Environmental Life Cycle Analysis

Environmental Life Cycle Analysis

690 Book reviews / Waste Management 22 (2002) 689–691 and Mouth disease- Governments have been reluctant to introduce what appear to be new tax burd...

58KB Sizes 5 Downloads 191 Views


Book reviews / Waste Management 22 (2002) 689–691

and Mouth disease- Governments have been reluctant to introduce what appear to be new tax burdens on farmers. Hanley’s contribution is brief and this contrasts with the considerable detail in the other essays in the book. The result is something of an imbalance, but not a serious one since there is much to learn from the US experience. The final essay by David Abler and James Shortle is somewhat incongruous but still useful. It shows how to decompose the effects of international trade on the environment. Trade has various effects, including those relating to expanded scale of activity and changes in input mixes. From a policy standpoint it is useful to know which effects dominate, and additionally the decomposition procedure helps illuminate the ‘trade versus environment’ debate which is currently popular.

The link to agriculture arises, of course, because of efforts to liberalise trading regimes. If trade negatively affects environment, then this may undo some of the policy measures discussed in the previous chapters in the book. This is a valuable collection of essays on a topic of growing importance but of immense complexity. Certainly, anyone interested in agriculture and the environment will find it very useful.

Environmental Life Cycle Analysis David Ciambrone, 1997. CRC Press, LLC. Hardback, (145 p.). 2000 Corporate Blvd. N.W., Boca Raton, Florida, 33431 USA. ISBN:1–56670–214–3. Price US$ 65.00, GBP 52.00.

1–4 serve as general introduction to both the concept and the book. The first chapter essentially sets the stage for the use of life cycle analyses. The second chapter provides a brief history of environmental analyses, an overview of assessment methodology and examples of applications. In chapter three the author discusses the process for conducting a life cycle analysis. In this chapter, the author correctly indicates the levels of sophistication for the performance of the work, and more importantly, the need to establish boundary conditions (what the limits should be) for the study. This chapter serves as a basic ‘‘road map’’ for the performance of a life cycle analysis and for understanding and using the remainder of the book. Chapter 4 includes a discussion on the roles of each of the participants of the analyses (templates, data, and others). In chapters 5–10, the author describes in detail, one by one, the major stages of a life cycle analysis: raw materials acquisition; manufacturing, formulation, processing; transportation and distribution; use, re-use, maintenance; and recyclewaste management. Each one of the chapters is liberally illustrated with figures and tables to show the reader how to conduct a life cycle analysis. Chapter 10, the final chapter, provides a summary of the concept. In chapter 10, the author emphasizes the importance of a life cycle analysis, of proper training, and the need to have support from qualified professionals. The author even suggests the names and addresses of consulting companies that could provide the training. The glossary includes the definition of 24 words. The appendices, in some cases, consist of a single diagram, a list of major federal (United States) laws, and the ‘‘basic recycle codes for plastics’’. In general, the main chapters of the book provide a ‘‘blue print’’ for someone to conduct an environmental life cycle analysis. The information is presented clearly and in a logical manner so that all key steps are covered. With respect to the material presented as support to the book, namely the glossary and the appendices, this

Part of the process of green manufacturing involves a clear understanding of the total impact and the total costs associated with the environment. This means evaluating the total ‘‘life cycle’’ all the way from the acquisition of raw materials and manufacturing through distribution, use, and ultimate disposal of a specific item or items. The fact that a particular product has a finite life cycle implies that there are certain costs associated with it. Understanding the life cycle costs will assist a public or private entity in finding ways to reduce postmanufacturing costs. Any reduction in these costs would help in reducing environmental impacts. Modern methods for evaluating potentially negative environmental impacts involve the use of a variety of tools. The widely embraced ISO 14000 is an excellent example of how various public and private entities are voluntarily approaching environmental management. This is particularly important in today’s global economy combined with the requirements imposed by some countries on the production and use of ‘‘green’’ products. The concept of life cycle was first discussed more than 20 years ago. A severe limitation to the wide application of the concept was related to the fact that, up until recently, there was not a comprehensive methodology to facilitate the understanding of the process and provide the basic tools necessary to conduct the analysis in a rigorous and cost-effective manner. One of the objectives of this book is to provide the necessary background, tools, instruction, and examples to carry out an environmental life cycle analysis. The book includes 10 chapters, a list of references, a glossary, five appendices, and a subject index. Chapters

David Pearce Economics University College London Gower Street London WC1E 6BT, UK E-mail address: [email protected]

Book reviews / Waste Management 22 (2002) 689–691

reviewer typically uses a few words in the glossary to gauge the level of familiarity of the author or authors with some of the concepts covered in the book. In this review, the definition of compost left something to be desired. The appendices include some diagrams that perhaps could have been included in the text or could have been left out from the document. The book would be a good acquisition for a professional who is interested in the performance or in requesting that somebody else conduct an environmental life cycle analysis. The reader would benefit from becoming familiar with important issues to keep in mind and to consider in the analysis.


The author of the book, Dr. David Ciambrone, is an accomplished and experienced scientist. According to the information provided in the book, Dr. Ciambrone is a management and environmental consultant, lecturer, professor, and inventor with more than 30 years of experience in various fields. L.F. Diaz CalRecovery Inc 1850 Gateway Boulevard Suite 1060 Concord, CA 94520, USA E-mail address: [email protected]

PII: S0956-053X(02)00031-4

Integrated Solid Waste Management: A Life Cycle Inventory 2nd Edition. McDougall, F.R., White, P.R., Franke, M., and Hindle, P. Blackwell Science, Ltd., Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0EL, United Kingdom, www.blackwellscience.com. ISBN: 0–632–05889–7. £99 ($US140). 544 pages, plus CD-ROM, 2001. This second edition is an update and expansion of the first edition, which was published in 1994. The earlier edition set out the principles of life cycle inventory as applied to integrated solid waste management (ISWM) and incorporated them into a mathematical model, IWM1. The model provided a means of constructing alternative solid waste management systems for the purposes of evaluation, comparison, and decision-making. The current edition consists of 28 chapters and a CDROM containing the IWM-2 model, an expansion and improvement upon the IWM-1 model. The chapters are organized into three general sections: Concepts and Case Studies, Elements of IWM (Integrated Waste Management), and IWM2 Model Guide. In the first section, the principles of IWM, life cycle assessment (LCA), and life cycle inventory (LCI) of solid waste management are described. Additionally, LCI case studies are presented of solid waste management systems of communities and regions of both industrialized and economically developing countries. Within the second section, Elements of IWM, the fundamental components and principles of modern solid waste management systems are described, commencing with waste generation and collection, through processing, and concluding with land disposal and materials recycling industries. The third section, IWM2 Model Guide, describes the structure, assumptions, use, and decision-making aspects of the IWM-2 Model. According to the authors, the IWM-2 model is an entry-level LCI model, user-friendly, and adapted to users who are starting to apply LCI principles to solid waste management sysPII: S0956-053X(02)00032-6

tems. The building blocks of the model are described, as well as the method of constructing integrated solid waste management systems for evaluation using the model. A thorough discussion is presented of the inputs and outputs of the components of the model and of the assumptions, including reference citations for data used in the model. If site-specific data are not available to users, the model incorporates default values. Examples are presented of the flows and outputs of the model, including mass flows, environmental factors (e.g. energy production and usage, and system air emissions), and costs. The second edition presents an excellent description of the principles and components of modern ISWM systems, as well as the use of LCI and LCA to evaluate ISWM systems. The authors indicate that while the IWM-2 model is an improvement over the IWM-1 model, IWM-2 remains a less robust LCI model for solid waste than some other current models or those soon to be available. Lastly, the authors are to be commended for fully documenting the model. Readers will find a wealth of data and descriptions contained in the book and in the IWM-2 model. The authors are members of Procter & Gamble’s Global Integrated Solid Waste Management Team. Dr. Forbes McDougall (UK) and Dr. Ing. Marina Franke (Germany) led the Team. Dr. Peter White (UK) is an Associate Director in Procter & Gamble’s Corporate Sustainable Development Department, and Mr. Peter Hindle (Belgium) is a Director of Procter & Gamble’s External Relations Department. G.M. Savage CalRecovery Inc. 1850 Gateway Boulevard Suite 1060 Concord 94520, USA E-mail address: [email protected]