generated under different operating conditions. In order to effectively implement LCA, there is a need to be more systematic about the generation and handling of data inputs and models. Improvement in the quantity and quality of data being used is necessary, and agreement on the approach used to evaluate LCA metrics (environmental indicators, impact factors, etc.) is crucial. LCA metrics should be easy to calculate with available data, useful for decision-making, reproducible, scientifically rigorous, usable at multiple scales of analysis, and extendable with improved understanding.27

Toxicology. At the foundation of improved life cycle and chemistry tools is the development of methods to supply toxicity data on chemicals and chemical mixtures. Computational toxicology and QSAR (Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship) analysis will be significantly involved in generating such data, which will also need to be compiled in centralized and accessible databases.

Data Compilation, Management, and Collaboration. There is a need to create a network system of all upstream, lateral, and downstream channels that will enable exchanges between different companies and different countries. Ideally, one end-of-line material will serve as a feedstock supply to another activity to create a chain of supply. Close partnership and collaboration between subcontractors of services, suppliers of materials, clients, and authorities should be identified, encouraged, and demonstrated with concrete actions such as sharing of databases and related scientific resources. It is crucial that closely related aspects of chemical safety and environmental impacts are approached more consistently and managed in all developed countries.


Schwarz et al. 2002. Use of Sustainability Metrics to Guide Decision-Making. Chem. Eng. Prog. 98(7):58.

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