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IMPACT World+: a globally regionalized life cycle impact assessment method

Abstract : Purpose This paper addresses the need for a globally regionalized method for life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), integrating multiple state-of-the-art developments as well as damages on water and carbon areas of concern within a consistent LCIA framework. This method, named IMPACT World+, is the update of the IMPACT 2002+, LUCAS, and EDIP methods. This paper first presents the IMPACT World+ novelties and results and then analyzes the spatial variability for each regionalized impact category. Methods With IMPACT World+, we propose a midpoint-damage framework with four distinct complementary viewpoints to present an LCIA profile: (1) midpoint impacts, (2) damage impacts, (3) damages on human health, ecosystem quality, and resources & ecosystem service areas of protection, and (4) damages on water and carbon areas of concerns. Most of the regional impact categories have been spatially resolved and all the long-term impact categories have been subdivided between shorter-term damages (over the 100 years after the emission) and long-term damages. The IMPACT World+ method integrates developments in the following categories, all structured according to fate (or competition/scarcity), exposure, exposure response, and severity: (a) Complementary to the global warming potential (GWP100), the IPCC Global Temperature Potentials (GTP100) are used as a proxy for climate change long-term impacts at midpoint. At damage level, shorter-term damages (over the first 100 years after emission) are also differentiated from long-term damages. (b) Marine acidification impact is based on the same fate model as climate change, combined with the H + concentration affecting 50% of the exposed species. (c) For mineral resources depletion Responsible editor: Serenella Sala Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (https://doi. impact, the material competition scarcity index is applied as a midpoint indicator. (d) Terrestrial and freshwater acidification impact assessment combines, at a resolution of 2°× 2.5°(latitude × longitude), global atmospheric source-deposition relationships with soil and water ecosystems' sensitivity. (e) Freshwater eutrophication impact is spatially assessed at a resolution grid of 0.5°× 0.5°, based on a global hydrological dataset. (f) Ecotoxicity and human toxicity impact are based on the parameterized version of USEtox for continents. We consider indoor emissions and differentiate the impacts of metals and persistent organic pollutants for the first 100 years from longer-term impacts. (g) Impacts on human health related to particulate matter formation are modeled using the USEtox regional archetypes to calculate intake fractions and epidemiologically derived exposure response factors. (h) Water consumption impacts are modeled using the consensus-based scarcity indicator AWARE as a proxy midpoint, whereas damages account for competition and adaptation capacity. (i) Impacts on ecosystem quality from land transformation and occupation are empirically characterized at the biome level. Results and discussion We analyze the magnitude of global potential damages for each impact indicator, based on an estimation of the total annual anthropogenic emissions and extractions at the global scale (i.e., Bdoing the LCA of the world^). Similarly with ReCiPe and IMPACT 2002+, IMPACT World+ finds that (a) climate change and impacts of particulate matter formation have a dominant contribution to global human health impacts whereas ionizing radiation, ozone layer depletion, and photochemical oxidant formation have a low contribution and (b) climate change and land use have a dominant contribution to global ecosystem quality impact. (c) New impact indicators introduced in IMPACT World+ and not considered in ReCiPe or IMPACT 2002+, in particular water consumption impacts on human health and the long-term impacts of marine acidification on ecosystem quality, are significant contributors to the overall global potential damage. According to the areas of concern version of IMPACT World+ applied to the total annual world emissions and extractions, damages on the water area of concern, carbon area of concern, and the remaining damages (not considered in those two areas of concern) are of the same order of magnitude, highlighting the need to consider all the impact categories. The spatial variability of human health impacts related to exposure to toxic substances and particulate matter is well reflected by using outdoor rural, outdoor urban, and indoor environment archetypes. For Bhuman toxicity cancer^impact of substances emitted to continental air, the variability between continents is of two orders of magnitude, which is substantially lower than the 13 orders of magnitude total variability across substances. For impacts of water consumption on human health, the spatial variability across extraction locations is substantially higher than the variations between different water qualities. For regionalized impact categories affecting ecosystem quality (acidification, eutrophication, and land use), the characterization factors of half of the regions (25th to 75th percentiles) are within one to two orders of magnitude and the 95th percentile within three to four orders of magnitude, which is higher than the variability between substances, highlighting the relevance of regionalizing. Conclusions IMPACT World+ provides characterization factors within a consistent impact assessment framework for all region-alized impacts at four complementary resolutions: global default, continental, country, and native (i.e., original and non-aggre-gated) resolutions. IMPACT World+ enables the practitioner to parsimoniously account for spatial variability and to identify the elementary flows to be regionalized in priority to increase the discriminating power of LCA.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 5:22:11 PM
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Cécile Bulle, Manuele Margni, Laure Patouillard, Anne-Marie Boulay, Guillaume Bourgault, et al.. IMPACT World+: a globally regionalized life cycle impact assessment method. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Springer, 2019, 24 (9), pp.1653 - 1674. ⟨10.1007/s11367-019-01583-0⟩. ⟨hal-02305112⟩