Oiconomy Pricing

Positive Impacts


The Bonus section is not an aspect category. It can be understood as an extra stage or option in the production flow in the organization.
Organizations often provide benefits for the society. Therefore, bonus-ESCU’s are allocated for benefits, materials or activities with positive impact. They must reduce the sum of other ESCU’s and are therefore negative. Inclusion of benefits in the assessment needs to comply with strict rules in order to prevent unjustified use of Bonus-ESCU’s and greenwashing. Therefore, a study to the required criteria was conducted and published. (Croes & Vermeulen, 2020). The outcome resulted in the following criteria:

  1. Equal to other ESCU’s, Bonus-ESCU’s represent “externalities”, costs or benefits for others than the actors in the supply chain itself. Therefore, for benefits for the organization itself or its customers, no Bonus-ESCU’s are allocated. Bonus-ESCU’s may only be allocated for products and activities that the organization is not paid for. Some frequent occurring conditions and criteria are:
    1. Advertising a benefit makes the costs an internality, for which no ESCU’s can be demonstrated.
    2. R&D activities (almost) exclusively intended for environmental or social improvements are positives if the envisioned results are beneficial especially to others than those involved in the economic transaction.
    3. Products of which the utility is (almost) exclusively unburdening (e.g., solar panels) are positives. Only the capacity-raising investments (depreciation + interest) are positives, not the utility itself, unless that positive utility is free of charge. Note that for instance the utility of an electric car, measured by status is not unburdening, because its utility is driving.
  2. With a few exceptions, the Bonus-ESCU’s are equal to the demonstrable expenditures by the organization for the considered aspect.
  3. Bonus-ESCU’s are always foreground (calculated by the organization and considering the specific product.
  4. Bonus-ESCU’s must be based on demonstrable benefits and may not be based on “absence of negative impact”.
  5. Bonus-ESCU’s must consider the aspects, included in the Oiconomy Pricing Standard and the Oiconomy Pricing Tool.
  6. Employment is no reason for Bonus-ESCU’s, with the exception of secondary employment in rather closed communities in low income countries. (“secondary employment” is defined as demonstrable and defined amount of employment in the close community of the organization as a direct result of the activities of the organization).
  7. A product with evident benefits, for which the organization is paid (e.g. food, pharma, medical devices, solar panels).


The demonstrable expenditures on an external benefit


Not applicable

Background calculations

Not applicable

Foreground calculations

Expenditures are spent by the organization and usually not specifically related to one product, unless the organization only produces and sells one product. Therefore,
ESCU’s = Eb  x Tp /To,
Where Eb  is the expenditures for the benefit,  Tp  is the product turnover and To is the organization turnover.


Croes, P. R. and Vermeulen, W. J. V. (2021) ‘The Assessment of Positive Impacts in LCA in general and in Preventative Cost-based LCA in particular . A contribution to the Oiconomy Project’, Int. J. Life Cycle Assess, 2021, 26(1), pp. 143–156