Large companies generally have an encompassing CSR framework which include risk and impact assessment, strategic planning, stakeholder dialogue and sustainability reporting. Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment provides an opportunity to apply a common framework to assess, make decision and communicate about the social, environmental and economic dimension of companies and products footprint. However, the question of the integration of sustainability dimensions’ within one common, perhaps LCA-based framework has not yet been resolved (eg. Klöpffer, 2013, Zamagni and Pesonen, 2013). While some approaches argue for a full procedural and methodological integration some others present a more flexible and operational framework. The availability of a social hotspot database for Social LCA now makes it possible to model product system in a very consistent way with LCA while providing necessary information that were missing from existing LCA databases. Groupe AGECO, New Earth and Quantis have developed a common approach to LCSA. The consistent but flexible framework will be presented and illustrated by case studies. Preliminary results show that in order to deliver the results sought from the tools and that will feed into the company’s CSR framework, a full methodological integration is not necessary (eg. same functional unit, same boundaries). However, a procedural integration is highly relevant and desirable.
At this stage of development of the approach we privilege the integration of environmental and social/socioeconomic dimensions and the cost aspect based on LCC will be included at a later stage.
Here are the main characteristics of the approach that will be illustrated in the presentation
- This framework is adapted to the types of client and scope of the study (association, retail, company, company division, product)
- The product system is modeled using both SHDB and Ecoinvent.
- A first hotspot assessment is generated.
- Prioritization of hotspots is conducted with input from company and if relevant company stakeholders.
- Further data is collected (from the literature and from expert interviews if needed) to provide detail on the hotspots.
- Identification of social positive impacts and improvement opportunities.
- Strategic integration of environmental and social hotspots assessment results and priority setting (change in practice and policy)
- If part of the scope, surveys combining both environmental and social data collection are administered.
- Identification of best practices/ areas of improvement (change in practice and policy)
- Results brought to reporting framework and indicators commitment secured from internal stakeholder decision making process (change in communication)