6.6 Index

Global environmental impacts

Global warming
Global warming potential, GWP (CO2 equivalents), is a product's potential contribution to global warming in the course of its lifetime. Global warming potential is the measure of how much a given mass of greenhouse gases (e.g. CO2 and CH4) contributes to global warming. The potential of any greenhouse gas is converted to the CO2 equivalent.

Ozone Depletion
The depletion potential of the stratospheric ozone layer, ODP (kg CFC 11 equivalents), is a product's potential contribution to the breakdown of the ozone layer.


Regional environmental impacts

Acidification for soil and water
Discharge of sulphur and nitrogen causes a high degree of acidity, which induces the death of fish (acid lakes) and forest decline (acid rain). Acidification potential, AP (kg SO2 equivalents), is a product's potential to release sulphur- and nitrogen dioxides in its combustion.

Discharge of the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus from agriculture and combustion processes leads to eutrophication in lakes and seas – also known as algal blooms. The eutrophication potential, EP (kg PO4)3- equivalents, is a product's potential to cause eutrophication during its lifetime.

Photochemical ozone creation
Photochemical ozone is better known as summer smog. The photochemical ozone creation potential, POCP (kg Ethene equivalents), is the reaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sunlight.


Resource and energy consumptions

In an LCA, two types of consumption are assessed: use of abiotic resources like metals (materials) and use of fossil energy.

Depletion of abiotic resources-elements
Abiotic depletion potential ADP elements for non-fossil resources (kg Sb equivalents), refers to the consumption of primary resources such as aluminium, copper, iron or rare earth metals, a problem that is becoming increasingly global in scale.

Depletion of abiotic resources-fossil fuels
Abiotic depletion potential (ADP - fossil fuels) for fossil resources (MJ, net calorific value) refers to the consumption of fossil fuels, like natural gas and crude oil.