Social LCA – study about experiences in Swedish industry

Friday, 13 December, 2019

In October the project “Social life cycle assessment experiences from Swedish users” started where Mathias Lindqvist at Chalmers University of Technology are doing an interview study, interviewing a selection of Swedish Life Cycle Center partners. The goal of the study is to better understand how social sustainability aspects in practice can be investigated with LCA and how this can contribute to improvement of corporate sustainability efforts.

2009 the first handbook on social life cycle assessment (SLCA) was published by the UN environmental program (UNEP). From its origin as an environmental tool, life cycle analysis is now being developed towards becoming a sustainability tool. Since the publication of the UNEP “Social Lifecycle Analysis Manual”, many case studies have been performed around the world. There is also an ongoing debate on the lack of consistency in methodology  – almost exclusively on about how the methodology can describe social sustainability problems and the reasons for this in an objective and quantitative way. However, there is no discussion of its usefulness and effects in the companies and authorities where it is being used.

– In this study on how organizations use social life-cycle-assessment, we have now performed the first three interviews and the preliminary results point to several contributions from our study: For SLCA users and potential SLCA users, the study show, for example, the level of usage among other organizations, which types of guidance SLCA can provide and when it might be too costly. In addition, the study can inform researchers about hoped-for developments of the SLCA method and needs for further study of how it can be used in practice. / Mathias Lindqvist, Chalmers University of Technology and the project leader of this project.

The results will be presented at SLCA 2020, the 7th international conference on Social Life Cycle Assessment. The conference will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, June 14-17, 2020.


Read more

Read more about the project here: Social life cycle assessment – experiences from Swedish users and about the conference SLCA2020 here.