Life cycle assessment for the green procurement of roads: a way forward Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology can be used to assess the environmental impacts of a road system over its entire life time. However, it is very important to align the potentials and limitations of such tools with their intended purpose. For the LCA to be useful for the decision support in a procurement situation, it should therefore be important to have a clear understanding of the technical features (attributes) that build up the life cycle phases. In this paper, different types of decisions situations are outlined based on at what level of complexity (network or specific project) and at what stage within the planning process (early planning or late planning/design) the decision is to be made, and relevant methodological choices for these decision situations are discussed. Further, the attributes that are important to consider in an asphalt road LCA that seeks to serve as a decision support in a procurement situation are suggested and technical features for these attributes are outlined with focus on Energy and GreenHouse Gas emissions. It can be concluded that in order to aid the implementation of green procurement, it would help if the attributes of the system are defined in a transparent manner and consistently calculated. It is, however, also important that the attributes should mirror the material properties used in a pavement design and therefore be closely linked to the performance of the road in its life time. It is also recommended to report the feedstock energy in the road LCAs.

author list (cited authors)

  • Butt, A. A., Toller, S., & Birgisson, B.

citation count

  • 36

publication date

  • March 2015