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Open AccessArticle

Measuring Product Material Footprint as New Life Cycle Impact Assessment Method: Indicators and Abiotic Characterization Factors

Center for Environmental Systems Research, University of Kassel, 34117 Kassel, Germany
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Resources 2019, 8(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020061
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
The global economy is using growing amounts of natural resources such as raw materials, water, and land by making and using goods, services, and infrastructure. Aspirations on international, regional, and national levels e.g., the Sustainable Development Goals, the EU flagship initiative Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe or the German Program for Resource Efficiency are showing an urgent need to bring the global raw material use down to sustainable levels. An essential prerequisite to identify resource efficient options and to implement resource efficiency measures and solutions is the ability to compare different products or services regarding their raw material use. Until today, there is no internationally standardized approach defined and no software supported calculation method including the necessary data basis available to measure the raw material intensity of products. A new life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) method Product Material Footprint PMF is described. Two indicators are used to quantify the PMF: the Raw Material Input RMI and the Total Material Requirement TMR. The calculation of global median values for the characterization factors CFRMI and CFTMR of abiotic materials was done based on different databases. This article presents the methodological approach of the PMF, the calculation results for CFRMI of 42 abiotic materials and CFTMR of 36 abiotic materials, and the implementation of the LCIA method into the software openLCA for use with the ecoinvent database. View Full-Text
Keywords: product material footprint; new life cycle impact assessment method; abiotic materials; raw material input; total material requirement; characterization factors product material footprint; new life cycle impact assessment method; abiotic materials; raw material input; total material requirement; characterization factors
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Mostert, C.; Bringezu, S. Measuring Product Material Footprint as New Life Cycle Impact Assessment Method: Indicators and Abiotic Characterization Factors. Resources 2019, 8, 61.

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