Posted on by Achim D. Brucker, licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0.

Secure Life Cycle Assessment in Complex Supply Chains

The environmental impact of products becomes an increasingly important factor in buying decisions of customers, moreover, is also a growing concern of lawmakers. Hence, companies have an increased interest in determining the ecological footprint of their products. A standardized method for computing the ecological footprint of a product is life-cycle assessment (LCA).

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a technique that evaluates the ecological sustainability of a product or service in a quantitative way. LCA requires exhaustive and comprehensible information about industrial activities to make an accurate evaluation. LCA relies on a variety of data about the production and delivery processes of the partners within a supply chain. As this data can reveal, e.g., trade secrets, it is often classified as confidential. Moreover, the collaborations within a supply chain can reveal business relationships within a supply chain, which can be confidential in themselves. As a result, security and confidentially concerns are currently hindering both the collaboration within supply chains and the timely and precise LCA.

On the 9th of June 2020, Sakine gave her first presentation at the NeGIS 2020 Workshops. In her presentation, she presented an approach for LCA that ensures the confidentiality of data (e.g., information about details of production processes) and meta-data (e.g., supplier-consumer relationships). One of the core ideas is the decomposition of LCA into “levels”, which allows for applying secure multi-party computation (SMPC) efficiently, enabling close-to real time LCA in complex supply chains.

Supplementary Material