Life Cycle Impact Assessment Programme

Life Cycle Impact Assesment Programme was one of the four programmes of the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative.

Aims of the Life Cycle Impact Assessment Programme

What are the impacts to consider and how should this be done?
The Life Cycle Impact Assessment programme refers to the third phase of LCA and dealt with the evaluation of environmental impacts, (e.g. climate change and toxicity) of products and services over their whole life cycle. The aim of the LCIA programme was to increase the quality and global reach of the life cycle indicators by promoting the exchange of views among experts. Its specific aims were:

  • To identify user needs for Life Cycle Impact Assessment
  • To provide a clear picture of the impact categories, including different impacts than the one typically applied in “OECD country LCAs”, like e.g. erosion or biodiversity
  • To provide guidelines for the starting points, the decision-making framework and guidelines for the identification of recommended practice
  • To identify case studies, and industrial partners, to test and improve the method feasibility
  • To identify the links with the LCI and LCM programmes, including the relation of LCIA to indicators, which also include the economical and social dimensions of sustainability

Deliverables

LCIA Task Forces

The following four Task Forces (TFs) were established under the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) Programme:

  1. LCIA information system (LCIA TF 1)

    Towards the enhancement of the availability of sound LCIA data and methods, this Task Force aimed to develop an LCIA information system and to finalize and extend the general framework.

  2. Natural resources and land use (LCIA TF 2)

    This task force aimed at establishing recommended practice and guidance for natural resources and land use categories, i.e.: water resources, minerals resources, energy carriers, soil resources and erosion, land use, salinisation and desiccation and biotic resources. It addressed both midpoint categories and their relation to damage categories such as the biotic and abiotic natural environment.

  3. Toxicity impacts (LCIA TF 3)

    Identification and quantification of impacts on human health and on ecosystems linked to the use and emissions of toxic substances were of central importance to the development of sustainable technology. On the one hand, the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative made use of significant recent progress in LCIA of toxics. On the other hand, several crucial shortages of present methodologies were addressed to enable a proper interpretation of LCI results. Interaction with emerging public substance databases (like REACH of the EU) were of high interest on the application side.

  4. Transboundary impacts (LCIA TF 4)

    This task force aimed at establishing recommended practice and guidance for use in transboundary categories, i.e: climate change, ozone depletion, aquatic and terrestrial eutrophication and acidification. Photooxidant formation and respiratory inorganics (Primary and secondary particles) were coordinated with Task Force 3. The task force addressed midpoint categories and their relation to damage categories human health and biotic natural environment in a consistent way with Task Force 3. Specific challenges for each impact category were defined in the LCIA definition study document.

Linkage with the LCI and LCM programmes were ensured.

Life Cycle Impact Assessment Programme

Life Cycle Impact Assesment Programme was one of the four programmes of the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative.

Aims of the Life Cycle Impact Assessment Programme

What are the impacts to consider and how should this be done?
The Life Cycle Impact Assessment programme refers to the third phase of LCA and dealt with the evaluation of environmental impacts, (e.g. climate change and toxicity) of products and services over their whole life cycle. The aim of the LCIA programme was to increase the quality and global reach of the life cycle indicators by promoting the exchange of views among experts. Its specific aims were:

  • To identify user needs for Life Cycle Impact Assessment
  • To provide a clear picture of the impact categories, including different impacts than the one typically applied in “OECD country LCAs”, like e.g. erosion or biodiversity
  • To provide guidelines for the starting points, the decision-making framework and guidelines for the identification of recommended practice
  • To identify case studies, and industrial partners, to test and improve the method feasibility
  • To identify the links with the LCI and LCM programmes, including the relation of LCIA to indicators, which also include the economical and social dimensions of sustainability

Deliverables

LCIA Task Forces

The following four Task Forces (TFs) were established under the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) Programme:

  1. LCIA information system (LCIA TF 1)

    Towards the enhancement of the availability of sound LCIA data and methods, this Task Force aimed to develop an LCIA information system and to finalize and extend the general framework.

  2. Natural resources and land use (LCIA TF 2)

    This task force aimed at establishing recommended practice and guidance for natural resources and land use categories, i.e.: water resources, minerals resources, energy carriers, soil resources and erosion, land use, salinisation and desiccation and biotic resources. It addressed both midpoint categories and their relation to damage categories such as the biotic and abiotic natural environment.

  3. Toxicity impacts (LCIA TF 3)

    Identification and quantification of impacts on human health and on ecosystems linked to the use and emissions of toxic substances were of central importance to the development of sustainable technology. On the one hand, the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative made use of significant recent progress in LCIA of toxics. On the other hand, several crucial shortages of present methodologies were addressed to enable a proper interpretation of LCI results. Interaction with emerging public substance databases (like REACH of the EU) were of high interest on the application side.

  4. Transboundary impacts (LCIA TF 4)

    This task force aimed at establishing recommended practice and guidance for use in transboundary categories, i.e: climate change, ozone depletion, aquatic and terrestrial eutrophication and acidification. Photooxidant formation and respiratory inorganics (Primary and secondary particles) were coordinated with Task Force 3. The task force addressed midpoint categories and their relation to damage categories human health and biotic natural environment in a consistent way with Task Force 3. Specific challenges for each impact category were defined in the LCIA definition study document.

Linkage with the LCI and LCM programmes were ensured.