Purpose The aimof this study is to explore the dimensions of sustainability that addressed themostwithin international standards and thereby present a life cycle perspective. The intent is to support life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioners in identifying case by case the standards to be used and the methods of considering life cycle concepts beyond environmental aspects. Methods The first step was data screening. International standards were searched through the British Standards Institution (BSI) Group database by inserting the keywords Blife cycle^ and Blife-cycle,^ to include the greatest number of standards. The second step was data cleaning. The documents were selected by eliminating duplicate results and those standards not in force. The majority of the documents obtained were published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). After a content analysis, the third research step selected 54 standards for the following discussion based on the coherence of contents with the research topic. Finally, in the data categorization step, each standard was classified in terms of the dimensions of sustainability addressed, year of publication, and field of application. Results and discussion The results showed that the dimension of sustainability addressed most frequently is the environmental dimension, and it is associated with LCAs and ecological labels. The second dimension of sustainability is the economic dimension, and it is associated with technology development and the adoption of life cycle costing. Conclusions This study shows that (i) the concept of life cycle is present in several standards with different meanings and applications, (ii) all the dimensions of sustainability are considered by the totality of the analyzed standards, and (iii) the environment is the dimension addressed the most.

International standards with a life cycle perspective: which dimension of sustainability is addressed?

Toniolo, Sara;
2019

Abstract

Purpose The aimof this study is to explore the dimensions of sustainability that addressed themostwithin international standards and thereby present a life cycle perspective. The intent is to support life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioners in identifying case by case the standards to be used and the methods of considering life cycle concepts beyond environmental aspects. Methods The first step was data screening. International standards were searched through the British Standards Institution (BSI) Group database by inserting the keywords Blife cycle^ and Blife-cycle,^ to include the greatest number of standards. The second step was data cleaning. The documents were selected by eliminating duplicate results and those standards not in force. The majority of the documents obtained were published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). After a content analysis, the third research step selected 54 standards for the following discussion based on the coherence of contents with the research topic. Finally, in the data categorization step, each standard was classified in terms of the dimensions of sustainability addressed, year of publication, and field of application. Results and discussion The results showed that the dimension of sustainability addressed most frequently is the environmental dimension, and it is associated with LCAs and ecological labels. The second dimension of sustainability is the economic dimension, and it is associated with technology development and the adoption of life cycle costing. Conclusions This study shows that (i) the concept of life cycle is present in several standards with different meanings and applications, (ii) all the dimensions of sustainability are considered by the totality of the analyzed standards, and (iii) the environment is the dimension addressed the most.
Economic dimension
Environmental dimension
ISO
Life cycle
Social dimension
Standards
Technical dimension
2300
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1055718
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