MO.1.D || Land Use and Biodiversity in Life Cycle Management

Maier, Stephanie; Horn, Rafael; Bos, Ulrike; Uusitalo, Ville

In LCA, land using activities are modelled as elementary flows in the LCI phase. The UNEP land use nomenclature is the commonly used classification and applied in the EU Environmental Footprint (EF) (Koellner et al. 2013, JRC 2011). Yet, the EF flow list has been criticized for its limited specificity for modelling land use impacts and its incapability to reflect management practices. Furthermore, the EF flows include more than 15,000 separate elementary flows which challenge LCA software solutions. The demand for a solution for a limited number of flows goes together with the need for a method to assess impacts at the levels of location, land use type, intensity and management (Maier et al. 2019). The flow nomenclature builds on Koellner et al. (2013): A set of land use type-specific management parameters is defined to characterize each land use class and derive a land use intensity gradient. Geolocation allows for the consideration of either background information or primary data-based land use intensities and management parameters using GIS. This extendible approach is able to assess a potentially infinite number of land use flows with only a defined set of land use classes. Furthermore, it allows for consistent addressing of level of detail in LCI and impact assessment, as changes in land management lead to a change in the characterization factor. We present this new methodological approach for a GIS-based analysis of land use impacts on biodiversity based on flow properties, as part of the Biodiversity Multi-Scale Assessment (BioMAss) method (Maier et al. 2019, Maier, Horn 2020), developed in the dissertation of Maier (upcoming). Land use type-specific management parameters for six land use classes are further refined and operationalized using GIS. The applicability of the GIS-based impact assessment via flow properties is demonstrated for companies to assess land use impacts on biodiversity in a fore- and background system on the example of biofuel pathways.