The ''virtual pollution prevention costs '99''. A single LCA-based indicator for emissions
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 5, 2000
A new calculation model for interpreting the results of LCA (life cycle assessment) was derived that is based on a single indicator for emissions. The model must be easily explainable to non-specialists and the model must be transparent to experts. A model based on the marginal prevention costs seems to give the best fit to the two criteria. These marginal prevention costs were assessed for seven types of emission effect (biological, chemical or physical) on the basis of prevention measures that are based on readily available technology. It has to be checked whether the set of measures is sufficient to reach a sustainable level of emissions. Based on West Europe current price levels, the effect of the measures were calculated for the Netherlands as a region of acidification, eutrophication, summer smog, winter smog, heavy metals and global warming by CO2 emissons. Furthermore, it was checked how the assumptions are related to the emission targets of the Dutch goverment, and it was discussed how this data may relate to other regions in the world. A data set was proposed to be applied as marginal prevention costs. The Virtual Pollution Prevention Costs '99 was proposed as a single indicator for emissions, summing up the marginal prevention costs of all classes of emissions. The model presented does not deal with local health and safety issues and issues related with the conservation of nature.