Using causal maps to identify potential sources of environmental impact outside the scope of LCA studies: preliminary findings from case studies on washing machines and road vehicles
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, University of Hull, Hull, UK, 24 – 26 June 2012, Hull, UK, 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
Much of the environmental impacts of which a product will potentially have during its life cycle are determined during the design phase by choices such as type of materials and manufacturing processes. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method is commonly used to assess the potential environmental impacts and identify hot-spots for improvements of a product system. However, other important variables exist outside the product system that can also influence environmental impacts. The aim of this study is to utilise causal maps to identify variables which may not typically be identified and considered in LCA studies but may have significant influence upon environmental impacts through cause-effect chains. To illustrate the utility of causal maps, household washing machines and conventional passenger cars are chosen as case studies. Preliminary findings indicate that causal mapping can be used to identify which are the relevant variables and describe how they potentially interact in a system perspective. This knowledge might allow for more robust decision support.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hull, UK, 2012.
Life Cycle Assessment; Environmental Impacts; Systems Thinking; Sustainability
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-101803OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-101803DiVA: diva2:549555
18th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, 24 – 26 June 2012
QC 201209122012-09-122012-09-042012-09-12Bibliographically approved