Environmental Assessment Of Technology Investments Using The LCA Polygon Framework
Free (open access)
D. A. Georgakellos
This paper presents a novel framework to aid assessment and selection in certain technology investments projects. Since most of the methods available for this purpose consider factors that seem to focus almost exclusively on what creates most net value to the buyer of a technology system, ignoring the external costs associated with this system, the technique proposed here has been developed in order to provide a tool for the integration of the environmental externalities in the assessment and selection process. This tool uses the findings of Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) and especially the outcomes of the LCA Polygon approach in order to consider for each possible alternative its environmental performance together with any economic aspects, and to result into a single \“score”, i.e. the relative external cost. This value could be used as the exclusive basis for the comparative appraisal of the candidates, or it could be easily integrated in most of the existing decision methods. A relevant case study is also included in the paper to illustrate the proposed framework. It is about the assessment of an investment concerning five different vehicle technologies. The result of this application can be easily incorporated in almost any common decision-making model, which intends to take into consideration the externalities of its choice. Keywords: investment assessment, technology selection, external cost, environmental externalities, life-cycle assessment, LCA polygon, vehicle technologies. 1 Introduction In general, the assessment and selection of technology investments falls into three general classes of problems: (a) accept-reject problems require an assessment of whether an investment is worthwhile, (b) selection of the best
investment assessment, technology selection, external cost, environmental externalities, life-cycle assessment, LCA polygon, vehicle technologies.