The methodology developed to evaluate the sustainability of railway projects,
unifies the indicators chosen in the three pillars of sustainability (environmental,
social and economic). Thus, LIFE HUELLAS tool facilitates
the understanding of the results of sustainability evaluation of different
Economic factor of sustainability is not included in this calculator because it
depends directly on company costs.
Stages developed in the LIFE HUELLAS project:
The Decision Tree is the hierarchical ordering of selected
sustainability issues (criteria, sub-criteria and their respective
For each indicator, a value function is defined associating each indicator
as a value in the range [0, 100], corresponding respectively to minimum
and maximum satisfaction.
For "Job Creation" indicator, the maximum value has been determined
studying working hours/km ratio on reference projects.
The function's Max Value is the largest value of reference
projects, multiplied by a safety factor.
It should be mentioned that this value function is inverse to the
others, because the more working hours, the greater satisfaction
gained (greater job creation).
In multi-criteria decision making it is usual that some aspects are
more relevant than others. The weight measures the
relative importance of different aspects.
Weights assignment has been performed by branch, i.e. comparing homogeneous
aspects. Thus, indicators weight are calculated related to others
belonging to the same criteria.
Values established by the
EPA-TRACI (Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical
and Other Environmental Impacts),
developed by the
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency of United States)
have been taken as a reference, due to its international
In the context of LIFE HUELLAS project,
such values have been adapted to project objectives, giving
more relevance to water footprint derived impact.
The use of
QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Years)
as weighting method involves the use of their relationship
with Social Life Cycle Assessment, so it has been discarded,
trying to maintain independently social and environmental assessments.
However, the aspects considered for evaluation (severity and duration
of effects) have been considered by the LIFE HUELLAS
team as a neutral factors and allowing a weighting based
on the actual effects on each country for each of the subcategories.
Therefore, the project has developed its own assessment method,
inspired by the factors affecting the QALY, which includes
three factors: severity, duration of
effect and data variability.
Each of these three factors has been evaluated for each subcategory
with three ranges of effects: positive,
neutral and negative.
LIFE HUELLAS tries to obtain impact values
in a simple way and without additional data introduction by
users. Therefore, socio-demographic data for the above indicators,
classified by country, have been associated with a profile
on products and manufactured goods used in the construction.
Every social indicator combines the impact of the national
and import shares on material or manufactured product. To
this end, each
TARIC (Integrated Tariff of the European Communities) code
has been associated an import profile based on percentages
of origin of each of the countries based on data obtained from
The social indicator by TARIC code only has a social panorama
for imported material or manufactured goods. However, some
of the material or manufactured product will also have a
A series of broad groups of products with relevant projects
presence have been established, allowing the user a quick
way to give a profile of product national vs. imported volume.
The categories for the materials of project unit items are:
the user can indicate a percentage of national origin, except
for the National category (which correspond with
e.g. water, whose origin is always considered
Copyright(©) 2015 LIFE HUELLAS Consortium
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
LCA, Environmental Footprints and Intelligent Analysis for the Rail Infrastructure Construction Sector (LIFE HUELLAS)
Start Date: 01/10/2013
End Date: 31/03/2018
Proof of concept developed by Fundación CARTIF
Images courtesy of:
Icons courtesy of:
Parque Tecnológico de Boecillo, parcela 205 - 47151 Boecillo (Valladolid)