CSIRO explores life cycle based social impacts
The CSIRO Process Evaluation Team generally publishes articles on life cycle based environmental impacts of mineral and metals. Recently our LCA Team purchased social hotspot database to use within SimaPro LCA software environment to generate social impact profiles for the purchase of a product or group of products by an organisation from different source countries.
The Team has applied this for identifying the exposure of social impact indicators for an organisation (e.g. CSIRO) by their supply chain. For example, for a product the overall score if purchased from Country A would be 100, Country B would be 150, Country C is only 3. However, one individual indicator may be better in Country B compared with Country A. The implications of this result are not to stop purchasing from one country against other but to educate the producers and suppliers how to improve on a particular indicator or a set of indicators for them prioritised based on social hotspot analysis. In addition, the other purpose is to find out and assess where the organisations sit in terms of their overall social impact risk profile and how they can engage with their suppliers to improve the overall environmental and social performance of the products or purchase. Schematically this methodology is shown in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Social impact profile evaluation method employed for a product or an organisation