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Journal Articles International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment Year : 2024

A systematic literature review on holistic lifecycle assessments as a basis to create a standard in maritime industry

Olivier Kerbrat

Abstract

Purpose: Recent decades have seen the emergence of environmental problems such as global warming, partly caused by maritime transport. To tackle environmental problems, the shipping industry has introduced regulations, and, in response, environmental analyses have been carried out. Studies have suggested the use of life cycle assessment (LCA) in the maritime context, but due to the inherent complexity of the products studied, they mainly focus on specific phases of the life cycle, in particular the operational phase. In addition, various modelling assumptions have been used. Hence, result's reliability can be questioned and a standard to perform LCA in maritime industry could be beneficial. This article analyzes current LCA methodological trends in the maritime sector and aims to be a basis of discussion for a future standard suggestion and answers the research question: How have holistic LCA studies been conducted this far and what could be done so the methodological trends meet European standards? We undertook a systematic literature review to answer this question.MethodsFrom a sample of around 1400 articles, the systematic review combined with the snowball method identified 32 articles, on which a bibliometric analysis was carried out. Next, key LCA themes were selected for analysis: definition of the functional unit, boundary selection, cutoff rules, approach to the life cycle inventory method, impact categories, databases, life cycle inventory modelling framework, LCA tool, characterization method, temporal and spatial aspects, normalization, weighting, uncertainty, and sensitivity analyses.Results and discussion: Currently, most of the studies focus on data collection, and methodological shortcomings have been identified concerning 11 key LCA topics. For example, functional units were incomplete in 90% of cases; no consistency was found across boundaries; the studies present a multi-criteria approach in 85% of cases; EcoInvent (28%) and Gabi (28%) are mainly used as databases, Gabi (32%) and SimaPro (21%) as LCA software. The studies cannot therefore be compared. In addition, this highlights the limits of the reliability of the studies, which are still reliable to a certain extent.ConclusionFor each theme, recommendations in line with the standards of the International Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) have been formulated in order to improve future studies. Future comprehensive studies should be carried out to make proposals on specific LCA methodological topics. In addition, efforts should be made to develop public databases, spatial and temporal characterization factors, life cycle scenarios, and public LCA tools adapted to the maritime context.
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Tuesday, July 9, 2024
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Dates and versions

hal-04443247 , version 1 (27-03-2024)

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Lucas Jacquet, Antoine Le Duigou, Olivier Kerbrat. A systematic literature review on holistic lifecycle assessments as a basis to create a standard in maritime industry. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 2024, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 29 (4), pp.683-705. ⟨10.1007/s11367-023-02269-4⟩. ⟨hal-04443247⟩
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