Integrating life cycle assessment into simulation-based decision support

Sammanfattning: Increasing marketing and legislative requirements put heavy demands on the environmental performance of future transportation solutions. The resulting need to reduce total environmental impacts presents both challenges and opportunities to the transport sector as a whole, including the automotive industry. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is commonly used to evaluate environmental performance in the automotive industry. However, the static nature of LCAlimits its usefulness for capturing dynamic environmental consequences in the manufacturing and operational phase. This thesis proposes a simulation-based approach to LCA that addresses this problem. Selected real-world case studies demonstrate the potential of the approach in both vehicle production processes and end-user applications. The work was preceded by a comprehensive review of the potential benefits and challenges of using simulation-based LCA in production processes. This review laid the foundation for the development and implementation of this method inthe automotive industry. Two real-world case studies demonstrate its value. The first was a waste collection case study in which LCA was integrated in an existing simulation-based decision support tool to optimize the company’s activities froma life cycle environmental impact perspective. A simultaneously developed simulation-based LCA model of an iron foundry production line extended the applicability of the method with a proposed decision support interpretation approach. The study shows that data and information from both simulation model and LCA databases can be integrated and utilized in the developed simulation-based LCA method. This allows different systems with different configurations to be combined to assess the relevant parameters, and eventually to provide information about overall environmental impacts to decision makers to improvethe environmental sustainability of the automotive industry.