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Other publication (non peer-review)

Book Student Thesis: A Social Life Cycle Analysis in the Subproject 1
Publisher ZHAW, Winterthur

Abstract

The subproject 1 is one part of the national research program NFP 70 “energy turnaround”. Goal of this project is to research about catalysts, which can be used for the methanation of carbon dioxide from the cement industry with help of hydrogen. The research institute is the EMPA in Dübendorf and at the moment the investigated catalyst is nickel. Goal of this study was to find a method, which can estimate the impacts of a process or a product on social conditions. That means positive and negative impacts. Afterwards, this method should be directly applied to the subproject 1. Basis of the developed method were mainly two documents: the UNEP document about social Life Cycle Assessment and the document about the Social Compatibility Analysis. A flow chart was drawn including these methods and under support of the Institute of Sustainable Development at the ZHAW in Winterthur, Switzerland. The complete subproject 1 was investigated and its value chain was drawn. Because it would have gone beyond the scope of this study a prioritization was made and therefore just the value chain of nickel investigated. In that case the countries Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Indonesia, Madagascar, Philippines, Russia, USA and Switzerland were analysed with reference to the social conditions. A relevance analysis was conducted with an online tool which is called the Social Hotspot Database. This showed first evidence about the social hotspots in the analysed countries. After that the results were compared with the ones of Switzerland. This was called the Performance Reference Points Analysis. This enabled to find the possibly best value chain referring to social conditions. The social conditions in Canada, Switzerland and the USA are good. This would be the best value chain, if the nickel passes these countries. All other countries showed worse results, especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Madagascar. The developed method used in this study proved to be suitable to find first evidence about social hotspots in the investigated subproject 1. But the results are more like a pilot study. More researches should be conducted, which would go in detail. After that an absolute conclusion of a social Life Cycle Analysis would be possible.
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