Natural resources as an area of protection in LCA - outcomes of the discussion by the working group on resources within the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative

T. Sonderegger, Peter Fantke, J. Dewulf, Stephan Pfister, F. Stoessel, Francesca Verones, M. Vieira, B.P. Weidema

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    Abstract

    The topic of resources as an area of protection (AoP) in life cycle assessment
    (LCA) is being discussed within an expert group under the umbrella of the Life
    Cycle Initiative by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the
    Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). The AoP ‘Natural Resources’ is neither well defined nor agreed upon. Furthermore, there is
    currently no life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) method available that is able to
    consist ently assess impacts at midpoint and endpoint level across different
    resource categories (minerals/metals and fossil fuels, water, land/soil, biotic
    resources like wild plants and animals). Definitions and categorizations of natural resources differ and there is no agreement on what methods should be considered midpoint or endpoint methods because there is no agreement (at midpoint and endpoint) on what impact should be assessed (is it reduced vailability, is it depletion, is it increased energy use or costs due to future resource extraction, etc.?). The merit of this working group is the broad analysis of available methods considering different resources and their integrated discussion according to the methods’ underlying principles (e.g. use-to-availability ratios, backup technology approaches, etc.). This is the basis on which recommendations for best practice with existing methods and indications for further research and development will be given. At the time of the SETAC 2016 conference, the group should have these recommendations ready.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting : Environmental contaminants from land to sea: continuities and interface in environmental toxicology and chemistry
    Publication date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventSETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting: Environmental contaminants from land to sea: continuities and interface in environmental toxicology and chemistry - La Cite Nantes Congress Center, Nantes, France
    Duration: 22 May 201626 May 2016
    Conference number: 22
    http://nantes.setac.eu/nantes/home//?contentid=851

    Conference

    ConferenceSETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting
    Number22
    LocationLa Cite Nantes Congress Center
    CountryFrance
    CityNantes
    Period22/05/201626/05/2016
    Internet address

    Cite this

    Sonderegger, T., Fantke, P., Dewulf, J., Pfister, S., Stoessel, F., Verones, F., Vieira, M., & Weidema, B. P. (2016). Natural resources as an area of protection in LCA - outcomes of the discussion by the working group on resources within the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. In SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting: Environmental contaminants from land to sea: continuities and interface in environmental toxicology and chemistry