Housing and mobility demands of individual households and their life cycle assessment.

Abstract

Household consumption, apart from governmental consumption, is the main driver of worldwide economy. Attached to each household purchase are economic activities along the preceding supply chain, with the associated resource use and emissions. A method to capture and assess all these resource uses and emissions is life cycle assessment. We developed a model for the life cycle assessment of housing and land-based mobility (excluding air travel) consumption of individual households a small village in Switzerland. Statistical census and dwelling register data are the foundations of the model. In a case study performed on a midsized community, we found a median value of greenhouse gas emissions of 3.12 t CO2 equiv and a mean value of 4.30 t CO2 equiv per capita and year for housing and mobility. Twenty-one percent of the households in the investigated region were responsible for 50% of the total greenhouse gas emissions, meaning that if their emissions could be halved the total emissions of the community would be reduced by 25%. Furthermore, a cluster analysis revealed that driving factors for large environmental footprints are demands of large living area heated by fossil energy carriers, as well as large demands of motorized private transportation.

Publication
Environmental Science & Technology

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