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Vazquez-Rowe I.,Public Research Center Henri Tudor Resource Center for Environmental Technologies | Vazquez-Rowe I.,Catholic University of Peru | Benetto E.,Catholic University of Peru
Marine Policy | Year: 2014

Attributional LCA, which monitors specific production systems in steady state conditions, is increasingly used in fisheries to assess the environmental profile of fleets and seafood supply chains. However, this approach is not pertinent to assess the environmental consequences of (large scale) policies. In contrast, consequential LCA (CLCA) has been successfully implemented in other sectors to assess the expected changes in environmental impacts of a given production system and other (marginal) production systems that may be affected in response to changes driven by policy or strategic decisions. CLCA commonly combines LCA with economic models to simulate the interactions occurring between the analysed systems. However, the use of these models may not be the most appropriate approach to follow for fisheries. Hence, it seems feasible that CLCA should be combined with stock prediction tools rather than with economic models, to determine how changes in stock sizes and quota restrictions may cause variations in the environmental impact of fishing fleets. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Rugani B.,Public Research Center Henri Tudor Resource Center for Environmental Technologies | Benetto E.,Public Research Center Henri Tudor Resource Center for Environmental Technologies
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2012

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a widely recognized, multicriteria and standardized tool for environmental assessment of products and processes. As an independent evaluation method, emergy assessment has shown to be a promising and relatively novel tool. The technique has gained wide recognition in the past decade but still faces methodological difficulties which prevent it from being accepted by a broader stakeholder community. This review aims to elucidate the fundamental requirements to possibly improve the Emergy evaluation by using LCA. Despite its capability to compare the amount of resources embodied in production systems, Emergy suffers from its vague accounting procedures and lacks accuracy, reproducibility, and completeness. An improvement of Emergy evaluations can be achieved via (1) technical implementation of Emergy algebra in the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI); (2) selection of consistent Unit Emergy Values (UEVs) as characterization factors for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA); and (3) expansion of the LCI system boundaries to include supporting systems usually considered by Emergy but excluded in LCA (e.g., ecosystem services and human labor). Whereas Emergy rules must be adapted to life-cycle structures, LCA should enlarge its inventory to give Emergy a broader computational framework. The matrix inversion principle used for LCAs is also proposed as an alternative to consistently account for a large number of resource UEVs. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Arbault D.,Public Research Center Henri Tudor Resource Center for Environmental Technologies | Arbault D.,National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse | Arbault D.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Arbault D.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 9 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

Despite the increasing awareness of our dependence on Ecosystem Services (ES), Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) does not explicitly and fully assess the damages caused by human activities on ES generation. Recent improvements in LCIA focus on specific cause-effect chains, mainly related to land use changes, leading to Characterization Factors (CFs) at the midpoint assessment level. However, despite the complexity and temporal dynamics of ES, current LCIA approaches consider the environmental mechanisms underneath ES to be independent from each other and devoid of dynamic character, leading to constant CFs whose representativeness is debatable. This paper takes a step forward and is aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of using an integrated earth system dynamic modeling perspective to retrieve time- and scenario-dependent CFs that consider the complex interlinkages between natural processes delivering ES. The GUMBO (Global Unified Metamodel of the Biosphere) model is used to quantify changes in ES production in physical terms - leading to midpoint CFs - and changes in human welfare indicators, which are considered here as endpoint CFs. The interpretation of the obtained results highlights the key methodological challenges to be solved to consider this approach as a robust alternative to the mainstream rationale currently adopted in LCIA. Further research should focus on increasing the granularity of environmental interventions in the modeling tools to match current standards in LCA and on adapting the conceptual approach to a spatially-explicit integrated model. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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