Abiotic resource use in life cycle impact assessment—Part II – Linking perspectives and modelling concepts

Starting from a lack of consensus on how to consistently assess abiotic resource use in life cycle assessment, a  structured approach was developed to enable a classification of perspectives on resource use, based on the socalled role of resources. Using this classification, this paper focusses on analysing links between perspectives and modelling concepts, i.e. the conceptual implementation. To analyse the modelling concepts for a selection of existing LCIA methods and other modelling approaches, the concept of the system model is introduced. It defines the relevant inventory flows to be assessed by the LCIA method, and, at the same time, to be considered in the characterization model, and how the flows and stocks of resources used to calculate the characterization factors are positioned in relation to environment (nature) and economy (technosphere). For consistency, they should be aligned with the position of inventory flows and, at the same time, reflect the perspective on resources taken by the method. Using this concept, we critically review a selection of methods and other modelling approaches for consistency with the perspectives on resource use, as well as for their internal consistency. As a result of the analysis, we highlight inconsistencies and discuss ways to improve links between perspectives and modelling concepts. To achieve this, the new framework can be used for the development or improvement of LCIA methods on resource use.