Attributional and consequential LCA in the ILCD handbook

  • Tomas Ekvall
  • Adisa Azapagic
  • Göran Finnveden
  • Tomas Rydberg
  • Bo P. Weidema
  • Alessandra Zamagni
COMMENTARY AND DISCUSSION ARTICLE

DOI: 10.1007/s11367-015-1026-0

Cite this article as:
Ekvall, T., Azapagic, A., Finnveden, G. et al. Int J Life Cycle Assess (2016) 21: 293. doi:10.1007/s11367-015-1026-0

Abstract

Purpose

This discussion article aims to highlight two problematic aspects in the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook: its guidance to the choice between attributional and consequential modeling and to the choice between average and marginal data as input to the life cycle inventory (LCI) analysis.

Methods

We analyze the ILCD guidance by comparing different statements in the handbook with each other and with previous research in this area.

Results and discussion

We find that the ILCD handbook is internally inconsistent when it comes to recommendations on how to choose between attributional and consequential modeling. We also find that the handbook is inconsistent with much of previous research in this matter, and also in the recommendations on how to choose between average and marginal data in the LCI.

Conclusions

Because of the inconsistencies in the ILCD handbook, we recommend that the handbook be revised.

Keywords

Attributional LCAAverage dataConsequential LCAILCD handbookLife cycle inventory analysisMarginal dataReview

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomas Ekvall
    • 1
  • Adisa Azapagic
    • 2
  • Göran Finnveden
    • 3
  • Tomas Rydberg
    • 1
  • Bo P. Weidema
    • 4
  • Alessandra Zamagni
    • 5
  1. 1.IVL Swedish Environmental Research InstituteGöteborgSweden
  2. 2.The University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  3. 3.KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  5. 5.EcoinnovazionePonte San NicolòItaly