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Serenella Sala published an article in March 2018.
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Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Territorial Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): What exactly is it about? A proposal towards using a common terminology and a r... Published: 01 March 2018
Journal of Cleaner Production, doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.169
Evaluating holistically environmental impacts of land planning policies implies to take into account several aspects, intimately related both to territorial features and to production-consumption patterns, which have a specific local character and a potential impact at different scales. To address these challenges, life cycle thinking and assessment methods are crucial. Indeed, beyond the traditional application of Life Cycle Assessment as a product-oriented methodology, a new LCA-based approach called “territorial LCA” has gradually emerged to assess geographically or administratively defined systems. This paper aims to analyze how this new LCA-based approach differs from conventional LCA, highlighting main differences and added values. Territorial LCAs can be divided into two main approaches, i.e., i) type A, which focuses on the assessment of a specific activity or supply chain anchored in a given territory, and ii) type B, which attempts to assess all production and consumption activities located in a territory, including all environmental pressures embodied in trade flows with other territories. These two approaches are described and compared according to the four LCA phases to highlight differences and similarities with conventional LCA. This comparison is based on a detailed case study analysis for each territorial LCA type and it shows that most of the differences are in the goal and scope definition, especially for the territorial LCA of type B where the functional unit definition is no more the starting point of the assessment. Concerning territorial LCA of type A, there are no main divergences with conventional LCA as territorial contextualization already exists in some LCA applications, even if not systematically applied. Improvements in the application may entail a comprehensive contextualization of the four LCA phases, developing the synergies with the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) tools. Other specific challenges affecting both type A and B are related to i) territorial unique intrinsic multifunctionality determined by all human activities located within its boundaries, ii) specific territorial characteristics (i.e., spatial variability and organization), and iii) multiscale issues and the consideration of interactions between territories.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Widening the perspective in greenhouse gas emissions accounting: The way forward for supporting climate and energy polic... Published: 01 March 2018
Journal of Cleaner Production, doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.055
Article 0 Reads 1 Citation Systematic analysis of secondary life cycle inventories when modelling agricultural production: A case study for arable ... Published: 01 January 2018
Journal of Cleaner Production, doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.03.179
Analysis of agricultural production with life cycle based methodologies is data demanding. To build comprehensive life cycle inventories, secondary datasets are commonly used when primary data are not available. However, different inventory data and modelling approaches are used to populate secondary datasets, leading to different results. The present study analyses the features of twelve secondary datasets to support datasets selection and proper interpretation of results. We assess twelve datasets for arable crop production in France, as modelled in three databases often used in the LCA field (Agri-footprint, ecoinvent and AGRIBALYSE). First, we compared system boundaries and general assumptions. Second, we focused on foreground systems comparing, inventory data, data sources and modelling approaches. Third, we performed a contribution analysis of impact assessment results to identify modelling choices that contribute most to differences in the results. Nine relevant elements were identified and assessed: definition of system boundaries and modelling of agricultural practices, characteristics of inventory data, agricultural operations, fertiliser application and fate, plant protection products application and fate, heavy metals inputs to the agricultural system and fate, irrigation assumptions, land use and transformation. The datasets differ greatly with respect to these elements. Hence, recommendations are drawn from the datasets comparison, supporting the selection of the datasets coherently with the goal and scope of a study and interpretation of results.
Article 1 Read 1 Citation A proposal for integration of the ecosystem-water-food-land-energy (EWFLE) nexus concept into life cycle assessment: A s... Published: 01 January 2018
Journal of Cleaner Production, doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.05.092
Ensuring secure access to food and energy worldwide relies on win-win share of sectoral use of constrained natural resources such as land and water, taking also into account the crucial role of ecosystems and their services. The increase in global population and the related growing demand for food and other services are exerting unsustainable pressures on natural resources, compromising their use within the ecosystems’ carrying capacity. Progressively, studies and initiatives have been developed with the aim of identifying win-win share strategies, which may compensate the sectoral demands of natural resources, addressing the need of a holistic and interdisciplinary nexus approach. In this study, thus emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach and highlighting the fundamental role of ecosystems, we propose a synthesis matrix system that describes the complex and closely bound relationship between natural resources use for food (specifically water, land), energy (defined as ecosystem service flows in our matrix system) and ecosystems, along the lines of the concept of ecosystem-water-food-land-energy nexus. The synthesis matrix system could be defined for different scales, both from the global to the local scale and has been designed to include impacts and nexus with climate change. The matrix aims at integrating quantitative and qualitative aspects, which are often neglected in traditional approaches of impact assessment. The complexity of the interactions between the different components of the nexus requires relying not only on quantitative evidences but also on expert judgment. A sensitivity check has been conducted to illustrate how to verify the convergence of expert-judgment from different experts. Moreover, being the matrix meant for supporting holistic assessment of supply chain, in the present study, the integration of the matrix within life cycle assessment (LCA) is proposed. However, in order to support the analysis of interconnections among impacts, further methodological development of the LCA methods is needed. An illustrative example related to the competition for water, land and food bioenergy production is depicted. The matrices show that there are predominantly negative impacts given by sectoral uses of resources on the provision of ecosystem services, an issue that requires most focus on resource efficiency and on the environmental and economic impacts of natural resources use while reducing the trade-offs between the sectoral demands.
Article 0 Reads 1 Citation Environmental and spatial assessment for the ecodesign of a cladding system with embedded Phase Change Materials Published: 01 December 2017
Energy and Buildings, doi: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.09.011
Article 1 Read 1 Citation Ecosystem quality in LCIA: status quo, harmonization, and suggestions for the way forward Published: 27 November 2017
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, doi: 10.1007/s11367-017-1422-8