Water Footprint

Water use is an essential environmental indicator for all activities in the product life cycle. Based on the pure measure of water quantity used, the associated environmental impacts of both direct and indirect water use are of eminent importance to identify the life cycle based water footprint of corporations (see Köhler, 2008). The UNEP/SETAC Water Assessment Project Group has developed a framework for an integrated assessment of water use in corporations and product value chains (Bayart et al.,2009).

Methodologies are being elaborated for both reporting indicators of water use and the impact assessment evaluating damages on freshwater resources, ecosystems and human health. These approaches distinguish total water use, water consumption (where the water is no longer available in the watershed) and water-quality degradation (where the water is still available but with diminished quality), and are aligned with current LCA methodologies according to ISO 14040:2006.

Relevant content for water footprint

Product Environmental Footprint Training during SETAC Helsinki

Product Environmental Footprint Training during SETAC Helsinki on 26 May (registration until 8 May!) The European Commission, in collaboration with UN Environment and the Life Cycle Initiative, is organizing a free training for LCA practitioners of the PEF/OEF rules on Sunday 26th May in Helsinki, back-to-back with the SETAC Conference. Please note there is no…

Carbon and Water Footprint training courses published

Carbon and Water Footprint training courses Two new sets of training materials, covering carbon footprint and water footprint, provide an introduction to the basic concepts, as well as more advanced material fit for LCA practitioners and method developers. Consult the training materials.  

Views on Environmental Footprint: Video

Views on Environmental Footprint The Environment Directorate-General of the European Commission has produced a series of videos on Environmental Footprint featuring interviews with several experts in the field (including Llorenç Mila i Canals of UNEP and the Life Cycle Initiative). The interviews were recorded during the Mid-term Conference of the Environmental Footprint Pilot Phase (November 2015)....

Opinion paper on basic requirements for footprint indicators

Environmental Science and Technology opinion paper published Consult the opinion paper on basic requirements for footprint indicators in Environmental Science and Technology.

Two interviews with LCA practitioners

Two interviews with LCA practitioners Two interviews with life cycle assessment practitioners explain how they will use the carbon footprint and water footprint training in practice back home, as well as the benefits and prospects of working with the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. At the session in Paris held in November 2012, participants learned about environmental…


Nokia: minimizing environmental footprint Nokia aims to be a leading company in environmental performance by minimizing its environmental footprint. Nokia’s environmental work is based on life cycle thinking. This means that we aim to minimize the environmental impact of our products throughout our operations, beginning with the extraction of raw materials and ending with recycling,…