Consequential vs. attributional LCA

I often hear (or read) statements like “Attributional LCA is accounting for the total emissions from the processes and material flows used during the life cycle” which shows a lack of understanding for the large parts of the life cycles that are actually ignored in attributional LCA.

Attributional LCA uses normative cut-off rules and allocation to isolate the investigated product system from the rest of the World. And by this, it ignores a lot of the physical and economic causalities that are related to the life cycle of a product.

The below video (a simple slide-show) explains three of the issues that are included in consequential life cycle models, while not being included in attributional LCA (double-click for full screen mode).

For more information see: