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​National Guidelines Development

This guide is a basis for defining country specific LCA guidelines for participating countries. The development of national LCA guidelines for infrastructure will aim to address country specific issues related to planning process stages, LCA study definition and applied LCA tools as well as national legislation, which are not covered in this guide. In addition, data quality issues such as the requirement for EPD data may be included. It is recommended that the national guidelines are used to harmonize and align methodology, agreeing on emission factors, system boundaries and even RSL definition. This could be a first step in reaching a fully compatible methodology and implementation across all Nordic countries. The content of the national guidelines documents is not defined in detail in this guide, as it will most likely vary with each country. The format could be an electronic handbook, facilitating use-ability and updating.

7.1  Planning stages and decision support

The planning process stages in this guide represent the overall workflow of infrastructure projects in participating countries but are not specific to any of them.

The development of national guidelines will aim to define the specific planning process stages of infrastructure projects for each country. In addition, critical points for decision making may be defined, as well as specific presentation formats for LCA results.

7.2   GOAL and Scope definition

Through the development of the national guidelines, the study goal and scope may be further refined from the starting point given in this guide to ensure applicability to country specific processes. The Goal and Scope may also be defined separately for rail and road infrastructure as there will be differences between the two.

 Though the product system levels and functional unit definitions provided here can be regarded as sufficient, it is recommended to use the national guidelines to provide additional direction in system boundary definition. System boundaries may be defined in further detail to reflect country specific conditions in construction, operation and maintenance as well as use of infrastructure and management of aspects related to traffic.


7.3  LCA tools

The focus of the present document is to further define a methodological framework within ISO and EN standards. As established country-specific tools vary in built-in methodology, it is recommended that the development of the national guidelines addresses this issue. In addition, differences between LCA methodology and implementation practices defined in this guide and the specific built-in methodology and implementation of country-specific LCA tools are evident. The national guidelines are to function as a driver for further development of LCA tools and implementation processes, with the end goal of consistent and transparent LCA practices in road and rail infrastructure across Nordic countries. Harmonization at a national level should be followed by a similar process at a Nordic level, increasing data quality, comparability and transparency.

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