The social impact tracker

Published Jan 13, 2014

In her PhD thesis, Elisabeth Ekener Petersen shows that social life cycle assessment is a useful tool to reveal poor working conditions and other negative social impacts in the value chain of a product.

Elisabeth Ekener Petersen

In her work, Elisabeth Ekener Petersen applied and tested social LCA (life cycle assessment), a methodology issued in 2009. She carried out three different case studies: on the production of laptops, on vehicle fuels and on handling of e-waste.

The case studies studied showed that social LCA as tool is possible to apply, even though there is room for improvement. Social LCA has the potential to reveal more detailed information about social impacts and to shift focus to so far unaddressed problem areas as it follows the value chain all the way from raw material extraction to disposal.

“Producers may underestimate the social impacts in some parts of the product lifecycle, while they overestimate others. With social LCA they can gain a better understanding of the “social hotspots” most urgent to address”, says Elisabeth Ekener Petersen.

Elisabeth Ekener Petersen’s presents her dissertation 17 January 2014, 13:00, at room D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH main campus.

Download the PhD thesis  Tracking down Social Impacts of Products with Social Life Cycle Assessment.

Contact: Elisabeth Ekener Petersen, tel +46 8 7908506, elisabeth.ekener.petersen@abe.kth.se

Bernhard Huber

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