Economical pillar of sustainability assessment on resource circulation-development and application of life cycle costing approach
HU Ming-ming1,2, ZHANG Chun-bo1,2, DONG Liang2, XIANG Peng-cheng1, ZHANG Qian3
1. School of Construction Management & Real Estate, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400045, China;
2. Institute of Environmental Sciences, Leiden University, Leiden 2300 RA, Netherlands;
3. Faculty of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia
Bridging economic and environmental system is critical for decision making on circular economy, and Sustainability Assessment, as well as Life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA), which is developed based on the Life cycle assessment (LCA). Increasing interest in sustainability related assessment and the application in resource circulation has led to the development of economic sustainability assessment tools such as Life Cycle Costing (LCC). LCC was highlighted as useful economic tool for decision-making in global studies. Due to terminological and methodological disparities in LCC itself and along with other costing tools like Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA), conceptual confusion and even misuse of LCC often happen. With this circumstance, by using the methodology of literature study and case study this article aims to unveil and clarify the vague definition of LCC and to improve practical application of LCC as well as LCSA. First of all, we reviewed relevant literature of LCC world widely and found out that with increasing environmental and societal concerns LCC evolved from financial accounting tool eventually to one pillar of LCSA. Meanwhile by applying with Citespace analysis on the progress of domestic and international LCC journal publications from 2000 to 2017 was conducted, and the results reveal that compared to domestic study international study has switched from conceptual & theoretical exploration and corporate cost control to practical optimization of specific systems. Then the three pillars of sustainability concept was visualized and analysed to illustrate the three dimensions of LCSA and its connections to LCC. The differences between alternate terms respect to LCC and between LCC and CBA are also compared. A European Union project VEEP was taken as a case study to qualitatively and quantitatively explain the boundaries of different types of LCCs from multi-actors perspectives and its analytical processes. Finally, future concerns on the prospect of LCC application in China was discussed, including expansion of applied domain, standardization, multi-methodological integration, and development of database and software.
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