Environmental impact assessment methods are now widely used in order to measure environmental impacts associated with human activities (for products, services, and systems). Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is without doubt the foremost assessment method. LCA is also often thought of as the more advanced one, despite serious limitations (e.g. LCA does not include properly economical or social dimensions). In this PhD report, I explore more specifically the issue of integrating time in both inventory models and impact assessments along the life-cycle. In the case of climate change, I offer an evolution of traditional LCA towards a framework that includes dynamic and cumulative aspects as expressed directly in CO2-equivalent. This approach, which is oriented towards reporting practices and/or public policies, is afterwards applied to three different case studies of growing complexity. The central hypothesis of this work is that switching from traditional to so-called “dynamic” LCA would allow for better results with regards to one reality of environmental processes.
University of Technology of Troyes