Exploring Life Cycle Impact Assessment As A Prioritisation Strategy With a focus on climate change and mineral resource depletion in the automotive sector

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master's Thesis
Industrial ecology (MPTSE), MSc
Bunke, Vincent
Rutfjäll, Sara
With the release of the 6th assessment report from IPCC, there is a larger need than ever to invest in climate change mitigation. This can be seen in the company Aurobay which develops combustion engines primarily for Volvo Cars. Last year they conducted an LCA on the mild-hybrid VEP MP Gen3, and are now aiming to understand and quantify the impact of the emissions based on the results. This thesis explores the possibility of directly comparing the impacts of climate change and mineral resource depletion. A literature study was conducted evaluating midpoint impact categories by using the RACER criteria. Three methods suitable for climate change (IPCC, Environmental Footprint and ILCD) and mineral resource depletion (CML, Environmental Footprint and ILCD) were found during an organised workshop. The next step focused on endpoint methods, where the aim was to find two methods able to incorporate both impact categories. Contextspecific criteria were derived for this purpose. A second workshop was organised where it was decided to use Environmental Footprint and Ecological Scarcity. Normalisation approaches for the two selected endpoint categories were presented and used to calculate final scores. For climate change, yearly budgets and total budgets based on IPCC’s SSP1 scenarios 1.9 and 2.6 were used. For mineral resource depletion, yearly budget and total budget based on the different reserve estimates, ultimate, reserve base and economic reserve were used. In addition, an Aurobay approach was created, based on their sustainability targets using simple linear reduction. The results showed that the chosen normalisation reference alters the severity to a high degree where larger budgets result in lower impacts. This can also be seen in the way that there are clear budgets for climate change in contrast to mineral resource depletion where there are no such targets. It was concluded that at this stage, this should not be used as an indicator within development, more research is needed along with extensive work on other impact categories. However, this approach could be applied when comparing different substances within an impact category, if one were to use the same method and budget.
LCIA , climate change , mineral resource depletion , ADP , SSP , normalisation , engine , midpoint , endpoint , impact categories
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