Social Life Cycle Assessment of Biomass Projects Focusing on Employment Changes in Regions
Aya HEIHO, Hiroki HONDO, Yue MORIIZUMI
The objective of the present study is to propose a method based on a life cycle approach for assessing direct and indirect employment effects induced by the implementation of a biomass project. The proposed method divides Japan into three regions, namely, the project spot (i.e. the region where a biomass project is actually done), the nearby region and the distant region, to estimate the increase/decrease in employment in the above three regions. A hybrid method that combines process and input-output analysis is used for estimating direct and indirect employment. As a result of applying the proposed method to a small-scale biogas project in Hokkaido, Japan, the increase in indirect employment outside the project spot was larger than the increase in direct employment in the project spot. Moreover, it was clarified that increased employment in the distant region (outside of Hokkaido) resulting from equipment maintenance/repair and fuel production can be moved to the nearby region (inside of Hokkaido) by using local businesses and a wide-range cooperation. The method proposed in the present study allows for an appropriate understanding of the employment effect of a project and a successful design and/or improvement of a project for the region and/or Japan.
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