Position paper – Life Cycle Assessment in the automotive industry

The European auto industry has a long and solid experience in applying Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and related methodologies to automotive products and processes. LCA methodology is increasingly also being used or mentioned in relation to various EU policy areas and the broader legislative framework.

This position paper outlines the views of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) on Life Cycle Assessment. Based on their vast experience, Europe’s auto makers would like to emphasise the following five key points:

  1. LCAs are useful analyses to address environmental impacts and are applied as internal environmental systems for systematically managing environmental improvements in the automotive industry.
  2. LCA studies shall be based on the ISO 14040/44 standard, which is a commonly used methodology both in the automotive sector as well as in political or regulatory-focused discussions, in order to ensure a level playing field and understanding. When the results of these studies are disclosed to the public, a critical review must be performed.
  3. LCA should remain a voluntary tool and cannot be used as a regulatory instrument vis-à-vis automobile manufacturers, especially when taking into account the enormous complexity of vehicles and automotive supply chains.
  4. Only globally accepted impact categories (indicators) should be included in public impact assessments and aggregated single scores should not be used in any LCA disclosure.
  5. The complexity of motor vehicles and related supply chains makes it difficult to compare LCAs of vehicles from different manufacturers. More time is needed to develop methods and tools that are flexible enough to consider the environmental improvement.

LCA should remain a voluntary tool and cannot be used as a regulatory instrument vis-à-vis automobile manufacturers, especially when taking into account the complexity of vehicles and automotive supply chains.

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Reproduction of (parts of) this information or related documents is not permitted without the prior written consent of ACEA. Whenever reproduction is permitted, ACEA shall be referred to as source of the information.

Content type Publication
Vehicle types All vehicles
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