What is impact assessment and how do we address it in biodiversity?
This page is still under construction.
When we perform LCA, we use something called impact assessment to transform activities into impacts. To do so, we use impact assessment methods. These methods contain a lot of information about how polluting or toxic a substance can be for the environment if it is emitted to a certain compartment (such us a lake, a river, the air, the ocean, or the soil). Different methods can consider different impact pathways. However, traditionally, we consider that impacts can have effects (in other words, cause damage) in three environmental areas. These areas are so-called endpoints, and they are human health, use of resources and ecosystems. When we perform a biodiversity analysis, we only use the part of the impact assessment methods that is referred to the ecosystem quality. This usually include well-known categories such as global warming, freshwater ecotoxicity, etc. There are many impact assessment methods that can be used to assess the damage (or benefit) in biodiversity. Some of the most common ones are ReCiPe, the Environmental Footprint Method, or Impact World +. In order to use these methods, we select only the categories that refer to the ecosystem quality (thus, we exclude the impacts on human health and the use and consumption of resources), and we usually run our calculations in a software for environmental assessment like SimaPro.
PRé Sustainability Stationsplein 121 3818 LE Amersfoort The Netherlands All Rights Reserved.