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Life Cycle Assessment of Forest Products: Challenges and Solutions
RISE, SP – Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut, SP Hållbar Samhällsbyggnad.
2016 (English)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Reducing environmental degradation and our dependency of finite resources are important motivations for developing a more bio-based society. In such a society, the most abundant renewable resource on the planet – forest biomass – will play a much more prominent role than in our current fossil-based society. To guide this transformation and obtain the potential environmental benefits of a more bio-based society, there is a need for high-quality, context-adapted environmental assessments.

Different types of environmental assessments are needed for decision-making concerned with different types of entities: sites, products, organisations, industry sectors, regions, nations, etc. For studies of products and services, life cycle assessment (LCA) is the most commonly used assessment tool worldwide. LCA is capable of assessing a wide range of environmental impacts over the entire life cycle of products and services, from resource extraction (the “cradle”), via production, transportation and use, to waste management (the “grave”).

Although there is an array of useful consensus documents guiding the LCA practitioner – the 14040/14044 International Organisation for Standardisation’s (ISO) standard, the EN 16760 standard, the international reference life cycle data system (ILCD) handbook, the product environmental footprint (PEF) guide, to name a few – it can be rather challenging to carry out an LCA. Key challenges include the modelling of the product system and its interaction with the environment, the translation of emissions and resource use into quantified environmental impacts, and the interpretation and use of the results in various contexts. For example, how should one allocate environmental impacts between the many outputs of a biorefinery? How can one assess the climate, biodiversity and water cycle impacts of forestry operations? How can one get the most out of LCA in research and development projects? What do LCA results say in relation to the global challenges, for example as expressed by the planetary boundaries?

The purpose of this book, belonging to the series “SpringerBriefs in Biobased Polymers”, is to provide an introduction to some of the key challenges of carrying out LCAs of forest products, and to suggest some means for handling them. The book can function as a gateway into the literature on LCA of forest products, as it is rich with references to technical reports and scientific papers. The book is written primarily for LCA practitioners with some previous experience of LCA work, but also less experienced LCA practitioners and others interested in environmental aspects of forests products – such as decision makers confronted with LCA results – can hopefully find it interesting and useful.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer International Publishing , 2016. , 74 p.
Series
SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science, ISSN 2191-5407
Keyword [en]
LCA, Impact assessment, Wood, Biodiversity, Water use, Land use, Climate change, Allocation, Scenario analysis, Planetary boundaries, Quantitative risk assessment, QRA, Life cycle sustainability assessment, LCSA, Social life cycle assessment, SLCA, Life cycle costing, LCC, Methodology, Toxicity, Carbon balance, Climate impact, Indirect land use change, ILUC, Consequential, Attributional, Carbon footprint, Life cycle inventory analysis, Life cycle impact assessment, Interpretation
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-28175DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-44027-9ISBN: 978-3-319-44027-9 (electronic)ISBN: 978-3-319-44026-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-28175DiVA: diva2:1074003
Available from: 2017-02-14 Created: 2017-02-14 Last updated: 2017-02-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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