European Journal of Wood and Wood Products

, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 251–257 | Cite as

Applying opportunity costs to correctly interpret resource efficiency in LCA studies and environmental product declarations



This paper shows that, due to the way in which Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are constructed, the global warming potential (GWP) of products made of wood or wood composites with low density (and thus low weight–light-weight design) is higher compared to wood products with a higher weight (with similar functional unit). GWP is generally regarded as a major indicator in LCA studies. The paper concludes that the underlying model used for lifecycle analysis, and therefore for EPDs, is inadequate for properly assessing the raw material efficiency of wood products and instead recommends using the opportunity costs model typically applied in economics for LCA/EPD purposes.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Knauf ConsultingBielefeldGermany

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