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Life cycle assessment: past, present and future

Author(s): J.B. Guinée
Paper category: symposium
Book title: International Symposium on Life Cycle Assessment and Construction – Civil engineering and buildings
Editor(s): A. Ventura and C. de la Roche
Print ISBN: 978-2-35158-127-8
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-128-5
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Pages: 9 - 11
Total Pages: 3
Language: English

Abstract: The study of environmental impacts of consumer products has a history that dates back to the 1960s and 1970s. Especially in a comparative context (“Is product A better than product B?”), it has spawned long and sometimes fierce debates. This is understandable, as alternative products typically have a number of distinguishing features and they constitute the core of our economy.

It has been recognized that, for many of these products, a large share of the environmental impacts is not in the use of the product, but in its production, transportation or disposal. Gradually, the importance of addressing the life cycle of a product, or of several alternative products, thus became an issue in the 1980s and 1990s. Out of this emerged the idea of life cycle assessment (LCA). In this presentation, the history of LCA will be presented briefly distinguishing two periods (1970-1990 and 1990-2000), the developments of the last decade up to where we are now will be summarized and an outlook to the future will be sketched.

Online publication: 2012
Publication Type: full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00

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