Life Cycle Assessment of Households in Santiago, Chile: Environmental Hotspots and Policy Analysis

Lopez-Eccher, Camila; Garrido-Ramirez, Elizabeth; Franchi-Arzola, Ivan; Munoz, Edmundo

Abstract

The aim of this study is to assess the environmental impacts of household life cycles in Santiago, Chile, by household income level. The assessment considered scenarios associated with environmental policies. The life cycle assessment was cradle-to-grave, and the functional unit considered all the materials and energy required to meet an inhabitant's needs for one year (1 inh/year). Using SimaPro 9.1 software, the Recipe Midpoint (H) methodology was used. The impact categories selected were global warming, fine particulate matter formation, terrestrial acidification, freshwater eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, mineral resource scarcity, and fossil resource scarcity. The inventory was carried out through the application of 300 household surveys and secondary information. The main environmental sources of households were determined to be food consumption, transport, and electricity. Food consumption is the main source, responsible for 33% of the environmental impacts on global warming, 69% on terrestrial acidification, and 29% on freshwater eutrophication. The second most crucial environmental hotspot is private transport, whose contribution to environmental impact increases as household income rises, while public transport impact increases in the opposite direction. In this sense, both positive and negative environmental effects can be generated by policies. Therefore, life-cycle environmental impacts, the synergy between policies, and households' socio-economic characteristics must be considered in public policy planning and consumer decisions.

Más información

Título según WOS: Life Cycle Assessment of Households in Santiago, Chile: Environmental Hotspots and Policy Analysis
Título de la Revista: Sustainability
Volumen: 13
Número: 5
Editorial: MDPI
Fecha de publicación: 2021
DOI:

10.3390/SU13052525

Notas: ISI