Ecosystem Damage Potential (EDP) Impact Assessment Method

The Ecosystem Damage Potential (EDP) is a life cycle impact assessment methodology for the characterization of land occupation and transformation developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich. It is based on assessment impacts of land use on species diversity.


This method was created using empirical information on species diversity from Central Europe. With information about species diversity on 5581 sample plots, Characterization factors for 53 land use types and six intensity classes were calculated. The typology is based on the CORINE Plus classification. Linear transformations of the relative species numbers are linearly transformed into ecosystem damage potentials. The damage potential calculated is endpoint oriented. The impact factor for the unknown reference land use type (ref) before or after the land transformation is chosen as EDP(ref) = 0.80. This represents the maximum EDP, i.e. the land use type with the most negative impact.
The different impact categories implemented in SimaPro are:

  •  “land transformation” as a result of the addition of “transformation, from land use type I” and “transformation, to land use type I”
  • “land occupation”

Normalization and weighting

Normalisation is not a part of this method. Because the two impact categories are expressed in the same unit (points), PRé Consultants added a weighting step. Each impact category is given the weighting factor 1.

Download the Methods Manual (PDF, 0.6 MB) for a concise overview of the methods in SimaPro.