Project Title: Global Guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators and Methods (GLAM)

Co-Implementing Partners: University of Michigan, Treeze, SETAC, Escola Superior de Comerç Internacional (ESCi-UPF)

Co-Funding Partners: The Life Cycle Initiative funding partners, Swiss Government, French Government, German Government, the Copper Alliance, MERA , ifu of the iPoint group, One Planet Network, Rio Tinto, ACE

Project Summary:

In 2013, the Life Cycle Initiative launched this project to enhance global consensus on environmental life cycle impact assessment indicators. The project aims to generate tangible and practical recommendations for different environmental indicators and characterization factors used in Life Cycle Impact Assessments (LCIA).

This is done in cooperation with an international expert task force who prepares recommendations on the individual topic areas. Progress is reviewed in stakeholder engagement events and expert consultation workshops. To ensure the validity of the generated guidance, participants are selected for their technical expertise as well as their geographic representation. The mix of participants consists of a balance of domain experts from five topical tracks: LCIA method developers, providers of life cycle thinking studies (primarily consultants and industry associations), and users of life cycle information, including governmental and intergovernmental organizations, government, industry, NGOs, and academics.

The different project phases provide guidance on a distinct set of indicators:

  • Phase 1 [2013-2016]: Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts, health impacts of fine particulate matter, water use related impacts – water scarcity and human health impacts, land use related impacts on biodiversity, cross-cutting issues
  • Phase 2 [2017-2019]: Acidification and eutrophication, human toxicity, natural resources – mineral primary resources, land use impacts on soil quality, ecotoxicity, cross-cutting issues
  • Phase 3 will focus on identifying scientifically robust and applicable methods and agreeing on the findings and conclusions regarding life cycle impacts of products on human health, ecosystem and natural resources or ecosystem services and, eventually on a method to consistently combine these environmental impacts into an aggregated score.

Project factsheet: coming soon

LCIA Guidance Volume 1: Download pdf

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