Operationalizing the Geopolitical Supply Risk Potential Indicator – the recommended “outside-in” resource criticality indicator for LCA

Main Presenter: Anish Koyamparambath 

Co-Authors: Steven B. Young Guido Sonnemann

The GeoPolRisk method was introduced as a complement to environment LCA to address the resource accessibility concern from an “outside-in” perspective resulting in a midpoint and an endpoint indicator. The study presents the operationalization of the improved characterization model for the geopolitical supply risk potential indicator (GeoPolRisk midpoint indicator). This addresses the socio-economic damage associated with a cause-effect chain of potential geopolitical supply disruptions. It requires the use of public databases for its calculation; the United States geological survey (USGS) for mine production data, UN Comtrade for trade data, the world bank for political instability indicator, and the London metal exchange for the price data. We present tools to calculate the GeoPolRisk midpoint indicator based on the available database: a python-based calculation module and a webtool. The webtool provides an interface to calculate the GeoPolRisk midpoint indicator and download the
Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) characterization factors (CFs) for 32 resources, including three fossil fuels: coal, petroleum, and natural gas. The python-based calculation module is used as a framework that allows the calculation of the CFs for a period of 2000 – 2020. We compared the CFs of different resources, presented graphics on the increasing trend of criticality of resources, and analyzed hotspots of specific resources with high criticality. This study reviews the available sources for the primary data and discusses the methods to be implemented in automatic updating of the database and also extending the methodology to biotic resources.

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