Matrix Approaches to Abridged Life Cycle Assessment

T. E. Graedel, B. R. Allenby, V. R. Comrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Experience demonstrates that the life cycle assessment (LCA) for a complex manufactured product or an industrial manufacturing process works most effectively when it is done semiquantitatively and in modest depth. To facilitate such assessments, we have devised an abridged LCA matrix We discuss the concepts leading to this matrix and give examples of check lists and evaluations to guide assessors in valuing the matrix elements. The matrix scoring system provides a straightforward means of comparing options, and we recommend “target plots” as convenient and visually arresting ways of calling attention to those design and implementation aspects whose modification could most dramatically improve the assessment rating. We demonstrate these tools by performing assessments on familiar products: generic automobiles of the 1950s and 1990s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-139
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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