Weighting and Aggregation in Life Cycle Assessment: Do Present Aggregated Single Scores Provide Correct Decision Support?

Pradip Kalbar, Morten Birkved, Simon Elsborg Nygaard, Michael Zwicky Hauschild

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

This study investigates the prevailing practice of obtaining single scores in life cycle assessment (LCA) and identifies potential lacunas in impact assessment methodology related to the results of aggregation into endpoints and single scores. In order to conduct this investigation, a detailed approach was adopted to facilitate identification of three main problems related to the single-score calculation approach. The prevailing ReCiPe single-score calculation method does not account for either the effect of so-called dominating alternatives (i.e., alternatives having high values across all endpoints) or the interdependency of the indicators being aggregated. It was also found that the simple linear weighted sum method, presently used for obtaining single scores, is not capable of accounting for the effect of weighting schemes and thus cannot realistically represent stakeholders' perspectives. Finally, we propose a distance-based multiple attribute decision-making method for use in obtaining single scores. This method was found to be more suitable, given that it takes into account the weighting schemes and types of indicators in the process of estimating single scores. The new single-score calculation method proposed here is considered ideal for environmental decision-making problems in the context of life cycle sustainability assessment. Thus, it is also ideal for situations in which more-complex decision-making situations will emerge by combining LCA indicators (midpoints or endpoints) with other indicators representing the performance of a system from economic and social perspectives.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Industrial Ecology
Vol/bind21
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)1591-1600
ISSN1088-1980
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017
Udgivet eksterntJa

Emneord

  • Industrial ecology, Life cycle assessment, Life cycle sustainability assessment, Multiple criteria decision making, Single scores, TOPSIS

Citer dette

Kalbar, Pradip ; Birkved, Morten ; Nygaard, Simon Elsborg ; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky. / Weighting and Aggregation in Life Cycle Assessment: Do Present Aggregated Single Scores Provide Correct Decision Support?. I: Journal of Industrial Ecology. 2017 ; Bind 21, Nr. 6. s. 1591-1600.
@article{942d33c8e4c84eb6844a080bb764e558,
title = "Weighting and Aggregation in Life Cycle Assessment: Do Present Aggregated Single Scores Provide Correct Decision Support?",
abstract = "This study investigates the prevailing practice of obtaining single scores in life cycle assessment (LCA) and identifies potential lacunas in impact assessment methodology related to the results of aggregation into endpoints and single scores. In order to conduct this investigation, a detailed approach was adopted to facilitate identification of three main problems related to the single-score calculation approach. The prevailing ReCiPe single-score calculation method does not account for either the effect of so-called dominating alternatives (i.e., alternatives having high values across all endpoints) or the interdependency of the indicators being aggregated. It was also found that the simple linear weighted sum method, presently used for obtaining single scores, is not capable of accounting for the effect of weighting schemes and thus cannot realistically represent stakeholders' perspectives. Finally, we propose a distance-based multiple attribute decision-making method for use in obtaining single scores. This method was found to be more suitable, given that it takes into account the weighting schemes and types of indicators in the process of estimating single scores. The new single-score calculation method proposed here is considered ideal for environmental decision-making problems in the context of life cycle sustainability assessment. Thus, it is also ideal for situations in which more-complex decision-making situations will emerge by combining LCA indicators (midpoints or endpoints) with other indicators representing the performance of a system from economic and social perspectives.",
keywords = "Industrial ecology, Life cycle assessment, Life cycle sustainability assessment, Multiple criteria decision making, Single scores, TOPSIS",
author = "Pradip Kalbar and Morten Birkved and Nygaard, {Simon Elsborg} and Hauschild, {Michael Zwicky}",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1111/jiec.12520",
language = "English",
volume = "21",
pages = "1591--1600",
journal = "Journal of Industrial Ecology",
issn = "1088-1980",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "6",

}

Weighting and Aggregation in Life Cycle Assessment: Do Present Aggregated Single Scores Provide Correct Decision Support? / Kalbar, Pradip; Birkved, Morten; Nygaard, Simon Elsborg; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky.

I: Journal of Industrial Ecology, Bind 21, Nr. 6, 2017, s. 1591-1600.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Weighting and Aggregation in Life Cycle Assessment: Do Present Aggregated Single Scores Provide Correct Decision Support?

AU - Kalbar, Pradip

AU - Birkved, Morten

AU - Nygaard, Simon Elsborg

AU - Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - This study investigates the prevailing practice of obtaining single scores in life cycle assessment (LCA) and identifies potential lacunas in impact assessment methodology related to the results of aggregation into endpoints and single scores. In order to conduct this investigation, a detailed approach was adopted to facilitate identification of three main problems related to the single-score calculation approach. The prevailing ReCiPe single-score calculation method does not account for either the effect of so-called dominating alternatives (i.e., alternatives having high values across all endpoints) or the interdependency of the indicators being aggregated. It was also found that the simple linear weighted sum method, presently used for obtaining single scores, is not capable of accounting for the effect of weighting schemes and thus cannot realistically represent stakeholders' perspectives. Finally, we propose a distance-based multiple attribute decision-making method for use in obtaining single scores. This method was found to be more suitable, given that it takes into account the weighting schemes and types of indicators in the process of estimating single scores. The new single-score calculation method proposed here is considered ideal for environmental decision-making problems in the context of life cycle sustainability assessment. Thus, it is also ideal for situations in which more-complex decision-making situations will emerge by combining LCA indicators (midpoints or endpoints) with other indicators representing the performance of a system from economic and social perspectives.

AB - This study investigates the prevailing practice of obtaining single scores in life cycle assessment (LCA) and identifies potential lacunas in impact assessment methodology related to the results of aggregation into endpoints and single scores. In order to conduct this investigation, a detailed approach was adopted to facilitate identification of three main problems related to the single-score calculation approach. The prevailing ReCiPe single-score calculation method does not account for either the effect of so-called dominating alternatives (i.e., alternatives having high values across all endpoints) or the interdependency of the indicators being aggregated. It was also found that the simple linear weighted sum method, presently used for obtaining single scores, is not capable of accounting for the effect of weighting schemes and thus cannot realistically represent stakeholders' perspectives. Finally, we propose a distance-based multiple attribute decision-making method for use in obtaining single scores. This method was found to be more suitable, given that it takes into account the weighting schemes and types of indicators in the process of estimating single scores. The new single-score calculation method proposed here is considered ideal for environmental decision-making problems in the context of life cycle sustainability assessment. Thus, it is also ideal for situations in which more-complex decision-making situations will emerge by combining LCA indicators (midpoints or endpoints) with other indicators representing the performance of a system from economic and social perspectives.

KW - Industrial ecology, Life cycle assessment, Life cycle sustainability assessment, Multiple criteria decision making, Single scores, TOPSIS

U2 - 10.1111/jiec.12520

DO - 10.1111/jiec.12520

M3 - Journal article

VL - 21

SP - 1591

EP - 1600

JO - Journal of Industrial Ecology

JF - Journal of Industrial Ecology

SN - 1088-1980

IS - 6

ER -