Hotspots analysis is being used around the world to address significant sustainability challenges by helping to provide focus in an era of information overload. Case studies are provided in this document. When applied to Life Cycle Assessment, the benefits of hotspots analysis include ensuring:
- focus on priority issues (e.g., waste, water, materials of concern);
- focus on the right life cycle stage (e.g., material acquisition, manufacturing, use, end of life);
- focus on the right actors (e.g. producers, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, customers, government officials) to evaluate, influence and implement solutions;
- implications of trade-offs are understood; and,
- resources (e.g. time, money) can be effectively allocated to actions.
However, there is not currently a common global approach to hotspots analysis; nor has there been any effort to gather or share best practice among the organisations or initiatives currently developing and using these methods. Nor is there any accepted guidance on how to translate and apply the results of hotspots analysis into meaningful sustainability information and insight for use by industry, governments and other stakeholders.
This document has been prepared with the objective to produce a common methodological framework and global guidance for sustainability hotspots analysis.