Market information in life cycle assessment

Weidema B P (2003)

Publication info

Copenhagen: Danish Environmental Protection Agency. (Environmental Project no. 863)

Excerpts from Introduction

This report provides the background for the two guidelines “The product,
functional unit, and reference flows in LCA” (Weidema et al. 2003a) and
“Geographical, technological and temporal delimitation in LCA” (Weidema
2003). It provides further documentation of the examples provided in these
guidelines, as well as additional examples, further explanatory text, scientific
background and reference to earlier methodological guidelines. It also expands
on specific issues, which were not found to be of sufficient general interest to
merit inclusion in the guidelines.

This report and the two guidelines that it supports, carry two key messages:

1. The fundamental rule to apply in all methodological choices in life cycle
assessment is that the data used must reflect as far as possible the processes
actually affected as a consequence of the decision that the specific life cycle
assessment is intended to support. Thus, there is a close link between the goal
or application area of the life cycle assessment and the methodological
choices. This is elaborated in section 1.1.

2. Life cycle assessments, insofar as they deal with comparing potential
choices between alternative products, rely heavily on market information, i.e.
information on how the market affects the potential choices and how the
markets will react to these choices.

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