Towards a taxonomy for social impact pathway indicators

Weidema B P (2020)

Publication info

Pp. 11-23 in Traverso M, Petti L, Zamagni A, (eds.): Perspectives on Social LCA – Contributions from the 6th International Conference. 129 pages. SpringerBriefs in Environmental Science, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, ISBN: 978-3-030-06564-5


A conceptually complete taxonomy is proposed at three levels of the impact pathway: Elementary flows, midpoint impacts, and endpoint impacts. The completeness is ensured conceptually by including unspecified residuals and by the use of fully quantifiable indicators that can be traced from source to sink, so that completeness can be verified by input-output balances and against measured totals. Each category in the taxonomy has a definition and at the lowest level also a unit of measurement. Examples of category definitions and units are illustrated in an impact pathway model with starting point in the midpoint impact category “Undernutrition”. This model also demonstrates the role of the taxonomy in the development of characterisation factors


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