Often we think, it is only about Global Warming and Carbon-dioxide emissions, or maybe something to do with human health. Is Life cycle Assessment, as a subject that narrow? And how do we exactly assess the impact of the emissions, that is, what is the End Impact?
Actually, there exists as many as 17 indicators to indicate the damage made by emissions certain process or product. Besides GWP, these include Ozone Depletion, Eco toxicity, Water Impacts, Land Impacts, Acidifcation, and many more. Are they always negligible or do they have higher impacts for some technologies we might think to be sustainable just by assessing one impact category? Also, which end-impacts should we be really worried about?
Well, as the study of LCA evolves, so is the quest to develop one unit of measure that can weigh all the impact categories into one category, to narrow down our understanding of the impacts. This study is a compilation of such a quest by UNEP and SETAC, two of the largest institutions presently devoted to development of the LCA studies and Framework.
It is long, of course, but is a very very interesting read for anyone willing to develop LCA studies or interested to know the mechanism behind such assessments.