Modeling Social Life Cycle Assessment framework for an electronic screen product – A case study of an integrated desktop computer

Karpagam Subramanian, Winco K.C. Yung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Large scientific literature addresses the environmental impacts of computers, while society is less considered. Although a couple of studies have analyzed laptops based on Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA), a quantitative weighting step is missing. Against this background, this paper aims at integrating a weighting approach from literature and proposes a comprehensive model to assess social impacts along a product's life cycle. The model uses an inventory majorly tailored on generic data, focusing on simplified list of components obtained from dismantling the product. Quantitative and semi-quantitative indicators are normalized based on a three-level scale and a weighting factor is applied to enable aggregation of results at stakeholder level and compare different life cycle stages. The model was tested in a cradle to grave case study on an integrated desktop as a first-time application. Results indicate potentially negative social impacts on workers, local community and society. In contrast, low impacts resulted for the value chain actors and consumers. Raw material extraction and productions of basic materials were documented as the most impactful phases. The model and the associated weighting step facilitates companies with a practical method to conduct social impact assessment and assess the social performances of their product's life cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-434
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume197
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • All-in-one desktop computer
  • Decision-making
  • Electronic screen products
  • HP
  • Social life cycle assessment
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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