Francesca Verones

Francesca Verones
Norwegian University of Science and Technology | NTNU · Industrial Ecology Programme

Dr. sc. ETH

About

121
Publications
37,812
Reads
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4,621
Citations
Introduction
Francesca Verones currently works at the Industrial Ecology Programme, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Francesca does research in Environmental Engineering and life cycle impact assessment development.
Additional affiliations
January 2021 - present
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
February 2020 - present
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Position
  • Professor
August 2015 - February 2020
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • TEP4305 - Industrial Ecology, Seminar – Critical Review and Communication of Science
Education
September 2009 - March 2013
ETH Zurich
Field of study
  • Environmental Engineering

Publications

Publications (121)
Article
Full-text available
Human activities put pressure on the natural environmental and the Life Cycle Assessment methodology (LCA) is becoming a more prevalent tool to assess the relevant environmental impacts from products and processes on terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems. The Global Life Cycle Impact Assessment Method (GLAM) project of the Life Cycle Initia...
Article
Water temperature is an abiotic master variable for the survival of aquatic organisms. Global warming alters the thermal regimes of rivers and, thus, poses a threat to freshwater biodiversity. To address the impacts of water temperature changes related to global warming on freshwater fish species in life cycle assessment (LCA), we developed spatial...
Article
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The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is essential for practical and theoretical efforts to protect biodiversity. However, species classified as “Data Deficient” (DD) regularly mislead practitioners due to their uncertain extinction risk. Here we present machine learning-derived probabilities of being threatened by extinction for 7699 DD species,...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose An adequate matching between the nomenclature of elementary flows in life cycle inventory (LCI) databases and life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods is key for ensuring the proper application of life cycle assessment (LCA). However, the nomenclature of elementary flows lacks harmonization among the LCA community. This paper aims at def...
Article
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Besides being central for understanding both global biodiversity patterns and associated anthropogenic impacts, species range maps are currently only available for a small subset of global biodiversity. Here, we provide a set of assembled spatial data for terrestrial vascular plants listed at the global IUCN red list. The dataset consists of pre-de...
Article
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Marine animals have been known to interact with and become entangled in plastic debris for decades. Despite increasing annual input volumes of plastic waste to the natural environment and the threat this constitutes to marine biodiversity, impacts of mismanaged plastic waste generally remain unquantified in environmental impact assessments. In this...
Preprint
Full-text available
Reduced river discharge and flow regulation are significant threats to freshwater biodiversity. An accurate representation of potential damage of water consumption on freshwater biodiversity is required to quantify and compare the environmental impacts of global value chains. The effect of discharge reduction on fish species richness was previously...
Preprint
Several water footprint indicators have been developed to curb freshwater stress. Volumetric footprints support water allocation decisions and strive to increase water productivity in all sectors. In contrast, impact-oriented footprints focus on minimizing the impacts of water use on human health, ecosystems, and freshwater resources. Efforts to co...
Article
Purpose Marine litter, mostly plastics, is a growing environmental problem. Environmental decision makers are beginning to take actions and implement regulations that aim to reduce plastic use and waste mismanagement. Nevertheless, life cycle assessment (LCA), a tool commonly used to assist environmental decision making, does not yet allow for cons...
Article
Global biodiversity is increasingly threatened by anthropogenic environmental change. While there is mounting evidence that habitat loss is a key threat to biodiversity, global assessments typically ignore additional threats from habitat fragmentation. Here, we present a species-area model that integrates habitat size and connectivity, considering...
Article
While wind energy remains a preferred source of renewable energy, understanding the full spectrum of impacts are vital to balance climate-related benefits against their costs to biodiversity. Environmental impact assessments often fail to assess cumulative effects at larger spatial scales. In this respect, life cycle assessments are better suited,...
Article
Human land use is one of the primary threats to terrestrial species richness and is considered a priority for meeting global sustainability and biodiversity targets. Decision-support tools, such as life cycle assessment (LCA), are widely used for developing strategies to achieve such objectives. Currently available life cycle impact assessment (LCI...
Article
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Rising incomes (and associated expenditures) have been shown to be a major driver of environmental problems. Lately, several studies have pointed to a break between the income driver and biodiversity loss on a per-capita level. The increase in land-use efficiency is pointed to as a key factor in this decoupling. However, a lot of the previous work...
Article
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The Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will probably include a goal to stabilize and restore the status of species. Its delivery would be facilitated by making the actions required to halt and reverse species loss spatially explicit. Here, we develop a species threat abatement and restoration (STAR) metric...
Article
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The transformation of a river into a reservoir and the subsequent occupation of the riverbed by a reservoir can impact freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity. We used the National Lake Assessment (134 reservoirs) and the National Rivers and Streams Assessment (2062 rivers and streams) of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in or...
Article
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Further reservoir-based hydropower development can contribute to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) on affordable and clean energy, and climate action. However, hydropower reservoir operation can lead to biodiversity impacts, thus interfering with the SDGs on clean water and life on land. We combine a high-resolution, location...
Article
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Globally, shrimp aquaculture has undergone a rapid development in the last decades, as it can help to satisfy the increasing food demand of a growing population. However, shrimp production can be accompanied by environmental impacts, such as land cover changes associated with pond construction, or the degradation of coastal areas through pollution....
Article
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Between 1992 and 2015, nearly 148 million hectares (Mha) within biodiversity hotspots – biologically rich but threatened terrestrial regions – worldwide underwent land‐cover changes, equating to 6% of the total areal extent of hotspots. Forest losses in hotspots amounted to 54 Mha (–7% of the forest area present in 1992), driven primarily by agricu...
Article
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Wind energy development continues to expand rapidly to meet international climate targets. However, these developments impact biodiversity and associated sustainability targets negatively. Environmental impact assessments (EIA) predominately focus on site-specific impacts; failing to account for cumulative impacts at larger spatial scales. Life cyc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biodiversity hotspots are the most biologically rich, yet threatened, terrestrial regions. From 1992 to 2015, they underwent 148 Mha of land cover changes, including forest losses (56 Mha, of which 40 Mha caused by agricultural expansion), declines of shrubland or savannah (23 Mha), and urbanization (10 Mha). The three largest losses in forest area...
Article
Full-text available
Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) is a lively field of research, and data and models are continuously improved in terms of impact pathways covered, reliability, and spatial detail. However, many of these advancements are scattered throughout the scientific literature, making it difficult for practitioners to apply the new models. Here, we present...
Article
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Life cycle interpretation is the fourth and last phase of life cycle assessment (LCA). Being a “pivot” phase linking all other phases and the conclusions and recommendations from an LCA study, it represents a challenging task for practitioners, who miss harmonized guidelines that are sufficiently complete, detailed, and practical to conduct its dif...
Article
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Understanding habitat quality and its dynamics is imperative for maintaining healthy wildlife populations and ecosystems. We mapped and evaluated changes in habitat quality (1975–2015) in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem of northern Tanzania using the Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model. This is the first habi...
Article
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Biodiversity footprinting links consumers to the biodiversity pressure their consumption induces, thereby informing choices and enabling participation in remediation measures. In order for countries, cities and households to reduce their impacts it is useful to know more precisely what the various drivers of their footprints are. Here we ask: do ur...
Article
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Land use and land cover (LULC) changes can pose profound impacts on wildlife habitats, abundance and distribution and on human-dominated landscapes. We investigated LULC changes in the Greater Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania, for a period of 41 years from 1975 to 2015. Specifically, we mapped LULC types for 1975, 1995 and 2015 and assessed the corres...
Article
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Purpose The biosphere is progressively subjected to a variety of pressures resulting from anthropogenic activities. Habitat conversion, resulting from anthropogenic land use, is considered the dominant factor driving terrestrial biodiversity loss. Hence, adequate modelling of land use impacts on biodiversity in decision-support tools, like life cyc...
Article
Full-text available
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool for analyzing and comparing environmental impacts of products throughout their life cycles, facilitating shifts towards more environmentally friendly products. However, LCA does currently not address terrestrial biodiversity impacts related to the conversion of terrestrial habitat into aquatic habitat. This con...
Preprint
Full-text available
Whether it is for water supply, flood control or hydropower uses, the transformation of a river into a reservoir can impact freshwater ecosystems and their biodiversity. Using the National Lake Assessment (NLA; 148 reservoirs) and the National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA; 2121 rivers and streams) of the United States Environmental Protectio...
Poster
Full-text available
There is currently no life cycle impact assessment method for including impacts arising from plastic waste on the marine ecosystems where it accumulates. This limits the appropriateness and validity of resulting LCA rankings for plastic products especially. We develop an effect factor modelling approach for the impact pathway ‘entanglement in macro...
Article
The assessment of ecosystem services (ES) is covered in a fragmented manner by environmental decision support tools that provide information about the potential environmental impacts of supply chains and their products, such as the well-known life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Within the flagship project of the Life Cycle Initiative (hosted b...
Article
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Purpose Regionalized life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) has rapidly developed in the past decade, though its widespread application, robustness, and validity still face multiple challenges. Under the umbrella of UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, a dedicated cross-cutting working group on regionalized LCIA aims to provide an overview of the status...
Article
Because the biosphere is highly heterogeneous, species diversity impacts are typically assessed at local or regional scales. Since regional species richness impact metrics refer to different species compositions, they cannot be easily compared or aggregated to global impacts. Translating regional species richness impacts into global impacts allows...
Article
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Plastic waste from anthropogenic activities is accumulating in the marine environment and poses a threat to marine biodiversity. Nevertheless, tools to assess the potential ecosystem damage from plastic waste are currently lacking from sustainability assessment approaches, such as life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies. However, despite incomple...
Article
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It has been argued that the trade of water intensive crops may be beneficial as it helps alleviate regional differences in water scarcity by effectively transporting moisture from humid regions to arid ones. However, the incentive to grow export crops can also intensify pressure on local water resources. Water abstraction for use in growing cash cr...
Article
Compared to conventional energy technologies, hydropower has the lowest carbon emissions per kWh. Therefore, hydropower electricity production can contribute to combat climate change challenges. However, hydropower electricity production may at the same time contribute to environmental impacts and has been characterized as a large water consumer wi...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Guidance is needed on best-suited indicators to quantify and monitor the man-made impacts on human health, biodiversity and resources. Therefore, the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative initiated a global consensus process to agree on an updated overall life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) framework and to recommend a non-comprehensive list of...
Article
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The environmental and social consequences of clearing tropical forests for palm oil and soybean monoculture have been analyzed in a number of studies and are widely recognized. Some initiatives and studies have examined portions of the supply chain from the perspective of individual companies and stages in the supply chain. We complement this work...
Article
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Purpose: Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) results are used to assess potential environmental impacts of different products and services. As part of the UNEP-SETAC life cycle initiative flagship project that aims to harmonize indicators of potential environmental impacts, we provide a consensus viewpoint and recommendations for future developmen...
Article
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Purpose Models for quantifying impacts on biodiversity from renewable energy technologies are lacking within life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). We aim to provide an overview of the effects of wind energy on birds and bats, with a focus on quantitative methods. Furthermore, we investigate and provide the necessary background for how these can be i...
Article
Despite the high amount of pressure placed on benthic habitats by anthropogenic activities, particularly in coastal shelf areas, as yet, the impact of seabed damaging activities on ecosystem quality has not been included in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). We present a globally applicable impact characterisation approach, parameterized within 17 marine...
Article
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods for land use take both occupation and transformation impacts into account. However, for wetlands and impacts from water consumption, it is so far not possible to account for transformation impacts. It is our goal to close this research gap, by determining wetland recovery times and developing characterization fac...
Article
Forest ecosystems provide a variety of services, from climate regulation to biodiversity conservation. Temporary land cover variations such as those related to forest management can contribute to climate change through both biogeochemical (carbon, warming) and biophysical (albedo, cooling) mechanisms. As global rising demand for biomass for energy...
Article
Full-text available
Many new damage oriented methods have recently been developed to address environmental consequences of water consumption in life cycle assessment (LCA). However, such methods can only partially be compared and combined, since their modelling structure and metrics are inconsistent. Moreover, they focus on specific water sources (e.g. river) and miss...
Article
Increasing hydropower electricity production constitutes a unique opportunity to mitigate climate change impacts. However, hydropower also impacts aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity through freshwater habitat alteration, water quality degradation, and land use and land use change (LULUC). Today, no operational model exists that covers any of thes...
Article
The expanding economical activities have accelerated losses of biodiversity and ecosystem services, which are especially pronounced in Asia. To find solutions to stop these losses, a group of scientists studying both ecological and social sciences has launched an interdisciplinary research network, entitled TSUNAGARI (Trans-System, UNified Approach...
Article
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_____ http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11367-017-1297-8 _____ View only: http://rdcu.be/qlja _____ Purpose - In this paper, we summarize the discussion and present the findings of an expert group effort under the umbrella of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Life Cycle...
Article
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Reducing direct pressures on biodiversity will only be possible once the consumption drivers behind them are identified. Target 4 of the Convention on Biological Diversity highlights the importance of moving towards sustainable patterns of production and consumption. However, linking consumption patterns to impacts on biodiversity is a complex task...
Article
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PurposeAgriculture is a major water user worldwide, potentially depriving many ecosystems of water. Comprehensive global impact assessment methodologies are therefore required to assess impacts from water consumption on biodiversity. Since scarcity of water, as well as species richness, varies greatly between different world regions, a spatially di...
Article
Full-text available
Oceans represent more than 95% of the world’s biosphere and are among the richest sources of biodiversity on Earth. However, human activities such as shipping and construction of marine infrastructure pose a threat to the quality of marine ecosystems. Due to the dependence of most marine animals on sound for their communication, foraging, protectio...
Article
Increasing needs for decision support and advances in scientific knowledge within life cycle assessment (LCA) led to substantial efforts to provide global guidance on environmental life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) indicators under the auspices of the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. As part of these efforts, a dedicated task force focused on ad...
Article
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PurposeBuilding on the rhetoric question “quo vadis?” (literally “Where are you going?”), this article critically investigates the state of the art of normalisation and weighting approaches within life cycle assessment. It aims at identifying purposes, current practises, pros and cons, as well as research gaps in normalisation and weighting. Based...
Article
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Stabilizing global temperature will require a shift to renewable or nuclear power from fossil power and the large-scale deployment of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) for remaining fossil fuel use. Non-climate co-benefits of low-carbon energy technologies, especially reduced mortalities from air pollution and decreased ecosystem damage, have been impo...
Article
Water footprinting has emerged as an important approach to assess water use related effects from consumption of goods and services. Assessment methods are proposed by two different communities, the Water Footprint Network (WFN) and the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) community. The proposed methods are broadly similar and encompass both the computation...
Article
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A meaningful environmental impact analysis should go beyond the accounting of pressures from resource use and actually assess how resource demand affects ecosystems. The various currently available footprints of nations report the environmental pressures e.g. water use or pollutant emissions, driven by consumption. However, there have been limited...