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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2332; doi:10.3390/su9122332

Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment for Sustainability Improvements: A Case Study of High-Density Polyethylene Production in Alberta, Canada

Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, T2N 1N4 AB, Canada
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Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 14 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

Life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) is a still relatively new technique. One of its main application challenges is interpreting the three dimensions of its results in combined fashion. This paper presents the first attempt at an integrated solution-oriented approach in the LCSA, while simultaneously interpreting the results of the three assessments in a combined fashion toward improving the sustainability performance of product systems. It is based on a case study of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) production in Alberta, Canada. The methodology is characterized by five steps: (1) goal and scope definition; (2) inventory analysis; (3) impact assessment; (4) interpretation where the results of the three tools of LCSA are presented and an integrated analysis of the sustainability results following the strong sustainability model and using the Driver–Pressure–State–Impact–Response (DPSIR) framework, is conducted to propose sustainability improvements for the case study product; (5) discussion and conclusion. The integrated approach developed was able to propose some sustainability improvement proposals along the life cycle of HDPE. Yet, challenges exist in interpreting the interrelationships between the three assessment results. Moving from comparative integrated assessment approach in LCSA to solution-oriented approach still faces challenges. This work highlighted some of the research tasks that need more focus from the LCSA community to demonstrate how LCSA can contribute to sustainable development by improving the sustainability performance of product systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle sustainability assessment; sustainability improvements; high density polyethylene; integrated analysis; strong sustainability model; Alberta life cycle sustainability assessment; sustainability improvements; high density polyethylene; integrated analysis; strong sustainability model; Alberta
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hannouf, M.; Assefa, G. Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment for Sustainability Improvements: A Case Study of High-Density Polyethylene Production in Alberta, Canada. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2332.

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