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Discussion Forum on Life Cycle Assessment (DF72)

Normalization and weighting. The forgotten theme in LCA


ETH Zürich, Alumni (GEP) Pavillon



Dr. Niels Jungbluth, ESU-services GmbH
Dr. Andreas Roesch, Agroscope

Datum / Zeiten
08:30 - 16:45

Sprache Englisch


To draw the correct conclusions from LCA results can be a challenging task due to both the complexity of systems and the variety of environmental impacts that can lead to different results. Many LCA practitioners seek help in interpreting diverging results in different impact categories. However, considering that ISO standards do not declare normalization, weighting and grouping as compulsory, comparatively little scientific research on these steps is available. 

This DF will show the present state of normalization and weighting in LCA. The statements in ISO 14040 are taken as baseline, concerning e.g. internal and external reference points and hints on interpretation. 

A discussion of different weighting methods should shed more light on the uncertainties and differences of various monetary and non-monetary approaches (e.g. transparency, completeness, applicability). And how useful is the concept of the carrying capacity resp. planetary boundaries for aggregating indicator scores in this context?

In summary, the DF aims at a critical discussion and review of the available methods for normalization, grouping and weighting and seeks to demonstrate how the relevant information can be communicated to different types of stakeholders.