congresos y reuniones científicas
Social Life Cycle Assessment of Brick Production in El Algarrobal, Mendoza, Argentina: Preliminary Selection of Indicators
Conferencia; Vth International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment, CILCA2013; 2013
Institución organizadora:
Universidad Tecnológica Nacional
Purpose. Mendoza´s brick making industry, comprising mainly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has its center in El Algarrobal, in the district of Las Heras, where about 220 kilns are registered, although there are a significant number of illegal furnaces. Brick production is manual and labor-intensive, using very little mechanization, and is highly informal from the legal, environmental and commercial points of view. Most of the people working in the brickyards are illegal immigrants who live in isolated communities. This study is part of a comprehensive project intended to assess the lifecycle sustainability of the handmade brick industry and aims at identifying the most appropriate socio-economic indicators for the estimation of the potential social impact of the activity in the region considered. This paper presents the preliminary results of the selection of indicators process. Methods. The selection of social indicators was conducted following the guidelines suggested by UNEP-SETAC 2009 and on the basis of the Millennium Development Goals: a) definition of the objective and scope of the study and the limits of the system considered, b) the inventory was made with data collected in the field and secondary data provided by various institutions, c) during the impact assessment stage, type I categories -as suggested by UNEP-SETAC (2009)- were taken into account. Also some associated subcategories and socioeconomic indicators were selected to measure the impact on each of them. Results. Among the suggested categories, the following were selected: working conditions, socio-economic impact, human rights and health and safety. The subcategories were classified according to impact and interest group. Finally, two additive and five descriptive indicators were selected. Conclusions. On the basis of the results obtained, we identified socio-economic indicators which in our opinion could better weigh the impact of the brick production in El Algarrobal, given the information we had. However, these indicators can be corroborated or further defined in subsequent studies or by means of supplementary information pathways. These indicators may be expected to contribute to identify opportunities for improvement in handmade brick production, such as the incorporation of workers and their families into the formal labor and trade systems.