Serenella Sala

Serenella Sala
European Commission | ec · Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Phd

About

266
Publications
172,870
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Introduction
Serenella Sala currently works at the Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission. Serenella does research in Life Cycle Assessment, Green Chemistry, Ecology and Environmental Science. One of the key current project is related to the assessment of the 'Environmental impact of different areas of EU consumption: food, mobility, housing, household goods.'
Additional affiliations
March 2010 - present
European Commission
Position
  • Research Officer
Description
  • Developing methodologies and models for sustainable development, integrated environmental assessment, life cycle assessment, risk assessment for supporting eco-innovation of process and products as well as resource efficiency.
March 2001 - February 2010
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (266)
Technical Report
Full-text available
Within the European Green Deal, the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) (EC, 2020a) identified a number of actions to reduce negative impacts on human health and the environment associated with chemicals, materials, products and services commercialised or introduced onto the EU market. In particular, the ambition of the CSS is to phase out...
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
Full-text available
Purpose The EU environmental footprint (EF) is a life cycle assessment (LCA)-based method which aims at assessing the environmental impacts of products and organisations through 16 midpoint impact categories, among which three address toxicity-related impacts. This paper presents the principles underpinning the calculation of the set of characteris...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The EU Chemical Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) aims at fostering a transition towards safer and more sustainable chemicals. To ensure this transition, safety and sustainability considerations should be integrated when assessing existing chemicals as well as alternative chemicals that might substitute them. The operationalisation of the Safe and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In the context of the EU Green Deal, the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) aims at improving the safeguard of human health and the environment as part of an ambitious approach to tackle pollution from all sources and move towards zero-pollution for air, water and soil. A key action defined in the CSS is the development of safe and sustain...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The EU Biomass Flows tool is a visualisation, in the form of Sankey diagrams, of the flows of biomass for each sector of the bioeconomy, from supply to uses including trade. It displays the harmonised data from the various Joint Research Centre (JRC) units contributing to the BIOMASS Assessment study of the JRC3. The diagrams enable deeper analysis...
Article
Full-text available
Despite plastic being one of the most used materials globally, information about plastic flows in value chains is generally lacking. The present study aims at estimating the European Union (EU) plastic footprint (including production and consumption flows) by combining different approaches, as well as at estimating marine littering potentials. Plas...
Article
Full-text available
The circular economy aims to decouple growth from environmental impacts by optimizing resource use, minimizing waste and pollution. The European Union (EU) has the ambition to lead a circular economy transition on a global level. Realizing the transition is complex, because it requires substantial and interconnected changes in the current system. P...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The European Union is a major trading partner of bio-based products and commodities worldwide. It is therefore crucial to estimate the consequences of EU consumption in terms of the related land demand both domestically and outside the EU. Land footprinting methods, inherently adopt life cycle thinking. They allow estimate land embedded in commodit...
Article
Full-text available
The European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ask for a more holistic approach to production and consumption along value chains. The role of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in supporting policy design and monitoring is then pivotal to achieve policy ambitions. This paper explores the potential support of LCA to EU policies and th...
Research
Full-text available
As part of its commitment towards more sustainable production and consumption, the European Commission developed a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)-based framework, which allows assessing the environmental impacts related to EU consumption of goods and services. Two indicators have been developed: the Consumption Footprint and the Domestic Footprint. Th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Assessing the Domestic Footprint of individual Member States and the EU allows for identification of environmental hotspots, setting baseline for monitoring of environmental performance progresses and against which testing policy options and scenarios. Domestic footprint focuses exclusively to what is happening within MS boundaries. The Domestic Fo...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental assessment methods have increasingly been adopted to support local transitions toward sustainable urban development and Agenda 2030 implementation at the city level. However, available methods evaluating both direct and indirect (embodied) environmental impacts due to local consumption are still limited and lack a broad coverage of en...
Chapter
The world is lagging behind in the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and facing global challenges such as climate change and environmental degradation. Initiatives such as the European Green Deal (EGD) are examples of how science-based policies can promote sustainability at global level. The EGD builds on the sustainability...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Life cycle thinking (LCT) and life cycle assessment (LCA) are increasingly considered pivotal concept and method for supporting sustainable transitions. LCA plays a relevant role in decision support, for the ambition of a holistic coverage of environmental dimensions and for the identification of hotspots, possible trade-offs, and burden sh...
Article
Full-text available
Various environmental challenges, particularly the rising severity of the impacts of climate change, require a systematic shift in and decarbonization of the global economy. Due to their high environmental impacts, buildings and construction have a special role in decarbonization. Environmental modelling of building stock dynamics can help policy m...
Article
Monetary valuation is used in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to aggregate environmental impacts expressed with different units of measure and therefore not directly comparable, in order to facilitate the communication and the use of LCA results in decision-making processes. Although several authors have discussed the advantages of using monetary valua...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Current patterns of household goods consumption generate relevant environmental pressures and impacts. Environmental impacts are not only limited to the European territory but also to third countries from where products are imported. Assessing the entire life cycle of products enables considering trade-related transboundary effects along su...
Article
Full-text available
Meat production and consumption is associated with the generation of significant environmental pressure and impacts, and resource inefficiencies. This study combines Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and Life cycle Assessment (LCA) to analyse the meat supply chain in order to better comprehend the circularity of the system, considering the Italian meat...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) establishes an annual reporting obligation for MS on food waste generation as of reference year 2020. The common methodology is defined in the Commission delegated decision (EU) 2019/1597 and the reporting format in the Commission implementing decision (EU) 2019/2000. Member States (MS) will be obliged to...
Article
This paper summarizes the 76th LCA Discussion Forum end its main findings. Main issues when addressing emerging technologies identified were: the lack of primary data, the need for (shared) future background scenarios and (guidlines for) a common methodology. The following recommendations have been derived by the organizers: 1) Specific foreground...
Preprint
Full-text available
Various environmental challenges, particularly the rising severity of the impacts of climate change, require a systematic shift in and decarbonization of the global economy. Due to their high environmental impacts, buildings and construction have a special role in decarbonization. Environmental modelling of building stock dynamics can help policy m...
Presentation
Full-text available
With the European Green Deal, the European Commission aims to transform the EU’s economy for a more sustainable future. To this end, the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy and the European Industrial Strategy proposed a number of industrial, environmental, climate and energy priorities. In addition, the EC has also set a goal to better protect...
Article
Full-text available
National studies on food waste quantification in EU countries present highly discrepant results due to the different quantification approaches adopted. The European Commission has published a delegated act establishing a common methodology and minimum quality requirements for the uniform measurement of food waste generated in Member States. Neverth...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the relevance of life cycle assessment within the context of the SDGs and the European Green Deal as a method to assess transboundary effects within the environmental assessment of consumption. The consumption footprint indicator, developed for assessing the environmental impacts of EU consumption, is employed to illustrate h...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The assessment of potential environmental impacts associated to mineral resource use in LCA is a highly debated topic. Most current impact assessment methods consider the extraction of resources as the issue of concern, while their dissipation is an emerging concept. This article proposes an approach to account for mineral resource dissipat...
Article
Full-text available
The online version of the original article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1007/s11367-020-01790-0
Technical Report
Full-text available
Science for Policy report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission's science and knowledge service. Modelling is an essential tool to increase the understanding of qualitative and quantitative drivers of sustainability, contributing to the implementation of specific SDGs. The report presents the mapping of JRC models against SDG...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Trade is increasingly considered a significant contributor to environmental impacts. The assessment of the impacts of trade is usually performed via environmentally extended input–output analysis (EEIOA). However, process-based life cycle assessment (LCA) applied to traded goods allows increasing the granularity of the analysis and may be e...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose LCA traditionally has been founded on the ceteris paribus principle, by which the assessed contribution is assumed not to affect the background state, i.e., being marginal. As LCA is increasingly used to assess interventions at larger scales (e.g., territory, sectors), it becomes necessary to provide adequate characterization factors. Apply...
Conference Paper
Metropolitana Milanese (MM Spa), the water authority of the city of Milan, has carried out, on both water and sewage networks, installation of new pipelines and rehabilitation of the already existing ones using no-dig technologies, i.e. techniques alternative to open cut excavations. To spread such techniques, having evident advantages with respect...
Article
Full-text available
As a result of the growing awareness of the need to prevent food waste, several initiatives have been launched in the last few years to reduce food waste generated across the food supply chain. However, the evaluation of food waste prevention interventions is still at an early stage of development and appropriate methods to assess their effectivene...
Article
Full-text available
The planetary boundaries (PBs) represent a well-known concept, which helps identify whether production and consumption systems are environmentally sustainable in absolute terms, namely compared to the Earth's ecological limits and carrying capacity. In this study, the impacts of production and consumption of the European Union in 2010 were assessed...
Article
Full-text available
This brief on food waste is one out of a series of Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre briefs which intend to provide independent evidence for EU policy in this field. The following are the key results: 1. According to a recent analysis, 129 Mt of food waste were generated in the EU in 2011. This represents 20% of the food produced. Vegetables, fruit and...
Article
Full-text available
In many regions and at the planetary scale, human pressures and resulting impacts on the environment exceed levels that natural systems can sustain. These pressures are caused by networks of human activities, which often extend across countries and continents due to global trade. This has led to an increasing requirement for methods that enable abs...
Article
The consumption of materials and products is one of the drivers of biodiversity loss, which in turn affects ecosystem functioning and has worldwide socio-economic consequences worldwide. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a reference methodology for appraising the environmental impacts of products along their value chains. Currently, a generally accept...
Article
Full-text available
The EU Bioeconomy Strategy, updated in 2018, in its Action Plan pledges an EU-wide, internationally coherent monitoring system to track economic, environmental and social progress towards a sustainable bioeconomy. This paper presents the approach taken by the European Commission’s (EC) Joint Research Centre (JRC) to develop such a system. To accomp...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of resources or materials dissipation after their use in the technosphere has been increasingly considered in life-cycle based studies, applying Substance and Material Flow Analysis (SFA and MFA), Input-Output Analysis, and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). However, there is currently no common understanding of what a dissipative flow is. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Ensuring global food security is one of the challenges of our society. Nitrogen availability is key for food production, while contributing to different environmental impacts. This paper aims firstly to assess nitrogen flows and to highlight hotspots of inefficient use of nitrogen along the European food chain, excluding primary production. Secondl...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Depletion is the concept underpinning one of the most widely applied approach to account for the impacts associated with mineral and metal resource use in Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) step. Once a resource is extracted from the Earth’s crust, it is considered depleted. During the Environmental Footprint (EF) pilot phase (2013-2018), the conc...
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
Full-text available
The need to increase circularity of industrial systems to address limited resources availability and climate change has triggered the development of the food waste biorefinery concept. However, for the development of future sustainable industrial processes focused on the valorisation of food waste, critical aspects such as (i) the technical feasibi...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Agricultural pesticides are key contributors to pollinator decline worldwide. However, methods for quantifying impacts associated with pollinator exposure to pesticides are currently missing in comparative risk screening, chemical substitution and prioritization, and life cycle impact assessment methods. To address this gap, we developed a method f...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing the environmental impact due to consumption of goods and services is a pivotal step towards achieving the sustainable development goal related to responsible production and consumption (i.e. SDG 12). Household appliances plays a crucial role and should be assessed in a systemic manner, namely considering all life cycle stages, technologic...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Consumer Footprint is a set of life cycle assessment (LCA) indicators aimed to measure the environmental impact of an average European Union (EU) citizen. The Consumer Footprint encompasses 5 areas of consumption, namely food, mobility, housing, household goods, and appliances. For each of the areas of consumption, a basket of products (BoPs) h...