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Publication# The computational structure of environmental life cycle costing

Abstract

Existing computational methods for life cycle costing (LCC) are few and appeared inconsistent with the very definition of LCC. This article improves the common matrix-based approach in life cycle assessment as applied to LCC, correcting previous errors. Reusing a simple and hypothetical example, the authors derive the LCC from both the physical and monetary technology matrices. Accounting for the added value of all activities in the life cycle leads to a simplified computational structure for LCC. The results show that the definition of LCC and computational structure can be fully harmonized with life cycle assessments (LCAs) and simplified. In addition to eco-efficiency calculations, the vector of added values, if disaggregated over social groups, allows for distributional analysis. It is furthermore shown how LCC can account for costs shifting (economic externalities) in the same way as LCA highlights shifting of environmental externalities between different products, life cycle stages or actors. Life cycle costing as defined by the sum of the added value over the life cycle is consistent with LCA and cradle to gate assessments in particular. The authors simplified the computation of LCC with either the matrix-based approach or the added values of upstream activities as an elementary exchange vector or matrix.

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Related concepts (32)

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Ontological neighbourhood

Life-cycle assessment

Life cycle assessment or LCA (also known as life cycle analysis) is a methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life cycle of a commercial product, process, or service. For instance, in the case of a manufactured product, environmental impacts are assessed from raw material extraction and processing (cradle), through the product's manufacture, distribution and use, to the recycling or final disposal of the materials composing it (grave).

Externality

In economics, an externality or external cost is an indirect cost or benefit to an uninvolved third party that arises as an effect of another party's (or parties') activity. Externalities can be considered as unpriced goods involved in either consumer or producer market transactions. Air pollution from motor vehicles is one example. The cost of air pollution to society is not paid by either the producers or users of motorized transport to the rest of society. Water pollution from mills and factories is another example.

Matrix (mathematics)

In mathematics, a matrix (plural matrices) is a rectangular array or table of numbers, symbols, or expressions, arranged in rows and columns, which is used to represent a mathematical object or a property of such an object. For example, is a matrix with two rows and three columns. This is often referred to as a "two by three matrix", a " matrix", or a matrix of dimension . Without further specifications, matrices represent linear maps, and allow explicit computations in linear algebra.

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2019