last years as a methodological approach aimed at evaluating social and socioeconomic aspects of products and their potential positive and negative impacts along their life cycle. According to the Guidelines for social life cycle assessment of products (Benoît and Mazijn 2009), developed within the UNEPS/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, social impacts are those that may affect stakeholders along the life cycle of a product and may be linked to company behaviour, socioeconomic processes and impacts on social capital. This definition includes two strengths of S-LCA that together distinguish it from other social assessment methods: (1) the focus on the product and (2) the broad definition of social impacts, which encompasses both the company behaviour and the socioeconomic perspective. From a company perspective, one of the main added values of S-LCA is the possibility to spend the results of the evaluation on the market. This could be achieved, for example by means of a social label, in a way similar to what is done for the carbon footprint. Based on the powerful potential of S-LCA, the authors would like to point out that the two strengths of the methodology might also represent a source of bias and risks, if not dealt with properly and responsibly. We would like to briefly work this concept out, giving hints for further reflection.
social LCA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/889
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social impact