Louisa Nickel

Title awarding university: Leibniz University Hannover

Cooperation: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade (IUW)

Title of the doctoral project: Supply Chain Assessments from a Social Impact Perspective using Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA)

Short description of the doctoral project: Theoretically, the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) framework offers the possibility to assess the impact of products and materials in all three dimensions of sustainability. Methods such as Environmental Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) are intended to provide a realistic picture of the positive and negative impacts caused by products and materials over the course of their life cycle. In practice, there is a particular lack of S-LCAs due to a variety of obstacles and methodological inconsistencies that make their application significantly more difficult. The aim of this thesis is to further develop the S-LCA methodology for automotive applications and includes the development of an indicator system, the further development of the impact calculation methodology, the use of LCA software for S-LCA (GaBi) as well as a component case study, in which generic databases such as the Social Hotspot Database (SHDB) are tested too.

The resulting methodology expands the empirical experience of S-LCAs and has the potential to facilitate decision-making in companies through a more realistic representation of positive and negative social impacts.