Accounting for forest carbon pool dynamics in product carbon footprints: Challenges and opportunities

Newell, J.P. & R. Vos. 2012.
Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 37(0): 23-36.
Abstract: Modification and loss of forests due to natural and anthropogenic disturbance contribute an estimated 20% of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. Although forest carbon pool modeling rarely suggests a ‘carbon neutral’ flux profile, the life cycle assessment community and associated product carbon footprint protocols have struggled to account for the GHG emissions associated with forestry, specifically, and land use generally. In this paper, through a comparative study of U.S. and Chinese coated freesheet paper, we develop the initial foundations for a methodology that rescales IPCC methods from the national to the product level, with reference to the approaches in three international product carbon footprint protocols.

Keywords: forest carbonland use changeland use modificationproduct carbon footprint protocolsbiogenic carbonwood life cycle inventories