WE.1.B || SDG as a Basis for Sustainability Assessments of Products and Companies

Weidema, Bo

A fully quantified impact pathway framework for sustainable development is presented. The impact pathways start from Life cycle inventory (pressure) indicators at the organisational level and allows aggregation to a single endpoint measure of sustainable wellbeing. The presented framework integrates and expands the strong points of four existing indicator systems: • The triple bottom line approach is used to organise the pressure indicators for sustainable development at the organisational level. The framework includes a guide for data collection and default data sources. • The six capitals concept is used to provide an exhaustive account of impacts on both instrumental and intrinsic ‘Areas of protection’ within six clearly defined ‘Safeguard subjects’, aligned with the original UNEP/SETAC LCIA framework. • The 17 SDGs are used as an exhaustive policy framework to organise the impact pathways from pressure indicators to impacts on the Safeguard subjects, using fully quantified cause-effect relationships. All official SDG indicators are placed in relation to these impact pathways, allowing to use the framework for Life Cycle SDG Assessments. • A single endpoint measure of ‘Sustainable wellbeing’ is obtained from subjective wellbeing research, using for calibration the life satisfaction scores of the annual UN measures of subjective wellbeing and their explanatory variables of relative importance of different impacts, with Quality-Adjusted person-Life-Year (QALY) as a unit, representing equity-weighted utility (wellbeing) integrated over time. Global normalisation values are presented for each Area of Protection as well as for the 17 impact pathway groups. The framework has been developed as part of the project “Linking the UN Sustainable Development Goals to life cycle impact pathway frameworks” funded by the 2.-0 LCA SDG club and the UNEP Life Cycle Initiative.