Application of Input-Output Analysis (IOA) to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been active in Japan since the very early stage of LCA studies. IOA can provide LCA with a consistent system boundary and practical database for inventory analysis, but the latter is not inherent to IOA itself but subject to the availability of IO Tables with detailed sectoral resolution and extended environmental data. Nevertheless, the framework of IOA has other useful implications for LCA. For example, environmental externalities hidden behind the value added sectors in IO tables can be disclosed by the physical descriptions of inflows of natural resources to a sector and outflows of pollutants from the sector. Furthermore, IOA, LCA as well as MFA (Material Flow Analysis), all of which are tools of industrial ecology, can be better integrated and their symbiosis may produce significant mutual benefits. Possible contributions from one tool to another are tabulated as a metaphor to IO tables. The framework of Physical Input Output Tables (PIOT) with empirical database by hybrid approach is most promising for such integration.
This paper discusses the concept and framework of Material Flow Environmental Accounting (MFEA) to quantify material and monetary flows pertinent to resource recycling activities in a region. Various approaches are being taken to establish common framework of MFEA. The methodologies of Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and Environmental Accounting such as SEEA (System for Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting) which have been developed to integrate economy and environment are used to establish MFEA on national and regional scales. Municipal Waste Environmental Accounting (MWEA) is also developed to deal with material flows associated with municipal wastes such as containers and packaging wastes. The framework of environmental accounting system developed to assess environmental performance of companies is applied to municipal waste collection and treatment services provided by municipal governments. This paper presents a review of relevant studies on these topics.
However excellent a product may be environmentally, it would not come into wide use unless it is also economically affordable. For the purpose of evaluating environmental and economic sustainability of a product, an LCA of the product needs to be accompanied by a complementary evaluation of its life cycle cost, that is, LCC (life cycle costing). This paper introduces a hybrid approach to LCC based on the WIO (waste input-output analysis) due to Nakamura and Kondo (J. Ind. Ecol., 2002), and illustrates its application to a case study of air conditioners.
This study examined theoretical conditions that sectoral unit environmental burdens must meet for calculation of embodied environmental intensity founded on an input-output system. This paper describes characteristics of two practical approaches to estimate a unit environmental burden: an exogenous estimate approach and an endogenous estimate approach. Technical problems that exist in applying these approaches to calculate a unit environmental burden for sectors of Japanese Input-Output Tables are also explained. As a case study, the endogenous estimate approach was used to estimate sectoral unit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions based on Japanese Input-Output Tables (2000). This work calculated embodied CO2 emission intensities of about 400 sectors by an input-output analysis, and summarized quantitative characteristics of intensities for major sectors. For examination of the relationship between economic final demands and CO2 emission, the Japanese CO2 emission structure in 2000 was illustrated using those intensities. Results confirmed that household consumption generated about 49% of domestically produced CO2, either directly (13%) or indirectly (36%). Respective direct and indirect expenditures of central and local governments contributed only 4% and 4% of CO2, although their economic final demands dominated 8% and 8% of the total final demand. These demands engendered less environmental impact than did public capital investment, which accounted for 8% of the total CO2 and 6% of the total final demand. Moreover, the skyline figure of households' consumption identified some commodities for which induced CO2 generation can be mitigated through technologically improved production and some commodities for which induced CO2 can be reduced through adjustment of households expenditure.
Recently, LCA has been getting attention as a method for the evaluation of regional activities, and several studies have been done to consider regional characteristics in evaluation of regional activities. However, most previous studies only considered the energy use and transportation distance in the operation step of a regional activity. There hasn't been any studies that tried to specify the exhaust regions of environmental burdens for direct and indirect effects, and consider the site-specific condition of them. Specifically, we noted to what degree the result of regional evaluation is affected by site-specific consideration for the indirect effect regions because the indirect effects differs from region to region. Therefore, in this study, we verified the necessity for site-specific consideration of exhaust regions of environmental burdens and proposed a new applicative approach that can consider site-specific condition efficiently for indirect effects.
This paper proposes a new model for evaluating the environmental impacts of consumption. The new model is developed by integrating existing ones: the waste input-output (WIO) model and one of the economics models describing consumer's behavior. A notable feature of the economics model is that a consumption activity is regarded as the operation of the corresponding consumption “technology.” Because a consumption “technology” produces consumer's utility (or satisfaction) by taking not only goods and services but also time as its inputs, the new model can be used to take account of the so-called rebound effects with regard to both income and time. Applying the developed model to the Japanese data (the WIO table 2000, the household expenditure survey and the survey on time-use), we found that some typical scenarios of alleged sustainable consumption are environmentally sound more than the observed consumption pattern as of 2000.
The present paper discusses the relationship between the types of various household characteristics and the industrial waste generations and landfills, using the non-competitive import type input-output model. For the empirical analysis, we used the 1995 waste generation data focusing on the 69 industrial wastes and 1995 landfill ratios from the waste survey data, 1995 household survey statistics, and the 1995 non-competitive import type input-output table. Using the basic data, we estimated the industrial waste generations and landfills directly and indirectly induced by the consumption propensities of the various household types such as householder income levels, householder age, and house types and evaluated the differences in the embodied waste generations and landfills for the household types.
In order to examine appropriately alternative recycling strategies of end-of-life vehicles (ELV) in Japan, we presented a fully-fledged ELV recycling-related material flow of parts and waste using the waste input-output analysis (WIO) developed by Nakamura et al. [5, 6]. Furthermore, we evaluated environmental and economical impacts of alternative strategies that generate no automobile shredder residue (ASR), such as intensive disassembling and reusing parts and energy recovery of ASR. As a result of the evaluation, reuse of used parts and intensive disassembling were superior to energy recovery system of ASR in terms of environment, however, the reverse result was obtained in terms of economy.
Due to the geographical condition of Japan, the available area for the landfill site is very limited, and it is difficult to find new space for final disposal. Under this background, “Landfill mining activity” is being promoted by material industries. “Landfill mining activity” implies the digging up of the landfilled wastes, the recovery of valuable material and energy resources and, thus, the reuse of the space as a new landfill site. The landfill mining activity is actually examined in some prefectures of Japan. However, the valuable materials recovery has not been taken into account in the previous reports on the environmental assessments by using Input Output (IO) model. The purpose of this study is the development of methods to evaluate environmental burden and economic impact achieved by the landfill mining activity. To describe the landfill mining activity, dynamic extension model of Waste Input Output analysis and the additional sectors of Waste Input Output (WIO) Table are required. By using scenario analysis, the energy requirement for the landfill mining activity, landfill consumption and CO2 emission are evaluated.
We evaluated the cost of IC package through life cycle stage using the LCC method. It becomes clear that the cost of product production was large in the life cycle stage of product production, use, collection and recycling. We were able to define the use cost, collection cost and recycling cost of IC package by LCC. Next, it was shown that 3 elements of the raw materials, direct expense and direct personal expenses were large, when each element of the product production cost is compared． In this study, the design engineer has come to be able to calculate the product production cost with life cycle thinking.
In this paper, listed are the articles related to LCA studies on methodology development area which have been published in International scientific journals with peer review during 1990-2006. Articles in 111 international scientific journals have been queried on “Life Cycle Assessment,” “Life Cycle Analysis,” “LCA,” “LCI,” “LCIA,” etc. 227 articles related to LCA studies are on list.