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Lifting the veil on the correction of double counting incidents in hybrid life cycle assessment

Maxime Agez, Guillaume Majeau-Bettez, Manuele Margni, Anders H. Strømman and Réjean Samson

Article (2020)

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Abstract

Life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmentally extended input–output analyses (EEIOA) are two techniques commonly used to assess environmental impacts of an activity/product. Their strengths and weaknesses are complementary, and they are thus regularly combined to obtain hybrid LCAs. A number of approaches in hybrid LCA exist, which leads to different results. One of the differences is the method used to ensure that mixed LCA and EEIOA data do not overlap, which is referred to as correction for double counting. This aspect of hybrid LCA is often ignored in reports of hybrid assessments and no comprehensive study has been carried out on it. This article strives to list, compare, and analyze the different existing methods for the correction of double counting. We first harmonize the definitions of the existing correction methods and express them in a common notation, before introducing a streamlined variant. We then compare their respective assumptions and limitations. We discuss the loss of specific information regarding the studied activity/product and the loss of coherent financial representation caused by some of the correction methods. This analysis clarifies which techniques are most applicable to different tasks, from hybridizing individual LCA processes to integrating complete databases. We finally conclude by giving recommendations for future hybrid analyses.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Data quality; Environmental input–output analysis; Hybrid life‐cycle assessment; Industrial ecology; Life cycle assessment (LCA); Life cycle inventory (LCI)

Subjects: 1500 Environmental engineering > 1500 Environmental engineering
1600 Industrial engineering > 1600 Industrial engineering
1600 Industrial engineering > 1602 Management information systems
Department: Department of Chemical Engineering
Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering
Research Center: CIRAIG - International Reference Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services
Funders: International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/5490/
Journal Title: Journal of Industrial Ecology (vol. 24, no. 3)
Publisher: Wiley
DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12945
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12945
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2020 12:16
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 23:15
Cite in APA 7: Agez, M., Majeau-Bettez, G., Margni, M., Strømman, A. H., & Samson, R. (2020). Lifting the veil on the correction of double counting incidents in hybrid life cycle assessment. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 24(3), 517-533. https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12945

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