VALUES (VALUing Ecosystem Services for environmental assessment) is an international research project funded by the Luxembourg National Research Fund under the FNR CORE 2013 framework. VALUES has been initiated in 2014 to develop an assessment approach to evaluate the impacts of industrial production systems on the natural environment and its provision of Ecosystems Services (ES).
This new methodology goes beyond the current state-of-the-art of approaches for the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework proposed to estimate the impact on the supply and quality of ecosystem services generated by human activities (such as land use). LCA is an ISO-standardized and widely-used procedure to evaluate the impact on the environment (both addressing ecosystem and human health) associated with a production system, starting from the extraction of raw materials required used up by a product till its manufacturing, use and disposal phases.
By implementing a practical method to calculate the (biophysical and/or monetary) value of ecosystem services in LCA, VALUES ultimately supports the design of industrial systems that can preserve the ecosystems and the provision of their services, so that the production and consumption of goods and services can better sustain both human well-being and the natural environment for which people rely upon.