Unit 7: Identifying and scoping the decisions options

In recent years, there are increasing number of people focusing on the decision making process. Indeed, the decision making process is important in different fields, such as the environmental management. There are also many analytical tools for scoping decision options, such as EMS, CBA and LCA. Comparing with all the tools for scoping decision options, the cost benefits analysis is the most significant one.

The cost-benefits analysis is a method for evaluating the project by comparing the whole cost and the benefits. It looks like a kind of tool to be used in the economic fields. Actually, the function of the CBA is not only in the economic field but also in the decision making process. The CBA is usually used in the decision making process for getting the most benefits with the least costs. There are some arguments about the cost benefits analysis. The CBA are widely used in the environmental decision making process, even though there is little direct influence on decision making (Hockley, 2014). Even though there are also some limitations, such as (1) CBA is always incomplete; (2) Effect estimations are always uncertain; (3) Effects that are difficult to estimate have a relatively weak position (Mouter, et al, 2015), the CBA is still beneficial for decision making process.

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According to Sartori, D; Catalano, G; Genco, M; Pancotti, C; Sirtori, E; Vignetti, S and Bo,C, D, the CBA is significant.

For example, the CBA is used in the landfill mining and material recycling in China. Through many researches, there is a result that CBA is beneficial for the decision making.

In conclusion, cost benefits analysis is a significant tool, even though there are some disadvantages.

In addition, there are some example for the using of the cost benefits analysis.



Hockley, N 2014, Cost–benefit analysis: a decision-support tool or a venue for contesting ecosystem knowledge, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol. 32, PP. 283 – 300


Mouter, N; Annema, J, A; Wee, B 2015, Managing the insolvable limitations of cost-benefit analysis: results of an interview based study, Transportation, Vol. 42, PP. 277–302


Sartori, D; Catalano, G; Genco, M; Pancotti, C; Sirtori, E; Vignetti, S; Bo,C, D 2014, Guide to cost- benefit analysis of investment projects: Economic appraisal tool

for Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, Regional and Urban Policy,


Zhou, C; Gong, Z; Hu, J; Cao, A; Liang, H 2015, A cost-benefit analysis of landfill mining and material recycling in China, Water management, Vol. 35, PP. 191-198


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