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Author(s): Belmira Neto
Carolien Kroeze
Leen Hordijk
Carlos Costa
Title: Selecting industrial ecology tools: strengths and weaknesses for use in a decision support tool
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: This study gives an overview of selected Industrial Ecology (IE) tools in current use by industry and that could be used to assess the environmental performance. The tools selected are considered to be useful for a decision support tool (DST) that takes a company perspective, while considering environmental and economic aspects on the decision-making process.We define criteria for a first selection of IE tools. The criteria are related to the usefulness of a tool in an analysis that: 1) takes a company perspective; 2) includes environmental and economic aspects of decision making; 3) includes a complete coverage of the potential environmental impacts and 4) allows for an assessment of the consequences of pollution reduction strategies. Based on the purpose of our DST, together with the criteria, we identified twelve tools. These twelve tools are reviewed with respect to their purpose, methodology, final product, strengths, weaknesses and relevance for an environmental analysis taking a company perspective. Next, we present the characteristics of the DST. These characteristics allow for identifying the IE tools that are a promising basis for the DST. These seven characteristics are: the tool considers a gate-to-gate approach; the tool considers the processes within the company that are relevant for the assessment of the environmental impact; the tool uses company specific data easily available from the process owner; the tool considers up-to-date and company specific pollution reduction options; the tool provides information on the cost-effectiveness of the reduction options; the tool can be used to express the company's environmental performance in one overall environmental indicator; and lastly the tool can be used to explore possible user-defined pollution reduction strategies.Finally, a selection of the tools that are useful for our particular DST is made. We conclude that a combination of the following seven tools is most promising: Life Cycle Assessment, Substance Flow Analysis, Multi-Criteria Analysis, Technology Assessment, Sensitivity Analysis, Scenario Analysis and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis.
Subject: Ciências do ambiente
Environmental science
Document Type: Livro de Atas de Conferência Internacional
Rights: restrictedAccess
Appears in Collections:FEUP - Livro de Atas de Conferência Internacional

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