About the project

Fuel producers are increasingly affected by conflicting rules for life cycle assessment (LCA). The EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the EU framework for Product Environmental Footprints (PEF), and the frameworks of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) all have different requirements on the calculations. Fuel producers can expect requests for life cycle assessments in various contexts. Since each context has its specific requirements on the LCA method, a new LCA might have to be carried through for each request. The total cost to meet the requests can be a significant economic burden, at least to small and medium-sized producers.

The methods for LCA affect the results and sometimes the conclusions. Different frameworks for LCA can generate conflicting recommendations on how to improve the fuel life cycle, which poses a challenge to all producers. The multiple LCA frameworks can also give conflicting guidance regarding what fuel to use, which makes the choice more difficult to customers. Conflicting recommendations and incentives can result in inaction, which would be bad for the environment.

In this project the three frameworks mentioned above are applied in case studies on selected real fuels. The project estimates the additional work required for applying multiple frameworks, discusses how it can be reduced, and analyzes the extent to which they generate conflicting conclusions. Several producers are actively involved in the project, and results will be disseminated to authorities and other actors. This generates awareness on the requirements and implications of the different frameworks, makes their application more efficient, and prepares the Swedish sector for active participation in the future development of the frameworks and other international harmonization of the LCA methodology.


Tomas Rydberg, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute


Tomas Ekvall, IVL // Sara Palander, Swedish Life Cycle Center (Chalmers) // Miguel Brandao, KTH // Lena Heuts, RISE

Time plan
15 June 2020 - 31 December 2021

Total project cost
2 035 392 SEK

The Swedish Energy Agency, the f3 partner organisations, BASF, Fordonsgas Sverige, IVL, Lantmännen, NTM (Network for Transport and Measures), Scania, SEKAB, St1, SPBI and Volvo Technology.

Swedish Energy Agency's project number within the collaborative research program