Lesson 8: Impact assessment methods

Explore the commonly used methods for assessing environmental impacts in Life Cycle Assessments.


  • LCA results depend on goals, scope, and chosen impact assessment methods.
  • Popular methods may vary by region, industry, and study requirements.


  1. Eco-indicator 99:
  • Covers various impact categories, including climate change, ozone depletion, and human toxicity.
  • Suitable for assessing sustainability in diverse industries.
  • Provides comprehensive insight into environmental stressors.
  1. ReCiPe (Relevance Calculation and Impact assessment of environmental indicators):
  • Wide range of impact categories, from global warming to freshwater ecotoxicity.
  • Preferred for overall environmental performance assessment, policy-making, and sustainability reporting.
  1. CML 2002 (Centre for Environmental Science):
  • Assesses environmental performance in manufacturing and energy industries.
  • Evaluates impacts related to climate change, resource depletion, and more.
  • Comprehensive assessment of potential environmental burdens.
  1. TRACI (Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other environmental Impacts):
  • Developed by the US EPA, focuses on human health and ecological risks.
  • Addresses 10 impact categories, including global warming and ecotoxicity.
  • Useful for assessing chemicals and industrial processes.
  1. IMPACT 2002+:
  • Widely used in Europe, covering major environmental impact categories.
  • Suitable for evaluating products, technologies, and policies.
  • Provides insight into human health, ecosystem quality, and climate change.


  1. Impact assessment methods are essential for evaluating LCA results.
  2. Different methods address a wide range of impact categories.
  3. Selection depends on the study’s goals and the specific requirements of the assessment.
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