The Ecological Footprint (EF) was co-invented by William E. Rees and Mathis Wackernagel of the University of British Columbia, Canada in 1991. In recent years, the Ecological Footprint analysis has been well recognized and applied in the areas of public policy, planning as well as environmental education in various parts of the world, especially in Europe, North America, and southern hemisphere. Some countries, including Japan, are planning to monitor their EF each year, just as they monitor their gross domestic products (GDP). In this paper, I first present an overview, calculation methods, as well as the significance of the EF analysis in the context of sustainable development. Then, I examine some examples of Ecological Footprint applications in the USA, Europe and Australia. In the latter part of this paper, I explore a possible improvement in the calculation methods associated with nuclear power generation. I present an innovative new method of calculating the Ecological Footprint of nuclear power generation in order to fully incorporate its ‘prolonged impact management (PIM)’ costs which continue to incur, for example, in uranium mine sites at least for more than 10,000 years, and in highly radioactive nuclear waste sites for one million years. An EF calculation of the nuclear power generation in Japan was carried out. The tentative results of this case study were astonishing.
JEPIX（Japan Environmental Policy Priorities Index）is a method of environmental life cycle impact assessment（for Japanese companies in a domestic meaning）related with products, product parts, production processes and a factory/company as a whole. This paper introduces the initial development of JEPIX study briefly, and expounds the fundamental structures, features and practical uses of JEPIX. On the whole, there are three major characteristics in the JEPIX measurement system:（1）JEPIX is based on national environmental policies and environmental laws/regulations of Japan, （2）JEPIX uses（only）single unit EIP（Environmental Impact Point）as its overall measurement and reporting unit, and（3）JEPIX adopts the simple weighting factor F/Fk（F: actual flow, Fk: critical flow）, which is based on the so-called “distance to target method”. With these merits, it is in the undustrial world widely recognized that JEPIX can be very useful for many major companies in Japan. But there are still some important points which must be improved immediately from the standpoints of time span, geographic areas and impact categories. This paper discusses the basic content of these current（problem oriented）improvements of JEPIX calculations, related with the development of new Ecofactors of Swiss BUWAL（Bundesamt für Umwelt, Wald und Landschaft, Swiss EPA）.
The EPS system (EPS stands for Environmental Priority Strategies in product design) and its default LCIA method were introduced. The EPS system is mainly aimed to be a tool for a company's internal product development process, but may also have external external use like in environmental declarations. The EPS system is based on external environmental costs, and covers the following 5 impact categories; human health, production capacity of ecosystems, abiotic stock resource, bio-diversity and cultural and recreation values. This paper gives the scope and concept of the EPS system. An example how to calculate the damage cost for an emission is demonstrated and default values for damage costs for emissions and use of resources are given.
The Eco-indicator 99 method was developed by a team of experts from the Netherlands and (mainly) Switzerland as an endpoint characterization model for LCA’s using European data. This paper describes the approach to weighting and our approach to developing the impact pathways for the characterization factor. The paper addresses both the numerical uncertainties and the model uncertainties. In the final section an overview of applications is given.
LIME (Life cycle Impact assessment Method based on Endpoint modeling) is a LCIA methodology which reflect the environmental conditions of Japan. This method is developed based on the state of the art in natural science and advanced techniques in social science. It covers 11 types of impact categories and 1000 environmental loading substances. Many of Japanese companies have applied this method after the publication of the guidebook of LIME. Through the various case studies, several requirements have been raised by practitioners. In order to fulfill them, second version of LIME was developed. This article summarizes the characteristics of LIME and recent research outcomes.
In order to evaluate the environmental impact of Pellet stove, we executed life cycle impact assessment using LIME. Items of environmental impact assessment were 4 safeguard subjects of Human health, Social asset, Primary production and Biodiversity, and Weighting of 4 safeguard subjects. A comparison product took up Oil fan heater. As a result of the analysis, the characteristic of environmental impact of Pellet stove was clarified. In the comparison with Oil fan heater, there was relation of trade-off by item of safeguard subject. In the evaluation by weighting, the environmental impact of Pellet stove was smaller than that of Oil fan heater. Environmental domination of Pellet stove was verified.
Papers from famous philosophers and religious people dating from ancient to about 1600 A.D. are investigated and speculations are made as to what they felt they needed to protect −Man? Animal? Plant? Mineral? Or everything equally? We analyze their Value-views based on these four categories and propose a method to apply them to determine the single index for LCIA based on LIME (Life-cycle Impact-assessment Method based on End point modeling). Then we discuss the divergence of LCIA based on ancient philosophies.
With the publication of the two new standards, ISO 14040 and ISO 14044, the former four standards ISO 14040: 1997, ISO 14041:1999, ISO 14042: 2000 and ISO 14043: 2000 were technically revised, cancelled and replaced in June 2006. According to the scope of the revision, the core part of the technical contents remains unchanged. Improved readability and the removal of errors and inconsistencies was the focus of the revision. However, despite the fact that the main technical content was confirmed to be still valid, some relevant formal and technical changes were made. On the technical side these include e.g. the addition of principles for LCA, the addition of an annex about applications, the addition of several definitions (e.g. product, process, etc.), clarifications concerning LCA intended to be used in comparative assertions intended to be disclosed to the public, clarifications concerning the critical review panel, clarifications concerning system boundary, etc. On the formal side, changes include the reduced number of standards, a reduced number of annexes, a reduced number of pages that contain requirements, alignment of definitions and clarification of compliance with the standards.