I was happy to see our proposal to have a separate session of the scientific basis of Social LCA was accepted. I was sharing the session and made two presentations.
The purpose of this session is to enrich the scientific discussion on the Social LCA community with things we can learn from Social Science. I believe it is high time this happens as most Social LCA practitioners seem to have a technical background and apply social LCA often as just another type of LCA, which I believe, does not work, but lets start a dialogue here.
My first presentation was referring to the way we understand what we measure. Outside the LCA community, there is a broad consensus that the Capitals approach is very useful as a concept. The 5, 6 or whatever number of capitals reflect what a society, community and its members "owns" and that ownership enables well being. So a detrimental effect on one or more capitals will reduce wellbeing, and vice versa. In my presentation, I quoted some old thinkers, like Adam Smith and Carl Marx, and thinkers that followed. In the Handbook Methodology report, we used the capital thinking to determine which social topic should be part of our default list. see my presentation here.
The way we have done this is described in the Methodology Report. I would be very happy to have feedback, as I think more thinking should go into this
My second presentation was on another key element in any impact assessment method, and that is a way to understand the cause effect mechanism between data and impact. In the UNEP guidelines the so called type 1 approach is thought to be at the level of inventory and the (quantitative) Type two approach is supposed to be at the Impact level. I cannot really agree, Reporting on the level of inventory is not a clear concept when we use the widely accepted Theory of Change as the template for the cause effect mechanism. I also do not think type 2 should always be qualitative. for me the difference is to be linked to the question. companies want to understand the performance and effectiveness of their actions. For this it is not necessary to determine the impact level. the level of output is sufficient (and that is what we do in the Handbook. Society does need to understand the Impacts, but it is certainly neot necessary to express this in quantities. My thinking and presentation is here
Other great presentation in that session were from Arij Mohamad Radwan Omar Chabrawi, Ricard Arvidsson, Elisabeth Ekener and Thomas Schaubroeck. The male presenters have yet not made their presentations public.