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    Bridging the gap between LCA, LCC and CBA as sustainability assessment tools2014

    DUBOIS M., HOOGMARTENS R., VAN ACKER K., VAN PASSEL S.Journaux et Revues (scientifiques)

    taux d'actualisation, facteurs sociaux, lca / lcia / slca / lcc / lcsa / mfa, analyse coût-bénéfice / coût-efficacité

    Environmental Impact Assessment Review
    Volume 48, September 2014, Pages 27–33


    • Proliferation of assessment tools creates ambiguity and confusion.
    • The developed assessment framework clarifies connections between assessment tools.
    • Broadening LCA, key aspects are metric and data requirements.
    • Broadening LCC, key aspects are scope, time frame and discounting.
    • Broadening CBA, focus point, timespan, references, labor and scarcity are key.


    Increasing interest in sustainability has led to the development of sustainability assessment tools such as Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA). Due to methodological disparity of these three tools, conflicting assessment results generate confusion for many policy and business decisions. In order to interpret and integrate assessment results, the paper provides a framework that clarifies the connections and coherence between the included assessment methodologies. Building on this framework, the paper further focuses on key aspects to adapt any of the methodologies to full sustainability assessments. Aspects dealt with in the review are for example the reported metrics, the scope, data requirements, discounting, product- or project-related and approaches with respect to scarcity and labor requirements. In addition to these key aspects, the review shows that important connections exist: (i) the three tools can cope with social inequality, (ii) processes such as valuation techniques for LCC and CBA are common, (iii) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is used as input in both LCA and CBA and (iv) LCA can be used in parallel with LCC. Furthermore, the most integrated sustainability approach combines elements of LCA and LCC to achieve the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA). The key aspects and the connections referred to in the review are illustrated with a case study on the treatment of end-of-life automotive glass.

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