LCA in WTT and WTW: review and recommendations

LCA in WTT and WTW: review and recommendations

Attributional and consequential LCA: Methodology overview, assessment and recommendations focusing on the JEC Well-to-Tank and Well-to-Wheel reports


JEC (JRC-EUCAR-CONCAWE) is a long-standing collaboration between the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, EUCAR and CONCAWE, in order to evaluate the energy use and GHG emissions related to engine and vehicle technologies, fuel qualities, and the interaction between them. The reference work in this collaboration is the Well-to-Wheels study, assessing the energy use and GHG emissions of road fuel and powertrain configurations in Europe today and in 2030. Currently, an update on the Well-to-Tank and Wheel-to-Wheel data for different fuels is being conducted and will be published in 2020 as version v5.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) offers an established and globally standardized methodology to help quantifying the environmental impact of products, processes, and services along the supply chain by following ISO 14040/44. Over the years the classical attributional LCA was supplemented by an alternative way to model LCA systems: The consequential LCA modelling principle.

Despite the fact that the goal & scope, method and needed data of both principles are clearly separated and different, there has been a controversy between different industries, LCA experts and stakeholders with regard to when to use “consequential” or “attributional” data.

Therefore, EUCAR commissioned IFPEN and SPHERA to give a scientific report and a comprehensive overview of the two LCA modelling principles (consequential and attributional). It explains differences in the intended goal, usage and impacts on GHG inventories in life cycle modelling. Key findings are summarized, and the analysis is concluded with recommendations for the proper usage of the data.

Download the LCA in WTT and WTW: review and recommendations.