The European Person Equivalent: Measuring the personal environmental space

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    Abstract

    The European person equivalent (PE) is a quantification of the environmental impact caused annually by the activities of an average European. It comprises contributions to all the major environmental impacts from global to local as well as our consumption of resources. Similarly, the targeted European person equivalent is a quantification of the average person’s environmental impact in a near future according to the current politically set environmental targets. In addition to expressing the current societal priorities in pollution reduction, the targeted PE expresses the environmental space available to all of us according to the current environmental policy. Both concepts were developed in the mid-nineties for use in life cycle impact assessment to help comparisons across different environmental impact categories. Since then they have shown their value as a pedagogic tool in the presentation and interpretation of environmental impacts from all kinds of man-made activities, technologies and systems. The paper presents the determination of the person equivalents for different impact categories and consumption of resources. Its relation to the sustainability-based ecological space and its use as a common yardstick for industry in the presentation and comparison of environmental impact are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAnnual report NATO/CCMS Pilot Study, Clean Products and Processes (Phase I). Report no. 242. U.S. En
    Place of PublicationCincinnati, OH
    PublisherUnited States Environmental Protection Agency
    Publication date2001
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    EventNATO/CCMS Pilot Study Clean Products and Processes - Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 7 May 200012 May 2000

    Conference

    ConferenceNATO/CCMS Pilot Study Clean Products and Processes
    CountryDenmark
    CityCopenhagen
    Period07/05/200012/05/2000

    Keywords

    • European Person Equivalent
    • European person equivalent - LCA

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