Universiteit Leiden

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Expanding the coverage of ecosystem services in life cycle assessment: an interdisciplinary venture

To contribute to the body of knowledge aiming at a better coverage of ecosystem service assessment in LCA studies, this thesis dives into the challenges of incorporating existing ecosystem service methods within the impact assessment phase of the conventional LCA framework.

E. Migoni Alejandre
05 oktober 2023
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Through this thesis, we present an overview of ecosystem service categories that could represent an optimal coverage for their inclusion in LCA, and provide a clear example on how to overcome the challenges of characterizing key environmental impacts that are otherwise missing or misrepresented in LCA results and that influence the quality and supply of ecosystem services. We demonstrate the approach proposed with the development of readily applicable CFs that will allow future LCA studies to account for land use impacts on pollinator abundance, and provide further evidence on the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration as a way to strengthen our capacity to estimate anthropogenic impacts, with the use of expert elicitation methods as a valuable tool to fill in key data gaps. Lastly, we recommend to continue efforts towards an overarching archetype classification that can facilitate the inclusion of multiple biogeographical and socio-economic factors for the identification of representative patterns, and provide input across multiple impact categories at relevant spatial scales.

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