Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Japan
Online ISSN : 1881-0519
Print ISSN : 1880-2761
ISSN-L : 1880-2761
Volume 8 , Issue 3
Showing 1-13 articles out of 13 articles from the selected issue
  • 2012 Volume 8 Issue 3 Pages Toc_1-Toc_4
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019
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Special Issue: Contribution of LCA to the Sustainable Society
Review Article
  • Itaru YASUI
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 3 Pages 244-250
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    There are so many kinds of definitions of “sustainable society” or “sustainable development”. By taking insightful consideration of physical steady state of any system, Herman Daly defined sustainability in 1972 as competition between human activities and resilience of ecological system on the Earth.

      In this article the author expanded the definition of Daly’s sustainability, and concluded disturbance of human activity on the Earth would be the core concept to measure the sustainability. In other word, it is necessary as a first step to find out indices of disturbance of human activities which will have to include the resilience of the Earth. Then it is inevitable to invent a methodology to define the indices numerically.

      Several indices with possibilities are proposed as examples including(1)dissipation of mineral resources,(2)emission of waste heat,(3)irreversibility of processes,(4)virgin resource usage, and(5)irreversible change in land use. It was also pointed out that researchers have to seriously consider the importance of the concept of self-multiplication of disturbance.

      On the other hand, it is quite impossible to perform any human activities with no disturbance on the ecosystem of the Earth. What is the outcome of your activity? This is a question to be answered if anybody tries to evaluate the properness of any kind of human activity.

      The author proposes if the outcome is highly evaluated as a kind of innovation from the view point of the history of humankind, everybody has to willingly consent to disturbance as far as its adverse effects are predictable and recoverable.

      If this kind of concept for evaluation is to be included in LCA, a new methodology to convert any values into numerical form must be developed. Unfortunately LCA has not succeeded in the appreciation of any values so far, and this could be one of important target to be challenged by researchers in younger generations.

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Commentary and Discussion
  • Tsuyoshi FUJITA, Satoshi OHNISHI
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 3 Pages 251-257
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    This article is to provide the discussion on the development of LCA methodology to be applied on cities and regions for the objective grounds and information to plan and evaluate alternative future scenarios of the integrative management of urban buildings and infrastructure, environmental facilities and land use patterns. After discussing growing demand for sustainable development of urban and regional scale in developed and developing countries, three fields of LCA research are reviewed. Research development to apply LCA methodologies on built environments provides extensive application on urban infrastructure, followed by the LCA approach on regional resource circulation which includes the evaluation research of industrial symbiosis analysis developments and projects. The approach provides the innovative LCA application through conceptual discussion and implementation analysis for international case studies. The discussions for academic challenges are discussed as the following; first, co-benefit approach is proposed to quantitatively plan and evaluate various range of urban and environmental management. Secondly cross-boundary evaluation methodology to compile LCA is proposed. Finally, integrative urban scenario simulation system is discussed to compile physical analysis model with urban GIS database and LCA extended evaluation methodology.

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  • Midori AOYAGI
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 3 Pages 258-264
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    Objective. The objective of this paper is to overview discussion of sustainable consumption and LCA.

    Results and Discussion. The following results are obtained. First, current surveys and discussions on global economy and business ethics provide useful insights for considering Social LCA. Those insights include almost corresponding scope with sustainability LCA guidelines proposed by UNEP. Second, UNEP DTIE’s global lifestyle survey published in 2011 showes high acceptance of “Social” LCA.

    Conclusion. Our society is ready to jump into Sustainability LCA from environmental LCA so that LCA society can go forward to that direction.

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  • Hirokazu KATO, Takuya TOGAWA, Hiroyoshi MORITA
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 3 Pages 265-271
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    Objective. Many indicators for sustainability of a city have been developed, but they still have some problems to evaluate sustainability including various behaviors on the city. This paper aims to propose a new model for evaluating sustainability of a city which based on a concept of Triple Bottom Line(TBL)including three indicators of society, economy and environment, and Quality of Life(QOL).

    Results and Discussion. From the review of the existing sustainability indicators, three issues became clear in order to improve the evaluating system. 1)A detailed description of the transmission mechanism of the environmental impact, 2)creating integrated indicators including three indicators which society, economy and environment and 3)calculating on long-term until 2050 to reflect the effect of urban infrastructural stock. This study developed the new model based on TBL concept for evaluating sustainability of the city in 2050. Case study was carried out in several cities. One of the results in the case of Nagoya city in Japan revealed that all the TBL indictors would become lower than that in current situation in the whole city, especially it would become severe impact as further away from the city center due to increasing of infrastructure maintenance cost per person.

    Conclusions. This study cleared that sustainability indicators should be contained with TBL indicators which are society, economy and environment considering life cycle assessment approach, because a city can be thought of the aggregation of variety stocks as a result of human activity. Continued development of a new model for evaluating sustainability will support the realization of sustainable society for the next generation.

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  • Tomohiro TASAKI, Ryo TAJIMA, Koichi SHOBATAKE, Kazutoshi TSUDA
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 3 Pages 272-281
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    Methodologies of sustainability assessment(SA)were reviewed especially in the fields of Life Cycle Assessment(LCA)and Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA), and the current state and future issues were explained. Integration of environmental LCA, life cycle costing, and social LCA for assessing sustainability of products is being progressed in the LCA field with a concept of the life cycle thinking, while SA for policy, plan, and program is being developed in the environmental assessment field. Although both movements seemed to continue, a number of challenges remained, such as selection of assessment items, boundary setting(framing issues), positioning of SA in social decision making, and difficulty in dealing with severe impacts. We also discussed the development of SA in terms of sustainable consumption and production, relationship between producers and consumers, and the utilization of SA for business activities and public policies. For this, SA related activities which linked assessment and management initiated by The Sustainability Consortium and so forth were presented.

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  • Hiroki HONDO
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 3 Pages 282-287
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    Energy is essential for sustainable development, while the inappropriate use of energy may hamper sustainable development. The present paper discusses energy use from the perspective of sustainable development. In general, such discussion focuses on the following main two issues: “what should we do to ensure that low-income population satisfies their basic energy requirements?” and “what should we do to minimize environmental impacts associated with energy use in order to meet the needs of the future generation?” The present paper proposes and discusses the “third” aspects of energy use to contribute sustainable development.

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Technical Report
  • Yasuharu HOSONO, Kenji SANO, Hideki KOBAYASHI
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 3 Pages 288-292
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, devastated much of the Tohoku region. From the viewpoint of resources, a large number of products and structures were destroyed and lost, and therefore a large amount of metal resources is required for reconstruction in the devastated areas. In recent years, with regard to certain metal resources, including rare metals, such factors as rising demand, the international situation, and the exhaustion of the resources have prompted concerns about the adequacy and stability of supplies. Moreover, with regard to copper, a base metal long thought to be abundant, rising prices attributable to rising demand have prompted concerns. In this study, the amount of copper lost in the devastated areas was estimated by distributing the copper stock in Japan to the areas in accordance with the scale of economic activity and the number of households. As a result, the amount of copper lost was estimated to be 48.4 kt, which accounts for around 4% of Japan’s annual copper consumption. Furthermore, it was estimated that 7.2 kt of copper in five main categories of durable goods (motor vehicle, television, air-conditioner, washing machine and refrigerator) and 1.0 kt of copper in fishing boats were lost, based on an estimation of the numbers of such items lost in the devastated areas and their copper content.

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