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Sustainability Constraints as System Boundaries. An Approach to Making Life-Cycle Management Strategic.
Responsible organisation
2006 (English)In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, E-ISSN 1530-9290, Vol. 10, no 1-2, 61-77 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sustainable management of materials and products requires continuous evaluation of numerous complex social, ecological, and economic factors. A number of tools and methods are emerging to support this. One of the most rigorous is life-cycle assessment (LCA). But LCAs often lack a sustainability perspective and bring about difficult trade-offs between specificity and depth, on the one hand, and comprehension and applicability, on the other. This article applies a framework for strategic sustainable development (often referred to as The Natural Step (TNS) framework) based on backcasting from basic principles for sustainability. The aim is to foster a new general approach to the management of materials and products, here termed “strategic life-cycle management.” This includes informing the overall analysis with aspects that are relevant to a basic perspective on (1)sustainability, and (2) strategy to arrive at sustainability. The resulting overview is expected to help avoid costly assessments of flows and practices that are not critical from a sustainability and/or strategic perspective and to help identify strategic gaps in knowledge or potential problems that need further assessment. Early experience indicates that the approach can complement some existing tools and concepts by informing them from a sustainability perspective—for example, current product development and LCA tools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press , 2006. Vol. 10, no 1-2, 61-77 p.
Keyword [en]
backcasting, life-cycle assessment (LCA), materials management, The Natural Step (TNS), strategic life-cycle management, sustainable product development
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Applied Mechanics
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-9291ISI: 000235575000007Local ID: diva2:837085
It is also published in the following licentiate thesis: Ny, H. 2006. Strategic Life-Cycle Modeling for Sustainable Product Development. Licentiate thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden.Available from: 2012-09-18 Created: 2007-02-28 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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