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Changing from petroleum to wood-based materials: critical review of how product sustainability characteristics can be assessed and compared
- Clancy, Gunilla, Fröling, Morgan, Svanström, Magdalena
- Journal of cleaner production 2013 v.39 pp. 372-385
- development projects, ecosystem services, guidelines, hygiene, petroleum, raw materials, social impact, surveys, wood
- This paper reports on a literature survey on available approaches for the assessment of product sustainability, with a specific focus on assessing the replacement of non-renewable petroleum-based materials with renewable wood-based materials in absorbent hygiene products. The results are contrasted to needs in a specific material development project.A diverse number of methods exist that can help in assessing different product sustainability characteristics for parts of or whole product life cycles. None of the assessment methods found include guidelines for how to make a case-specific interpretation of sustainability and there is a general lack of assessment parameters that can describe considerations in the comparison between the use of wood or petroleum as main raw material. One reason for this is lack of knowledge and/or consensus on how to describe and assess impacts of land and water use, e.g. on ecosystem services, different types of resource depletion and social impacts.