Abstract for:Integrating Life Cycle Analysis into System Dynamics: The Case of Steel in Europe

This paper uses the European steel industry as a case study to explore the potential benefits of integrating Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) into System Dynamics (SD) under the scopes of Circular Economy and Industrial Ecology. The study’s aim is twofold: to assess whether or not such an integration can replicate existing literature’s results generated independently by LCA and SD, as well as to verify if this integration could provide additional benefits for decision-making on environmental matters. To do so, first, relevant literature was brought forward and both LCA and SD were subjected to a SWOT analysis. Then, a model representative of the European steel industry’s supply chain was built modularly in the Stella Architect software. In addition to the base run, three more simulation runs were performed by the model, always using data collected following LCA guidelines from ILCD and ISO. Results indicate that integrating LCA into SD is feasible and capable of not only replicating independently generated results, but also of contributing to both SD and LCA in different levels. The authors believe that this approach has potential to interest policy-makers who seek more granularity and industrial decision-makers searching for a broader understanding of their operation.