|Title (Primary)||A framework for implementing holistic and integrated life cycle sustainability assessment of regional bioeconomy|
|Author||Zeug, W.; Bezama, A.; Thrän, D.|
|Journal||International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment|
|Topic||T5 Future Landscapes|
Currently, social, environmental, and economic risks and chances of bioeconomy are becoming increasingly a subject of applied sustainability assessments. Based on life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) aims to combine or integrate social, environmental, and economic assessments. In order to contribute to the current early stage of LCSA development, this study seeks to identify a practical framework for integrated LCSA implementation.
We select possible indicators from existing suitable LCA and LCSA approaches as well as from the literature, and allocate them to a sustainability concept for holistic and integrated LCSA (HILCSA), based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to conduct a practical implementation of HILCSA, we choose openLCA, because it offers the best current state and most future potential for application of LCSA. Therefore, not only the capabilities of the software and databases, but also the supported methods of life cycle impact assessments (LCIA) are evaluated regarding the requirements of the indicator set and goal and scope of future case studies.
Results and discussion
This study presents an overview of available indicators and LCIAs for bioeconomy sustainability assessments as well as their link to the SDGs. We provide a practical framework for HILCSA of regional bioeconomy, which includes an indicator set for regional (product and territorial) bioeconomy assessment, applicable with current software and databases, LCIA methods and methods of normalization, weighting, and aggregation. The implementation of HILCSA in openLCA allows an integrative LCSA by conducting all steps in a single framework with harmonized, aggregated, and coherent results. HILCSA is capable of a sustainability assessment in terms of planetary boundaries, provisioning system and societal needs, as well as communication of results to different stakeholders.
Our framework is capable of compensating some deficits of S-LCA, E-LCA, and economic assessments by integration, and shows main advantages compared to additive LCSA. HILCSA is capable of addressing 15 out of 17 SDGs. It addresses open questions and significant problems of LCSAs in terms of goal and scope, LCI, LCIA, and interpretation. Furthermore, HILCSA is the first of its kind actually applicable in an existing software environment. Regional bioeconomy sustainability assessment is bridging scales of global and regional effects and can inform stakeholders comprehensively on various impacts, hotspots, trade-offs, and synergies of regional bioeconomy. However, significant research needs in LCIAs, software, and indicator development remain.
|Persistent UFZ Identifier||https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=25197|
|Zeug, W., Bezama, A., Thrän, D. (2021):
A framework for implementing holistic and integrated life cycle sustainability assessment of regional bioeconomy
Int. J. Life Cycle Assess. 26 (10), 1998 - 2023