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Life-Cycle Assessment and its relevance to Australian forestry and wood product industries


Higham, RK and Todd, JJ, Life-Cycle Assessment and its relevance to Australian forestry and wood product industries, Australian Forestry, 61, (2) pp. 65-69. ISSN 0004-9158 (1998) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/00049158.1998.10674721


Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is considered the most objective method for evaluating the environmental burden of products or services. LCA is a cradle-to-grave analysis of the environmental impacts of a product system that includes all stages, from the initial supply of raw materials, through to product disposal at the end of its useful life. This paper summarises the general approach of the method and current applications world wide. Recent developments and key issues in LCAs of forestry and wood product industries (timber, composite wood products, and paper) are outlined. Advantages and disadvantages of LCA are discussed, along with ways Australian forestry and wood product industries could contribute to LCA development. The private sector uses LCA for product marketing; designing environmentally low-impact products; and improving the environmental record of current product systems. The public sector applies LCA to regulate stages of product systems, such as packaging; assess environmental and development programs; and in eco-labelling. LCA's main advantage is its complete and global approach to environmental assessment. Problems with the method are the large amount of data required and time needed to conduct a study. An Australian database for the forest and wood products industries would make LCA considerably easier and cheaper.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Todd, JJ (Dr John Todd)
ID Code:13846
Year Published:1998
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:1998-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-08

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