Towards harmonizing natural resources as an area of protection in life cycle impact assessment

Sonderegger T, Dewulf J, Fantke P, de Souza D M, Pfister S, Stoessel F, Verones F, Vieira M, Weidema B P, Hellweg S (2017)

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The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 22(12):1912–1927

Excerpts from abstract

In this paper, we summarize the discussion and present the findings of an expert group effort under the umbrella of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Life Cycle Initiative proposing natural resources as an Area of Protection (AoP) in Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA).

As a first step, natural resources have been defined for the LCA context with reference to the overall UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) framework. Second, existing LCIA methods have been reviewed and discussed. The reviewed methods have been evaluated according to the considered type of natural resources and their underlying principles followed (use-to-availability ratios, backup technology approaches, or thermodynamic accounting methods).

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