DecisionTogether ©: Integrating Life Cycle Assessment and Multicriteria Decision Analysis to Engage Diverse Stakeholders in Environmental Decision-making
GARDINER, ANDREA C
Environmental decision making is difficult and complex, especially in the planning stages of a project. There are a variety of perspectives, data limitations, and uncertainties that hinder the ability to frame and evaluate an environmental system. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) integration provides a means to develop system boundaries, to evaluate environmental impacts, and to rank priorities and alternatives. Yet, the use of LCA is limited by the inability to fully characterize a system in the preliminary project phase. Streamlined Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) can be used in the place of a Full LCA to help create environmental system boundaries and evaluate environmental impacts. SLCA can be integrated with the MCDA methodology of the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to allow for environmental impacts to be considered with other pertinent criteria, such as economics, public acceptance, technical feasibility, and regulatory acceptance. The integrated methodology is called DecisionTogether©. To test the DecisionTogether© methodology, an example case was developed to evaluate end of life municipal solid waste systems (MSW) for Metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee. Twenty-one stakeholders representing various sectors involved in the disposal and management of MSW participated in the DecisionTogether© elicitation.