Kehdosta hautaan – elinkaarianalyysi ympäristöongelmien määrittäjänä

Environmental product life cycle assesment and the social shaping of environmental issues

Environmental product life cycle assessment (LCA) is an increasingly popular technique in business management and in public environmental policy. This article outlines some social constructivist perspectives on LCA. LCA can be analysed from, e.g., an "interest" or a "social resonance" perspective. However, socially deterministic perspectives seem insufficient. Although LCA techniques and results are socially constructed, they also shape the way products and environmental issues are perceived by decision-makers and the general public. As it is institutionalized, LCA organizes environmental information in a new way, and influences our conceptions of, e.g., responsibility for environmental burdens. Latour's and Callon's actor-network theory addresses the mutual shaping of society and technology. The final section of the article explores the usefulness of actor-network theory in describing the institutionalization of LCA.

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