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Keywords:

  • dashboard of sustainability;
  • indicator;
  • industrial ecology;
  • life cycle sustainability assessment;
  • policy instrument;
  • stakeholders

Summary

One method to assess the sustainability performance of products is life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA), which assesses product performance considering the environmental, economic, and social dimensions of the life cycle. The results of LCSA can be used to compare different products or to support decision making toward sustainable production and consumption. In both cases, LCSA results could be too disaggregated and consequently too difficult to understand and interpret by decision makers. As non-experts are usually the target audience of experts and scientists, and are also involved in decision-making processes, the necessity for a straightforward but comprehensive presentation of LCSA results is becoming strategically important.

The implementation of the dashboard of sustainability proposed in this article offers a possible solution. An outstanding characteristic of the dashboard of sustainability is the communicability of the results by means of a graphical representation (a cartogram), characterized by a suitable chromatic scale and ranking score.

The integration of LCSA and the dashboard of sustainability into a so-called Life Cycle Sustainability Dashboard (LCSD) is described here. The first application of LCSD to a group of hard floor coverings is presented to show the applicability and limitations of the methodology.