A decision-analytic approach to screening in chemical alternatives assessment

Michael D. Gerst, Melissa A. Kenney, Brett E. Howard, Robert J. Giraud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Material selection in the chemistry value chain involves consideration of many objectives, including cost, performance, health risk, and environmental impact. Alternatives assessment is an emerging tool for guiding complex decisions with respect to these goals. As a relatively new method, the process is not yet well developed, especially with respect to how trade-offs among objectives can be assessed accurately and inexpensively. Using paint strippers alternatives assessment as an illustrative example, we show how an established decision-analytic method, known as comparative screening, allows for a multistep process with gradually increasing information needs. Compared with existing methodological approaches, comparative screening instills flexible and consistent treatment of trade-offs. This is important because it maximizes the potential for a robust assessment while minimizing arduous data collection. Further, its use in the alternatives assessment process can support the selection of more sustainable materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1597-1604
Number of pages8
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was developed as part of the Sustainability and Market Outreach initiative of the American Chemistry Council (ACC); M. D. Gerst and M. A. Kenney received funding from ACC to conduct this research. The authors wish to acknowledge ACC staff and member representatives within the Sustainability and Market Outreach initiative for their input and Bryce Landenberger, Bill Carroll, and Rich Helling for providing technical and editorial input.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Business Strategy and The Environment published by ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • alternatives assessment
  • comparative screening
  • decision analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'A decision-analytic approach to screening in chemical alternatives assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this