Quantifying energy use, carbon dioxide emission, and other environmental loads from island tourism based on a life cycle assessment approach

Nae Wen Kuo, Pei Hun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Citations (Scopus)


The main purpose of industrial ecology is to evaluate and minimize impacts from economic activities of human society. Tourism as one economic activity, results in a full range of environmental impacts, but few applications of industrial ecology to tourism management have previously been discussed. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used in this research to explore environmental impacts of island tourism, and then the environmental loads per tourist per trip can be found. Penghu Island in Taiwan is taken as an example to examine this new approach. Various environmental loads in transportation, accommodation, and recreation activity sector are all inventoried and calculated here. In summary, per tourist per trip uses 1606 MJ of energy, 607 L of water, and emits 109,034 g of CO2, 2660 g of CO, 597 g of HC, 70 g of NOx. In addition, per tourist per trip also discharges 416 L of wastewater, 83.1 g of BOD, and 1.95 g of solid waste. In terms of energy use, the transportation consumes the largest energy (67%); in particular, the airplane sector. Moreover, per Penghu tourist results in more environmental loads than local people; for example, the amount of solid waste discharge per tourist is 1.95 kg per day, while that of per local people is 1.18 kg. Finally, the advantages and limitations of such LCA approach are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1324-1330
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct 1



  • CO emissions
  • Environmental loads
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management

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