Title: Research Needs and Challenges from Science to Decision Support. Lesson Learnt from the Development of the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Recommendations for Life Cycle Impact Assessment
Authors: SALA SERENELLAPANT RanaHAUSCHILD MichaelPENNINGTON David
Citation: Sustainability vol. 4 no. 7 p. 1412-1425
Publisher: MDPI AG, Open Access Publishing
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC69900
ISSN: 2071-1050
URI: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/4/7/1412
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC69900
DOI: 10.3390/su4071412
Type: Articles in Journals
Abstract: Environmental implications of the whole supply-chain of products, both goods and services, their use, and waste management, i.e. their entire life cycle from "cradle to grave" have to be considered to achieve more sustainable production and consumption patterns. Progress toward environmental sustainability requires enhancing the methodologies for environmental integrated assessment and promoting their use in different domains. In the context of Life Cycle Assessment of products, in the last years, several methodologies have been developed for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and some efforts have been made towards their harmonisation. In this context, the Joint research centre (JRC) of the European Commission led a “science to decision support” process which resulted in the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook. The Handbook provides guidelines to methods and assessments to assess emissions into air, water and soil, as well as the natural resources consumed in terms of their contributions to different impacts on human health, natural environment, and availability of resources. Those guidelines come from a comprehensive process of selection of methods based on a set of scientific and stakeholder acceptance criteria and involving experts, advisory groups and the public. In this “from science to decision support” process a number of research needs, critical issues and challenges for LCIA emerged and are presented here as a basis for development, both in terms of comprehensiveness of the impact coverage and of the further mainstreaming of sustainability concept.
JRC Institute:Institute for Environment and Sustainability

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