GLRPPR Sector Resource: Life Cycle Assessment in environmental impact assessments of industrial projects: towards the improvement
Life Cycle Assessment in environmental impact assessments of industrial projects: towards the improvement
Environmental Impact Assessment is a decision tool employed in identifying and evaluating probable environmental consequences of certain proposed development actions. Environmental Impact Assessment, since its establishment in the second half of the 20th century, was strongly criticized for assessing only a site-specific impact, for insufficient consideration of alternatives and for unclear methodology of impact evaluation. However, on the contrary, Life Cycle Assessment is an analytical tool that evaluates environmental effects of a product, process or activity throughout its life cycle or lifetime from the extraction of resources to production, consumption, recycling up to the final disposal. The aim of this study is to demonstrate how Life Cycle Assessment can complement Environmental Impact Assessment procedure in an industrial project. The article presents an integrated Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment framework, practical use of which is illustrated by a case study of an insulation materials plant. The application of the framework demonstrates that integration of Life Cycle Assessment elements enhances the Environmental Impact Assessment procedure by extending usual assessment boundaries and giving a broader scope of the overall environmental assessment of the planned project. The proposed framework has made it possible to identify the insulation materials production scenario with a 40% lower impact on human health and saving 20% of primary resources compared to the production of insulation materials prior the application of the proposed framework.
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Journal of Cleaner Production, 106(1), 533–540
Date of Publication:
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