Title: Rethinking the Area of Protection ‘Natural Resources’ in Life Cycle Assessment
Authors: DEWULF JOBENINI LORENZOMANCINI LUCIASALA SERENELLABLENGINI GIOVANNIARDENTE FULVIORECCHIONI MARCOMAES JOACHIMPANT RanaPENNINGTON David
Citation: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY vol. 49 no. 9 p. 5310-5317
Publisher: AMER CHEMICAL SOC
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC91975
ISSN: 0013-936X
URI: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b00734
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC91975
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00734
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) in classical Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) aims at analyzing potential impacts of products and services typically on three so-called Areas of Protection (AoPs): natural environment, human health and natural resources. This paper proposes an elaboration of the AoP Natural Resources. It starts with analyzing different perspectives on Natural Resources as they are somehow sandwiched in between the Natural Environment (their cradle) and the human-industrial environment (their application). Reflecting different viewpoints, five perspectives are developed with the suggestion to select three in function of classical LCA. They result in three safeguard objects: the Asset of Natural Resources, the Provisioning Capacity of Natural Resources, and the Global Functions of Natural Resources. Whereas the Provisioning capacity is fully in function of humans, the global functions go beyond provisioning as they include non-provisioning functions for humans and regulating and maintenance services for the globe as a whole, following the ecosystem services framework. A fourth and fifth safeguard object has been identified: recognizing the role Natural Resources for human welfare, either specifically in their role in supply of products and services and also more in general. But as these are far broader as they in principle should include characterization of mechanisms within the human industrial society, they are considered as objects for an integrated sustainability assessment (LCSA: Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment), i.e. incorporating social, economic and environmental issues.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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