Chalmers Conferences, LCM 2013

Walter Klöpffer

Last modified: 2014-09-11


The revision of the ISO standards in 2006 brought changes to the critical review process of the older series (1997-2000). A peer review for LCA-studies was first proposed in the earlier SETAC document (1993). The ISO 14040 standard (1997) took up this proposition and described three types of “Critical review” which are optional in general, but mandatory “for LCA studies used to make a comparative assertion that is disclosed to the public”. This strong prescription was further reinforced in the revised standards and stricter, unambiguous formulations were added. The main reasons for introducing the critical review are the improvement of LCA studies, especially if they contain comparative assertions, and the high potential misuse of LCA studies in marketing.


Life Cycle Assessment; LCA; critical review; ISO 14040; ISO 14044


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Grahl B; Schmincke E (2011): “Critical review” and “Verification” cannot be used synonymously. A plea for a differentiated and precise use of the terms. LCM Conference Berlin 2011; Download:; Session: Critical Review and Verification of LCA

International Standard Organisation (ISO) (2013): Environmental management - Life cycle assessment – Critical review processes and reviewer competencies - Additional requirements and guidelines to ISO14044:2006, ISO TS 14071 WD3. Geneva

Klöpffer W (1997): Peer (Expert) Review According to SETAC and ISO 1440. Theory and Practice. Int J LCA 2, 183-184

Klöpffer W (2005): The Critical Review Process According to ISO 14040-43: An Analysis of the Standards and Experiences Gained in their Application. Int J LCA 10, 98-102

Klöpffer W (2006): The Role of SETAC in the Development of LCA. Int J LCA 11 (Special Issue 1), 116-122

Klöpffer W (2012): The critical review of life cycle assessment studies according to ISO 14040 and 14044: origin, purpose and practical performance. Int J Life Cycle Assess. 17, 1087-1093

Koffler C (2013): Regarding your article „The critical review of life cycle assessment studies according to ISO 14040 and 14044 – origin, purpose and practical performance“, Int J Life Cycle Assess (2012) 17:1087-1093. Letter to the editor. Int J Life Cycle Assess 18, 300-301

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Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) (1993): Guidelines for Life-Cycle Assessment: A "Code of Practice". From the SETAC Workshop held at Sesimbra, Portugal, 31 March - 3 April 1993. Edition 1, Brussels and Pensacola (Florida)

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