How can we anticipate and design out environmental impacts of new technologies when they are at an early stage of development? A new issue of Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology presents cutting-edge research on the environmental assessment of emerging technologies.
Anticipating and designing out environmental impacts of new technologies when they are at an early stage of development is an important challenge in research & development. Applying life cycle assessment (LCA) early in the development of technologies – when still at lab or pilot scale – provides valuable insights about how to prioritize research activities and to potentially avoid damage to the environment. Existing LCA methods, standards, and guidelines, however, focus on the evaluation of products or processes that are already commercially established.
Life Cycle Assessment for Emerging Technologies, a special issue of Journal of Industrial Ecology , addresses this gap with cutting edge research that advances methods, tests new approaches against emerging technologies, and assesses novel technologies for transportation, infrastructure, energy and materials.