How does life cycle assessment include biodiversity impacts?


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a widely use approach for quantifying environmental impacts. Basically, LCA focuses on impacts in three so called “areas of protection”, namely human health, ecosystem quality and natural resources. Impacts on “biodiversity” are covered in “ecosystem quality”. But what does “biodiversity” actually mean in the context of LCA? Which impacts can we cover in currently established models and how have they developed? And which impacts and stressors are we still missing? This talk will give a short insight into how LCA currently addresses biodiversity and which gaps remain to be filled.


Speaker summary


Francesca Verones, Professor in the Industrial Ecology Programme at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and adjunct professor at the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø.

Francesca specializes in the development of novel impacts assessment methods, mostly with a focus on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Francesca has obtained her PhD from ETH Zürich in Switzerland, a Postdoc from the Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands and is at NTNU since 2014. She has been awarded an ERC starting grant for working on impacts on marine ecosystems form plastic pollution and invasive species and she has in 2019 received the Laudise Medal of the International Society for Industrial Ecology for her outstanding achievements in industrial ecology by a researcher under the age of 36.

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