Workshop 06: Requirements of lifecycle assessments for complex digital services in business practice

Workshop Chair: Daniel Wurm

Co-Moderators: Bastian Bach, Ulrike Dowie

Workshop Description:

The diffusion of new technology fields such as artificial intelligence, internet of things or distributed ledger brings about a broad landscape of complex digital services. Their environmental risks and opportunities are yet to be explored. Today, lifecycle assessments of digital services challenges practitioners in tech companies. Dynamically changing layers of infrastructure, data and software need to be considered and deeply integrated service-oriented architectures hinder clear attribution of environmental impacts. Focusing on industrial digital services, we conducted several interviews with LCA experts in the field of digitalization and validated results with the Siemens AG using the real-life use case of “AIVI: Artificial Intelligence-powered Visual Inspection” in an edge-computing set up. In our workshop, we would like to address one major shortcoming we identified: Missing inventory data for digital services in existing databases like ecoinvent. Our goal is to elaborate how practitioners could produce, store and utilize such data independently. In the workshop, we will introduce how digital services are developed as a baseline for a common discussion with participating interdisciplinary experts combining experiences from various fields. The result will be a set of cornerstones on process steps, data handling logics and resources (software, skills,…) needed to collect internal and external inventory data and drive lifecycle analyses of complex or even simple digital services.

Keywords: Assessment Methodology, Digital Services, Business Practice, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things

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