General Questions

Compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle. (ISO 2006)
LCI dataset obtained via averaging (producer-) specific LCI datasets. Typically referring to horizontally averaged data of complete product systems (e.g., global average steel billet data), unit processes (e.g., EU air transport fleet mix), or partly terminated systems (e.g., Australian average wastewater treatment plant). Also used for so-called “vertically averaged data,” i.e., LCI result datasets. (European Commission – Joint Research Centre – Institute for Environment and Sustainability 2009)
A document or file with life cycle information of a specified product or other reference (e.g., site, process), covering descriptive metadata and quantitative life cycle inventory and/or life cycle impact assessment data, respectively. (European Commission – Joint Research Centre – Institute for Environment and Sustainability 2009)
System modelling approach in which activities in a product system are linked so that activities are included in the product system to the extent that they are expected to change as a consequence of a change in demand for the functional unit.
The background system consists of processes on which no or, at best, indirect influence may be exercised by the decision-maker for which an LCA is carried out. Such processes are called “background processes.” (Frischknecht 1998)
Data determined by direct measurement, estimation or calculation from the original source. (Weidema et al. 2003) NOTE: primary or original source is the source of initial physical or chemical appearance and not the initial literal appearance.
The foreground system consists of processes which are under the control of the decision-maker for which an LCA is carried out. They are called foreground processes. (Frischknecht 1998)
The action of summing or bringing together information (e.g., data, indicator results) from smaller units into a larger unit. (e.g., from inventory indicator to subcategory). (Benoit and Mazijn 2009)

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