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Development of Environmental performance and Climate Impact indicators for the Assessment of Sustainability (DECIAS)

Project details

Status: Ongoing

Project period: 2020–2023

Principal: NILU (120009)

Coordinating institution: NILU

The DECIAS project is aimed at developing a modelling toolbox for environmental sustainability assessment based upon Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), dynamic Material Flow Analysis (MFA), and multiregional Input Output Analysis (MRIO).

The production, trade, and consumption of goods and services leads to significant impacts on the climate, environment and human health. The adoption of technological innovations or policies and measures targeting sustainable development can be aided by a systemic sustainability assessment that checks that actions are economically sound and do not come at increased environmental and social cost compared to the present situation. In fact, for many actions it is often possible to identify co-benefits across a range of economic, environmental and social indicators.

The DECIAS project aims to develop a multidisciplinary modeling framework and toolbox to better understand environmental impacts driven by economic activity and consumption. The framework will be based on Material Flow Analysis (MFA), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and multiregional Input-Output (MRIO) assessment. It captures the release of pollutants from human activities through the entire life cycle of materials, and leverages NILU’s experience in modelling pollutant transport through the environment.

Results will enable the comparative assessment of innovations, policies and measures for a transition to a green and circular economy, by estimating the associated social, environmental and climate costs and benefits.

The framework and tools will be developed through a series of case studies to test and demonstrate proof-of-concept. The project will focus on identifying impacts related to the cross-cutting topic climate-energy-land-water signified by UN SDGs 6, 7, 13, 14, 15 and relate to SDGs 3 on health and 12 on sustainable consumption and production.

Figure illustrating the life cycle
Life cycle

Updated: 14.10.2021