Title: Global normalisation factors for the Environmental Footprint and Life Cycle Assessment
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC109878
ISBN: 978-92-79-77214-6 (print)
978-92-79-77213-9 (pdf)
ISSN: 1018-5593 (print)
1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 28984 EN
OP KJ-NA-28984-EN-C (print)
OP KJ-NA-28984-EN-N (online)
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC109878
DOI: 10.2760/88930
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: This report quantitatively characterizes environmental impacts at global scale in relation to the 16 impact categories of the Environmental Footprint (EF) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), namely: climate change; ozone depletion; human toxicity, cancer; human toxicity, non-cancer; freshwater ecotoxicity; particulate matter; ionising radiation; photochemical ozone formation; acidification; eutrophication, terrestrial; eutrophication, marine; eutrophication, freshwater; land use; water use; resource use, fossils and resource use, minerals and metals. The results are recommended to be used as normalisation factors (NFs) in the context of the Environmental Footprint (EF) for assessing the relevance of the impacts associated to a product or system. In LCA, according to ISO 14044 (ISO 2006), normalisation (similar to weighting) is an optional steps of Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA). The normalisation factors represent the total impact of a reference region for a certain impact category (e.g. climate change, eutrophication, etc.) in a reference year. For the EF, due to the international nature of supply chains, the use of global normalisation factors is recommended. Normalisation has a relevant role to play in the Environmental Footprint to support the identification of the most relevant impact categories, life cycle stages, process and resource consumptions or emissions to ensure that the focus is put on those aspects that matter the most and for communication purposes. The global normalisation factors reported here are built on a vast collection of data on emissions and resources extracted at global scale in 2010. Key choices were made for compiling the inventories, which were then characterised by using the EF midpoint LCIA method. The results are reported for each impact category. Coverage, completeness and robustness of the underpinning inventories are discussed. With this, the report supports the generation of life cycle based indicators for monitoring the environmental dimension of the sustainability of supply chains, including contributions to global environmental impacts in relation to planetary boundaries. This in turn enables a life cycle based assessment of the sustainability of the intensification of primary production for a greening EU economy.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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