Integrated Sustainability Analysis
@ The University of Sydney

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Input-Output Conference 2010

Life-Cycle Assessment

The University of Sydney and the Centre for Water and Waste Technology at the University of New South Wales cooperate on developing and applying hybrid Life-Cycle Assessments (LCAs), combining input-output analysis with process analysis. By taking this approach, on-site, first- and second-order process data on environmental impacts is collected for the product or service system under study, while higher-order requirements are covered by input-output analysis.

'Conventional' LCAs are based only on process analysis approach, meaning that only on-site, most first-order, and some second-order impacts are considered. However, the truncation of the system boundary leads to a significant underestimation of the true impact (see the boundary problem). Using input-output analysis, the error caused by this truncation can be avoided. A comparative example is given in the table below: Embodied emissions are at least twice as much when comparing the conventional LCA method with the holistic, hybrid input-output analysis approach.

Our LCA projects are commissioned by various stakeholders, such as industry, government agencies, NGOs and research institutions. We have carried out LCA projects have been carried for:

  1. Water service providers;
  2. Food industry;
  3. Manufacturing industry;
  4. Waste management;
  5. Energy sector and
  6. Electronic industry.
We offer:
  1. Life Cycle Assessment studies based on hybrid, process and input-output approach depending on the specific needs of the client
  2. Life Cycle Costing studies and
  3. Life Cycle Engineering studies.

For more information - Contact us for copies of articles on life-cycle assessment of energy supply systems:

  • Lenzen M and Wachsmann U, Wind energy converters in Brazil and Germany: an example for geographical variability in LCA, Applied Energy, in press, 2003.
  • Lenzen M and Munksgaard J, Energy and CO2 life-cycle analyses of wind turbines review and applications, Renewable Energy 26 (3), 339-362, 2002.
  • Dey C and Lenzen M, Greenhouse gas analysis of electricity generation systems, ANZSES Solar 2000 Conference, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, 2000.
  • Lenzen M, Greenhouse gas analysis of solar-thermal electricity generation, Solar Energy 65 (6), 353-368, 1999.

For further information please contact

Dr Arne Geschke
ISA, School of Physics A28
The University of Sydney NSW 2006
+61 (0)2 9036-7505