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An integrated approach for the consideration of uncertainty in decision making supported by Life Cycle Assessment

Basson, L and Petrie, JG An integrated approach for the consideration of uncertainty in decision making supported by Life Cycle Assessment Environmental Modelling and Software, 22 (2). pp. 167-176.

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This paper presents an approach for the integrated consideration of both technical and valuation uncertainties during decision making supported by environmental performance information based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Key elements of this approach include “distinguishability analysis” to determine whether the uncertainty in the performance information is likely to make it impossible to distinguish between the activities under consideration, and the use of a multivariate statistical analysis approach, called principal components analysis (PCA), which facilitates the rapid analysis of large numbers of parallel sets of results, and enables the identification of choices that lead to similar and/or opposite evaluations of activities. The integrated approach for the management of uncertainty is demonstrated for a technology selection decision for the recommissioning of a coal-based power station. The results of the case study decision suggest that stakeholder involvement in preference modelling is important, and that the “encoding” of value judgements and preferences into LCA environmental performance information is to be avoided. The approach presented in this paper provides a foundation for the consideration of the implications of diversity in values and preferences as part of an overall approach to promote effective decision making based on LCA environmental performance information. However, the approach is more universally applicable – it can be used wherever multiple criteria decision analysis is used to assist in the resolution of complex decision situations.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Petrie, JG
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 11:43
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 21:08

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