LANCA® - Assessing the Impact of Land Use

LANCA® - Assessing the Impact of Land Use

LANCA® (Land Use Indicator Value Calculation in Life Cycle Assessment) is a methodology for analyzing and evaluating land use throughout the life cycle of products.

For human well-being, intact ecosystem services—such as the provision of food, drinking water and the regulation of the climate—are essential. When companies seal land (by constructing a building or structure on it) or use land, it changes the natural soil function and influences the natural balance, compromising ecosystem services and ultimately endangering human welfare.

To assess the environmental impact of human-generated processes, it has become necessary to consider the effects of land use on ecosystem services.

After years of research, the University of Stuttgart, IABP and Fraunhofer IBP developed the LANCA® method, operationalizing land use impacts into global, country and region-specific characterization factors for integration into the calculation and analysis of life cycle assessments.

thinkstep has integrated these country-specific characterization factors into the GaBi software, thereby complementing the established global assessment parameters in life cycle assessment with concrete considerations of the land use impacts. So businesses can consider—much better than before—the local land conditions in life cycle assessment studies.

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Scientifc Indicators of LANCA®

LANCA® includes five "scientific indicators" that describe ecosystem services, which guarantee human well-being:

1. Erosion resistance

The capacity of the soil to counteract human-generated soil erosion. The calculation is based on RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation).

2. Mechanical Filtration

The ability of the soil to mechanically clarify soil solution (suspension). Mechanical filtration depends on soil type, pore distribution, groundwater distance and sealing.

3. Physicochemical filtration

This calculation is expressed by the ability of the soil to bind dissolved substances from the soil solution. It is based on cation exchange capacity in soil, depending on soil type, pH and sealing.

4. Groundwater regeneration:

Groundwater regeneration is the ability of soil to form groundwater. It depends on precipitation, evapotranspiration and surface runoff.

5. Biotic production

The ability of an ecosystem to produce biomass within a given period of time. Biotic production is derived from net primary production, depending on land use type.

There are 238,500 characterization factors calculated in total. By integrating these characterization factors into your life cycle assessment, you can evaluate the land use impact of the life cycle of your product.

Article on "Soil Quality Index"

LANCA® - Assessing the Impact of Land Use

Read the article "Soil quality index: Exploring options for a comprehensive assessment of land use impacts in LCA" contributed by Ulrike Bos, now Senior Consultant Content at thinkstep.

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