Social life cycle assessment (SLCA) is a newly developed concept that is used to assess the potential positive and negative social impacts of products and services. However, the existing approaches have not focused on improving social aspects in the execution of computer-aided design (CAD) software. The Idaho National Laboratory’s Materials and Fuels Complex is currently using Creo Parametric CAD software to design all experimental equipment. The purpose of this study is to conduct a socio-environmental life cycle assessment on the existing design procedures and present the findings and possible solutions to upper management. A comparison was performed to highlight the differences between the procedures. To determine the social effects, the Social Hotspots Database in OpenLCA was used in connection with a low, medium, high, and very high scale, which was used to quantify specific social categories. The social categories developed for this study include communication, rework time, time spent investigating non-normal methods of task completion, excessive working time, and social impacts of electricity usage. The environmental aspects were calculated by gathering data on carbon dioxide emissions per computer, utilizing the Creo software. The results produced through the calculations show that in all three areas of interest, the proposed approach decreased time and carbon dioxide emissions as well as an increase in employee satisfaction. Due to the virtually nonexistent SLCA studies in relation to the use of CAD software, it is anticipated that this study will provide a starting point for a more in-depth analysis of engineering departments.

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