Life Cycle Assessment

eBook - March 2009 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

Focuses on the important practice of LCA in Australia, and provides critical insight into the technique and how it can be used as a problem-solving tool.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has developed in Australia over the last 20 years into a technique for systematically identifying the resource flows and environmental impacts associated with the provision of products and services. Interest in LCA has accelerated alongside growing demand to assess and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across different manufacturing and service sectors. + Full description

Life Cycle Assessment focuses on the reflective practice of LCA, and provides critical insight into the technique and how it can be used as a problem-solving tool. It describes the distinctive strengths and limitations of LCA, with an emphasis on practice in Australia, as well as the application of LCA in waste management, the built environment, water and agriculture. Supported by examples and case studies, each chapter investigates contemporary challenges for environmental assessment and performance improvement in these key sectors.

LCA methodologies are compared to the emerging climate change mitigation policy and practice techniques, and the uptake of ‘quick’ LCA and management tools are considered in the light of current and changing environmental agendas. The authors also debate the future prospects for LCA technique and applications.

- Short description


No longer available in a print edition.


"…represents a welcome and overdue contribution to the environmental management literature in Australia…I would recommend this book, particularly to those in Australia with a basic understanding of LCA and who wish to learn more."
Fabiano de Aquino Ximenes, Austral Ecology, 2010

"The authors write with refreshingly straightforward prose and there are lots of interesting perspectives that will enrich practitioners' knowledge of their trade."

Greg Peters, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, Vol 17 2010

"The recent work from CSIRO is a welcome addition. It is clearly written, easy to follow, and a manageable length of 192 pages. The sections on agricultural impacts and biofuels development are especially timely as the desire for alternate fuels is at a peak. "
Mary Ann Curran, Journal of Cleaner Production, June 2009

"Written by some of the best in the business in Australia, it provides a valuable insight into a methodology that is likely to play a key role in shaping our choices in the future."
WME Magazine, May 2009

"While this book is aimed primarily at an academic and tecnhnical audience, it is a very good introduction for anyone-managers, policy-makers and designers-needing to understand how LCA can help them make more informed choices and tread more lightly on the planet."
ECOS, June-July, 2009


ePDF | March 2009
ISBN: 9780643097964
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Provides an historical and current day context for the development and application of life cycle assessment in Australia.
  • Bridge from LCA to implementation in the form of life cycle management (LCM).
  • Provides discussion on how LCA development will be in the future and how it integrates with other tools.
  • Global relevance, Australian focus
  • Rich in examples and case studies, most never before published
  • First LCA text by leading practitioner academics in Australia, who together share over 40 years’ experience in LCA
  • Cutting edge – latest and predicted future developments in LCA
  • Critical – no holds barred, warts and all accounts of the strengths and weaknesses of LCA
  • Provides clear insights into future uptake, development and use of LCA


1. Life Cycle Assessment: Origins, principles and context
2. The development of life cycle assessment methods and applications
3. Life cycle assessment in practice
4. Life cycle assessment as decision support – A systemic critique
5. The Australian environment – Impact assessment in a sunburnt country
6. Life cycle assessment and waste management
7. Life cycle assessment: Applications in the built environment
8. Will the well run dry? Developments in water resource planning and impact assessment
9. LCA and agriculture: challenges and prospects
10. Climate change responses: Carbon offsets, biofuels and the LCA contribution
11. Accelerating LCA uptake: Life Cycle Management and ‘quick’ LCA tools
12. Prospects for LCA development and practice in the quest for sustainable consumption


Ralph Horne has over 15 years’ experience in research and consulting on environmental assessment in the UK and Australia. His research interest in the role of Life Cycle Assessment in driving sustainable responses to climate change extends to housing and households. Product and packaging eco-design, waste and product life cycle assessment are also a continuing theme. He also supervises doctoral research and undertakes applied projects in sustainable built environments, design and social context.