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Launch of IMPACT World+
Date:5/21/2012

Berlin, Germany, May 21, 2012 IMPACT World+, the first worldwide regionalized life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methodology was launched today in Berlin, Germany during the 6th SETAC World Congress / SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting. The event featured the results of this innovative undertaking spearheaded by a team of leading international LCIA experts and researchers from five countries.

The production and consumption of goods and services generate significant detrimental impacts on the environment. In an era of market globalization, climate change, continued population growth and resource depletion, there is a compelling need for decision-making tools to evaluate the best environmental options. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an ISO-standardized method that assesses the potential environmental impacts of a product throughout its entire life cycle, from raw material extraction, manufacturing, distribution, use and reuse, maintenance and recycling to its final disposala cradle-to-grave approach.

The life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) phase of an LCA aims to establish the relationship between the product or service and its potential environmental impacts (e.g. climate change, toxicity, biodiversity, etc). It answers questions such as what are the potential impacts on ecosystem quality and human health of 1 kg of carbon dioxide, dioxins or NOx emissions released into the atmosphere? Which is worse? LCIA therefore makes it possible to draw conclusions on the best environmental options.

However, LCIA has come under criticism because current methodologies do not account for the spatial variability of environmental impacts, relying instead on average conditions for non-specific areas. For example, a particulate matter emission will currently be considered in the same way in the respiratory effects environmental impact category whether it is emitted in the Sahara or in the middle of Tokyo.

IMPACT World+ was designed out of the need to develop a wo
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Contact: Sandra Estrela
sandra.estrela@polymtl.ca
51-434-047-114-122
Polytechnique Montral
Source:Eurekalert

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