Doka LCA - Ethics

Explore some obvious and less obvious remarks about my work style:
  • Completeness   Environmental impacts are often abstract or can occur in areas far off the current news agenda. I make sure that environmental impacts are made visible to all who wish to make informed choices.

  • Curiosity   Life Cycle Assessment is about exploration. I investigate a process in depth in order to show the environmental relevance of all its effects. Even effects that are thought to be negligible deserve such treatment - workload permitting. If indeed they are negligible, you then have the data to show it. If they turn out to be more relevant that previously thought, then you have learned something of value.

  • Complexity   Life Cycle Assessment is beastly complex. We look at whole product life cycles - production, use, disposal - and heed a multitude of environmental effects along the way. Streamlining such a system to some key effects is usually a bad idea. You might find that all the parts you ignored will come back to you sooner or later. Possibly your system has major burdens in places you have chosen to neglect. All this accomplishes is shifting burdens from effects one did consider to those that were not considered. This is not an effective strategy.

  • Fairness   Contrary to popular belief an LCA study is never objective or provable. Subjectivity occurs in all phases of an LCA study. In that struggle I always take the side of the environment. With precaution I strive to make sure potential burdens are not lost from view. I also make sure that all options in product comparisons are assessed fairly and not treated with favouritism.

  • Transparency   I try my best to document well how I arrive at results. Due to the complexity of most systems this often results in bulky prose of very low entertainment value. I however prefer reports that allow others to trace my steps, rather than sleek, but general, non-specific descriptions.

  • Positivity   Some people feel that pointing out burdens we humans inflict on the environment is depressing. People already have enough to worry about, so why don't I rather look at the bright side instead of doom and gloom? If merely having a positive attitude would prevent environmental damages, I'd be even more happy than I already am. I feel that anybody in a modern western society really has a comparatively very good outlook on life's possibilities. Along with a material wealth we also possess obligations to those who are less fortunate and to how we all take care of the planet.

  • Movement   For some reason I think it is peculiar that people working on environmental protection issues are flying about to international conferences and meetings on almost a weekly basis. You will scarcely find me on any scientific gatherings outside Switzerland. If I do go abroad, I try to use the railroad, and if I have to fly (like in 2000 to Helsinki) I try to prolong my stay to make the trip worthwhile also on the life-side of the balance, plus I donate to an environmental organisation in the amount of the airfare.