Expanding the Scope of LCA to Include ‘Societal Value’: A Framework and Methodology for Assessing Positive Product Impacts

Research Area:
Sustainable Design


Procedia CIRP

SMART Authors:
James Colwill , Kei Lok Felix Shin

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As resources become scarcer, efficiency improvements alone will not bridge the widening gap between supply and demand, resulting in the need for additional non-financial mechanisms to ensure the fairer allocation of resources. This paper asserts that, in the future, companies will need to demonstrate their products’ positive contribution to society as well as minimising their negative environmental/social impacts. A review and analysis of existing tools and assessment methodologies identifies current capabilities and highlights the need for 'Societal Value’ assessment that considers both quantitative and qualitative factors .This paper concludes by proposing a systematic framework for addressing the 'Societal Value’ of products as part of an integrated sustainability assessment and allows the evaluation and comparison beyond products’ shared functionality.

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