Towards inclusion of Biodiversity in Life Cycle Assessment
Licentiate thesis, 2020
This thesis aims at contributing to improved methodology for assessing the impacts of land use and land use change on terrestrial biodiversity in LCA. Particular attention is given to what is needed to enable more societally and ecologically relevant assessments of impacts on biodiversity and how biodiversity indicators can be developed that quantify impacts on biodiversity accordingly. The results show that in current life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) models, the use of so-called baseline references dominates, implicitly striving for ‘naturalness’ and how this contrasts the aim of biodiversity conservation frameworks. Furthermore, it is discussed how inclusion of genetic attributes could increase the relevance of current assessments and it is tested how LCIA modelers could make use of genetic data generated by metabarcoding approaches of environmental DNA.
Recommendations given include the development of reference situations in LCIA models based on biodiversity targets aligned with society’s conservation frameworks. This means that impact on biodiversity will be defined as a distance to a target measure, rather than impact on the ‘natural’. In addition, next steps are identified that are needed to include genetic biodiversity metrics in LCIA models.
Life Cycle Assessment
Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis
Reference situations for biodiversity in life cycle assessments: conceptual bridging between LCA and conservation biology
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment,; Vol. 24(2019)p. 1631-1642
Vrasdonk, E., Ritter, C.D., Palme, U., Tillman, A.M., Antonelli, A. Genetic diversity indicators in Life Cycle Assessment: a pilot study
Bio-LCA: Biodiversity indicators in life cycle assessments in forestry and agriculture
Formas, 2015-01-01 -- 2018-01-01.
Licentiate thesis, report - Department of Technology of Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology: technical report no L2020:121
Chalmers University of Technology
Slottsskogen, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8, Chalmers
Opponent: dr Ottar Michelsen, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway