Life Cycle Assessment of Digital Goods

  • Typ:Bachelor's thesis
  • Betreuer:

    Niklas Letmathe

  • Zusatzfeld:


  • Rapidly advancing digitalization and technical developments in the Information and Communication Sector (ICT) require new methods for assessing the environmental impact of goods, networks, and services. A recognized method for environmental impact assessment of products throughout the life cycle is the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This systematic literature review explores how LCA has been established in the ICT sector so far, which unique methodologies exist, and which challenges specific to the ICT sector arise. By analyzing a sample of 37 papers, we observed a focus on end user equipment like smartphones rather than customer premise equipment, such as Wi-Fi-routers, along with a notable scarcity of literature addressing ICT networks. Regarding ICT services, we observed the growing importance of user behavior and its integration into LCA methodology. Our analysis demonstrates that LCA can be adapted and integrated with various research methodologies, as evidenced by user behavior modeling. Finally, the review identifies the three main challenges in integrating the unique characteristics of ICT technologies in LCAs: data aggregation, allocation of resources, and the integration of indirect effects.