SENSITIVITY OF DATA

It would be foolish to underestimate the difficulty of obtaining adequate information for LCAs. Some of the reluctance on the part of companies to provide such information may be because much of it is basic economic process data, which have a certain business intelligence value. Recently, however, awareness of the potential power of environmental issues in market control has also been growing. Thus, individual companies are tempted to use legislation or public perceptions to gain commercial advantage. Perhaps more importantly, individual states have realized that so-called environmental legislation can provide powerful and seemingly innocent nontariff trade barriers.

This environment encourages looking at available data and closely reviewing LCA or impact-analysis reports. Getting firms to provide sufficient, accurate data will require either legislated mandates or strict neutrality on the part of the modeler.

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