Environmental impact EN 15804 +A2

Description of the environmental impact categories in EPDs. The table for environmental impacts describes the environmental profile of the produt based on 7 indicators.

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GWP – Global Warming Potential:

Klimagasser bidrar til global oppvarming. Menneskelig aktivitet øker konsentrasjonen av klimagasser i atmosfæren. For å kunne sammenligne klimagassenes oppvarmingseffekt, har forskerne kommet fram til en måleenhet som kalles globalt oppvarmingspotensial. GWP angir akkumulert oppvarmingseffekt i forhold til CO2 over et valgt tidsrom.
Vanligvis brukes 100-års tidshorisont og enhetene omtales som CO2-ekvivalenter  [Kilde: Miljødirektoratet].

GWP er delt i 4 ulike indikatorer, GWP Total, GWP Fossil, GWP Biogenic og GWP Luluc

GWP Total – summen av fossil, biogenic og luluc

GWP Fossil – GWP -fossil indikatoren tar hensyn til GWP for klimagassutslipp og binding i alle medier som følge av oksidasjon eller reduksjon av fossilt brensel eller fossile karbonholdige stoffer (f.eks. Forbrenning, deponi, etc.). Denne indikatoren inkluderer også binding eller utslipp av klimagasser i uorganiske materialer (f.eks. Kalsinering, karbonering av sement- eller kalkbaserte byggematerialer).

GWP Biogenic – biogent CO2 lagret i produktet/materialet.

Negativt = lagret i produktet
Positivt = utslipp som følge av nedbryting/forbrenning

GWP-biogenic  indikerer mengden CO2 som absorberes fra atmosfæren under veksten av biomasse og bindes over materialets levetid, samt biogent utslipp til luft gjennom oksidasjon eller nedbrytning av biomasse (f.eks. forbrenning). Overføringer av biogent karbon fra tidligere produktsystemer til produktsystemet som er undersøkt eller overganger til påfølgende produktsystemer (f.eks. vedgjenvinning) vil også bli tatt i betraktning.

Opptak av biogent CO2 til biomasse og overganger fra tidligere produktsystemer skal i livssyklusvurderingen presenteres som negativ verdi (-1 kg CO2-ekv./kg CO2), utslipp av biogen CO2 fra biomasse og overganger fra biomasse til påfølgende produktsystemer skal karakteriseres som en positiv verdi (+1 kg CO2-ekv./kg CO2).

GWP Luluc – landbruk og landbruks endringer

GWP luluc er indikatoren for klimagassutslipp og bindinger (CO2, CO og CH4) som oppstår i forbindelse med endringer i spesifisert karbonlager som følge av arealbruk og arealbruksendring.

Noen vanlige utslipp av gasser som kan bidra til GWP er gitt i tabellen under.

Utslipp Kjemisk formel Omregningsfaktor (IPCC 2007) Enhet Typisk utslipp fra:
Karbondioksid CO2 1

kg COeq. / kg

  • Forbrenning av kull, olje og gass
  • Fra kalkstein i sementproduksjon
Metan CH4 36,75 kg COeq. / kg
  • Fra uttak av kull
  • Raping fra drøvtyggere
  • Forråtnelse på fylling
  • Drenering av myrer/uttak av torv
Lystgass N2O 298 kg COeq. / kg
  • Gjødsel på jord
  • Forbrenningsprosesser

ODP – Stratospheric ozone depletion (ozone layer)

Ozone depletion potential

The ozone layer, is the altitude range in the atmosphere where one finds a significant concentration
of ozone, and where this gas plays a significant role in regulating radiation
from the sun.

Halogen radicals such as atomic chlorine, Cl, and bromine, Br, are highly reactive and contribute
for ozone depletion. The same goes for natural sources such as microbiological processes
and combustion processes on Earth. Potential for degradation of stratospheric
ozone is expressed in kg CFC-11 equivalents in EPD.

AP– Acidification

Acidifikation potentional

The environmental impact, Acidification, is a measure of potential contribution to increased acidity from various sources. Acidification occurs due to, for example, air pollution, acid rain and emissions of ammonia from agriculture. Acidification is known to damage lakes and rivers with lethal effects on algae, fish and microorganisms, but also terrestrial organisms such as plants and animals can be damaged. Almost all plant species have a defined optimal level of acidity. A large deviation from this level is harmful.

Acidic precipitation can dissolve important nutrients such as potassium and calcium, making them less accessible to plants. It can also dissolve and increase the availability of toxic metals such as aluminum and mercury.

Several substances can contribute to acidification. Here, too, a factor is used that describes how much the substances can contribute in relation to a reference substance. Acidification is measured in kg SOequivalents. Three important emissions that can contribute to acidification are given in the table below.

Acidifying emissions Chemical formula Conversion factor Unit Important sources
Sulfur dioxide SO2 1,2 kg SOeq. / kg Combustion of heavy fuel oils
Sulfur emissions from the industry
Ammonia NH3 1.6 kg SOeq. / kg From the industry
From algiculture
Nitrogen oxide NOx 0.76 kg SOeq. / kg From combustion of fuel
From biomass (plants)
Different series of different production processes

EP – Eutrophication potential

Eutrophication potential

Eutrophication is increased plant production caused by increased supply of nutrients. Eutrophication leads to an increase in the primary production of planktonic algae in the summer, often with mass blooms of some species, and subsequent loss of oxygen at the bottom where the biomass decomposes. Oxygen depletion in the groundwater can lead to further release of nutrients from the sediments, accumulated over a long period of time through natural processes.

EP is divided into 3 different indicators, EP Freshwater, EP Marine, EP Terrestrial.

EP-FreshWater – Eutrophication freshwater
Unit = kg P -eq

Eutrophication potential, fraction of nutrients reaching freshwater end compartment.

EP-Marine – Eutrofiering potensial i havet
Unit = kg N -eq
EFor marine ecosystems, aquatic eutrophication through the entry of nitrogen (N) compounds via air and water is decisive.

EP-Terrestrial – Eutrofiering av jordsmonnet (terrestrisk)
Unit = mol N eq.

For terrestrial eutrophication the inputs of nitrogen via the air in the form of ammonia (NH3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are decisive. EN 15804 + A2 prescribes the “Accumulated Exceedance” method for the “Eutrophobic Potential – Land”. This method quantifies the area on which the carrying capacity of the ecosystems is exceeded and the extent of the exceedance.

Three important emissions that can contribute to acidification are given in the table below.

Emissions that can contribute to Eutrophication Chemical formula Conversion factor Unit Important sources
Phosphate PO43- 1 kg PO43- eq/ kg Use of fertilizers and detergents containing phosphates
Wastewater from households, the food industry, the fruit and vegetable industry
and paper production.
Phosphorus P 3.06 kg PO43- eq/ kg From the industry
From agriculture
Nitrogen N 0.42 kg PO43- eq/ kg Use of fertilizers and detergents containing phosphates
From industrial wastewater in the food industry
From combustion processes in power plants and transport


POCP – Photochemical oxidation

Photochemical ozone creation potential

Photochemical oxidation is a form of air pollution that can occur in the lower air layers when organic substances (NMVOC: Non methane volatile organic compounds) and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere react chemically with each other due to solar radiation. This is what we often call smog.

The air’s content of oxidizing substances, or oxidants, is often used as a measure of photochemical smog. There are a number of oxidants, but it is common to relate the amounts according to the potential impact of ozone (O). Potential for photochemical oxidation is expressed by kg CH-eqv in EPD.

 ADP-fossil andADP-minerals&metals

Consumption of non-biological resources

Abiotic depletion potential for fossil resources, Abiotic depletion potential for non fossil.

The availability of useful resources in the world is limited. Therefore, the consumption of resources is an important indicator of the sustainability of a product or system. Both mineral and energy resources can be measured in an LCA. The effect is known as Abiotic Depletion Potential (ADP).

A distinction is made between minerals and energy resources. In the environmental category for mineral consumption (ADPM), all limited resources are calculated according to how rare Antimony is. The result in this environmental category is stated in antimony equivalents (Sb-eq).

Consumption of fossil energy resources is expressed as ADPE. Included fossil resources in the category are oil, natural gas, coal and peat. ADPE quantifies the total potential direct and indirect consumption of energy resources used both as
energy carrier and as a raw material for the product system. MJ fossil fuels are used as a unit for the indicator. This category does not include the consumption of renewable energy resources.


WDP – Water use – Water deprivation potential (AWARE – Avaliable Water Remaining)

Unit = m3 of the worlds available water remaining deprived.


Additional environmental impacts

PM – Particulate Matter Emissions

Unit = Disease incidence

IRP – Ionizing readition – human health

Unit = kgBq U235 eq

This impact category deals mainly with the eventual impact of low dose ionizing radiation on human health of the nuclear fuel cycle. It does not consider effects due to possible nuclear accidents, occupational exposure nor due to radioactive waste disposal in underground facilities. Potential ionizing radiation from the soil, from radon and from some construction materials is also not measured by this indicator.


ETP-fw – Ecotoxicity– freshwater

Unit = CTUe (Comparative Toxit Unit ecosystems)

HTP-c – Human toxicity – carcinogenic

Unit = CTUh (Comparative Toxit Unit humans)

HTP-nc – Human toxicity – non carcinogenic

Unit = CTUh (Comparative Toxit Unit humans)

SQP – Soil Quality

Unit = dimensionless (Pt)

The results of these environmental indicator shall be used with care as the uncertainties on these results are high or as there is limited experienced with the indicator.


Consumption of resources

The resource use table describes the consumption of resources to which the product contributes, based on 10 indicators:


Use of renewable primary energy excluding renewable primary energy resources used as raw materials.


 Use of renewable primary energy resources used as raw materials


Total use of renewable primary energy resources.
Sum of PERE and REPM


Non renewable primary energy resources used as energy carrier.


Non renewable primary energy resources used as materials.


Total use of non renewable primary energy resources.
Sum of PENRE and PENRM.


Use of secondary materials.


Use of renewable secondary fuels.


Use of non renewable secondary fuels.


Use of net fresh water.



The table for waste describes which fractions of waste occur in the product system, based on 3 indicators:


The table for waste describes which fractions of waste occur in the product system, based on 3 indicators.


Hazardous waste disposed.


Non hazardous waste disposed.


Radioactive waste disposed.

Remember that the waste may have arisen in processes in raw material production. Radioactive waste, among other things, is normally linked to the production on electricity because the electricy mix contains some nuclear power.


Outgoing flows

The table for outgoing flows describes useful currents assumes product system, based on five indicators:    


Components for reuse.


Materials for recycling.


Materials for energy recovery.


Exported electric energy.


Exported energy thermal.