Mineral resources have been used by humanity since ancient times. However, the diversity of resources used has drastically increased with the growth of high technology products, especially those in sectors dealing with the environment and the energy transition. Moreover, the overall amount of extracted resources is significantly high and only rising. Some of these resources are defined as "critical" by the European Union, as they are of great importance for these economic sectors and their supply is a growing concern.
Although the environmental question of resource depletion has been widely debated within the life cycle assessment (LCA) scientific community, a clear consensus has not been reached. Combining resource depletion, resource dissipation and criticality in Life Cycle Assessment is therefore a key challenge that needs to be addressed to better assess the eco-design of future products in regard to the area of protection "Resources".
This book provides a synthesis of the main contributions presented during a workshop organized by the EcoSD network in 2020. This workshop was entitled "From depletion to resources criticity in LCA : what challenges for sustainable design ? " and aimed to address the issue of resources within the LCA framework. The workshop put in perspective the last methodological developments (in terms of both tools and methods) and the public and private stakeholder points of view through practical examples.
The workshop addressed the following key issues : What are the good practices concerning the integration of impacts on resources within the LCA framework in terms of resource depletion/ dissipation and resource criticality ? What kind of tools and methods could be used ? How can resource depletion and criticality be combined in LCA ? Is resource and criticality assessment relevant for eco-design ? How do stakeholders use resource and criticality assessments when they carry out an LCA ? Some 90 researchers from industry, academia and governmental institutions attended this EcoSD workshop.
Their goal was that this workshop serve as a catalyst for the development of closer collaboration between research and industries.