Recent developments in life cycle assessment
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2009

Life Cycle Assessment is a tool to assess the environmental impacts and resources used throughout a product's life cycle, i.e., from raw material acquisition, via production and use phases, to waste management. The methodological development in LCA has been strong, and LCA is broadly applied in practice. The aim of this paper is to provide a review of recent developments of LCA methods. The focus is on some areas where there has been an intense methodological development during the last years. We also highlight some of the emerging issues. In relation to the Goal and Scope definition we especially discuss the distinction between attributional and consequential LCA. For the Inventory Analysis, this distinction is relevant when discussing system boundaries, data collection, and allocation. Also highlighted are developments concerning databases and Input–Output and hybrid LCA. In the sections on Life Cycle Impact Assessment we discuss the characteristics of the modelling as well as some recent developments for specific impact categories and weighting. In relation to the Interpretation the focus is on uncertainty analysis. Finally, we discuss recent developments in relation to some of the strengths and weaknesses of LCA.

Life Cycle Assessment

Exergy analysis


risk assessment

Strategic environmental assessment



Ecological footprint



Göran Finnveden

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Michael Z Hauschild

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Tomas Ekvall

IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet

Jeroen Guinée

Universiteit Leiden

Reinout Heijungs

Universiteit Leiden

S. Hellweg

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)

A Koehler

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)

DW Pennington

Gemensamma forskningscentrumet (JRC), Europeiska kommissionen

S Suh

University of Minnesota

Journal of Environmental Management

0301-4797 (ISSN) 1095-8630 (eISSN)

Vol. 91 1 1-21


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