Global Guidance on Environmental Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators (GLAM)

UNEP-GLAM (Life Cycle Initiative)


The aim of this initiative , under the United Nations Environmental Programme umbrella, is to enhance global consensus on environmental life cycle impact assessment indicators, generating tangible and practical recommendations for different environmental indicators and characterization factors used in Life Cycle Impact Assessments (LCIA).

This is done in cooperation with an international expert task force who prepares recommendations on the individual topic areas. Progress is reviewed in stakeholder engagement events and expert consultation workshops. The mix of participants consists of a balance of domain experts from five topical tracks: LCIA method developers, providers of life cycle thinking studies (primarily consultants and industry associations), and users of life cycle information, including governmental and intergovernmental organizations, government, industry, NGOs, and academics.

Go to the UNEP-GLAM project page

The UNEP-GLAM initiative is characterised by several phases providing guidance on a distinct set of indicators:

    Phase 1 [2013-2016]: Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts, health impacts of fine particulate matter, water use related impacts – water scarcity and human health impacts, land use related impacts on biodiversity, cross-cutting issues

    Phase 2 [2017-2019]: Acidification and eutrophication, human toxicity, natural resources – mineral primary resources, land use impacts on soil quality, ecotoxicity, cross-cutting issues

    Phase 3 [2019-ongoing]: aims at establishing a comprehensive, consistent and global environmental Life Cycle Impact Assessment Method (LCIA), Building on the recommendations for nine impact categories from the first two phases.

    "Metadata descriptors", delivering a basic list of metadata descriptors to facilitate interoperability and the assessment of "fitness for purpose" by users, as well as advanced recommendations on how interoperability and assessment of fitness for purpose can be enhanced in the future. The final report of the working group can be accessed here .

Involvement of the JRC in GLAM’s activities

The JRC is supporting GLAM at  different levels, participating in meetings and providing  scientific inputs, documentation and technical support, in order to follow possible alignment with ILCD and EF methods’ development.