Class Notes (835,540)
Canada (509,226)
Environment (894)
ENV201H5 (40)
T Conway (38)
Lecture

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Department
Environment
Course
ENV201H5
Professor
T Conway
Semester
Fall

Description
 Life cycle assessment-LCA: o Measures impacts and resource use from ‘cradle to grave’  Good tool to compare alternatives  Helps decision maker to choose the process/product with the least env impact o Used for consumable materials and goods, and industrial(manufacturing) processes rather than infrastructure o Process:  Compile an inventory of relevant energy and material inputs/env releases  Evaluate potential env impacts associated with identified inputs and releases  Interpret result to help decision makers make more informed decisions o LCA example: diapers  3 types:  Single use (absorbent gels)  Home-laundered cloth diapers  Commercially laundered cloth diapers (diaper service)  Compared: energy use, material use, water req, env emissions (atmospheric, wastewater, solid waste)  Disposables (single use): largest solid waste burden  Home-laundered: biggest energy use/atmospheric emissions  Commercially laundered: largest water use  Problem: how to evaluate these differences o Hummer vs. Prius:  Cost per mile over lifetime: $3.25/mile Prius vs. $1.95/mile hummer  Ill-founded assumptions:  Prius drivers will only drive 100,000 miles, vs. 300,000 for hummer  Direct energy use only comprises 2-10% of lifecycle analysis for a vehicle  Prius costs more to dispose bc it contains recyclable parts, but no energy credit for using recyclable parts  Revised: $2.19/mile Prius, vs. $2.32/mile hummer o LCA challenges:  Where to draw the systems boundaries?  Can get very complicated; data difficult to acquire  How to put everything into same units to compare impacts/alternatives  Process can be co-opted by companies to promote their products o LCA benefits:  Good way to compare alternatives and make env sound decisions  Improves env performance, helps limit impacts of industrial processes  Prevents shifting of env problems elsewhere o Evaluation of mgmt approaches: LCA  Does it consider future needs and env conditions? No  Is there a legislative basis? No  Does it include all interested parties? Other species? Ways of communication throughout? In a way  Does the approach acknowledge and address larger ecosystems? Possibly  Does it allow for adaptation? No  Does the approach help i.d. and address potential harm? Yes   Cost-benefit analysis: o Decision-making toold o Applied to rules/regulations o Determining monetary value of all costs/benefits
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