Article thumbnail

A review of LCA assessments of forest-based bioeconomy products and processes under an ecosystem services perspective

By Dalia D'amato, Marco Gaio and Elena Semenzin

Abstract

The emergence of politically driven bioeconomy strategies worldwide calls for considering the ecological issues associated with bio-based products. Traditionally, life cycle analysis (LCA) approaches are key tools used to assess impacts through product life cycles, but they present limitations regarding the accounting of multiple ecosystem service-related issues, at both the land-use and supply chain levels. Based on a systematic review of empirical articles, this study provides insights on using LCA assessments to account for ecosystem service-related impacts in the context of bioeconomy activities. We address the following research questions: what is the state of the art of the literature performing LCA assessments of forest-based bioeconomy activities, including the temporal distribution, the geographic areas and products/processes at study, and the approaches and methods used? 2. Which impacts and related midpoints are considered by the reviewed studies and what types of ecosystem service- related information do they bear? Out of over 600 articles found through the Scopus search, 155 were deemed relevant for the review. The literature focuses on North-America and Europe. Most of the articles assessed the environmental impact of lower-value biomass uses. Climate change was assessed in over 90% of the studies, while issues related to ozone, eutrophication, human toxicity, resource depletion, acidification, and environmental toxicity were assessed in 40% to 60% of the studies. While the impact categories accounted for in the reviewed LCA studies bear information relevant to certain provisioning and regulating services, several ecosystem services (especially cultural ones) remain unaccounted for. The implications of our study are relevant for professionals working in the ecosystem services, circular bioeconomy, and/or LCA communities. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V

Topics: 4112 Forestry, 511 Economics, ELCA, LCC, LCSA, SLCA, Natural capital, Sustainability transformations, LIFE-CYCLE ASSESSMENT, IMPACTS, ECONOMY, GREEN, SUSTAINABILITY, CLASSIFICATION, BIODIVERSITY, MANAGEMENT, COMPANIES, PROMISE
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2020
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135859
OAI identifier: oai:helda.helsinki.fi:10138/310525
Journal:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scit... (external link)
  • http://hdl.handle.net/10138/31... (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.