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Chainet - European network on chain analysis for environmental decision support

Analytical tools for environmental design and management in a systems perspective. The combined use of analytical tools.

1997 - 1999
Gjalt Huppes
EU Environment and Climate Programme (ENV4-CT97-0477)

CHAINET was a concerted action in the EU Environment and Climate programme (ENV4-CT97-0477). Similar to its predecessor LCANET, it was a European network which sought broad participation. CHAINET addressed the use of a variety of environmental tools. The Concerted Action commenced in December 1997 and ran for 2 years. The tasks of this Concerted Action was to set up a network linking environmental problem owners in three sectors with experts on different environmental analytical tools and interactively to write a guidebook. The guidebook provides a toolbox for chain analysis, linking demand for environmental information with supply of relevant information; as well as application of the toolbox in three different cases, indicating specific directions for design and development. 

The main objectives of CHAINET were: 

  • linking the different scientific tool communities, problem owners and stakeholders,
  • establishing a toolbox for chain analysis, linking demand for environmental information with supply of relevant information,
  • investigating how tools can be applied in three selected cases, to suggest specific directions for design and development.



Three cases were selected as useful vehicles for discussions on how tools can be applied in order to obtain information on net environmental improvements. The three cases were the supply, use and waste management chain for: 



The supply of tools and concepts providing environmental information, for decision making support, is large and diverse. Developments have taken place independent of each other; from the supply side as "tool driven". In a problem oriented approach, distinct demands for environmental information according to the different decision contexts was the starting point. A short description of the following tools is provided: 

  1. Check-lists
  2. Cost-Benefit Analysis
  3. Cumulative Energy Requirement Analysis (CERA)
  4. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  5. Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)
  6. Input-Output Analysis (IOA)
  7. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  8. Material Flow Accounting/Substance Flow Analysis (MFA-SFA)
  9. Material Intensity Analysis (MAIA)
  10. Multi-Criteria Analysis



  • The chainet book: N.Wrisberg, H.A.Udo de Haes, U.Triebswetter, P.Eder, R. Clift 
    Analytical Tools for Environmental Design and Management in a Systems Perspective. The Combined Use of Analytical Tools Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 
    Buy at Kluwer Academic Publishers | 

   Drafts of case study reports. 

Abstracts of papers incorporated into the Chainet guidebook. 


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