LC-IMPACT is a 3.5-year project and its main objective is the development and application of life cycle impact assessment methods, characterisation and normalisation factors. Impact from land use, water use, marine, mineral and fossil resource use, ecotoxicity and human toxicity, and a number of non-toxic emission-related impact categories will be considered in LC-IMPACT. First, new impact assessment methods will be developed for categories that are not (commonly) included in life cycle impact assessments and categories for which model uncertainties are very high, i.e. land use, water exploitation, resource use, and noise. Second, LC-IMPACT will provide spatially explicit characterisation factors based on global scale models for land use, water exploitation, toxicants, priority air pollutants, and nutrients. Thirdly, parameter uncertainty and value choices will be assessed for impact categories with high uncertainties involved, such as ecotoxicity and human toxicity. Fourthly, ready-to-use characterisation factors will be calculated and reported. Fifthly, normalisation factors for Europe and the world will be calculated for the impact categories included. Sixthly, the improved decision support of the new characterisation factors and normalisation factors will be demonstrated in the context of the following three case studies: i) food production (fish, tomatoes, margarine), ii) paper production and printing, and iii) automobile manufacturing and operation. Finally, verification and dissemination of the new life cycle impact assessment methods and factors will be done by a portfolio of actions, such as stakeholder consultation, a project website, workshops, course developments, and training of user groups. In short, LC-IMPACT will provide improved, globally applicable life cycle impact assessment methods, characterisation and normalisation factors, that can be readily used in the daily practice of life cycle assessment studies.
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