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Journal of Cleaner Production

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A large number of tools for assessing environmental impacts are available. It is of interest to characterise different tools in order to better understand their relationships and the appropriateness of different tools in different situations. The characteristics used here are whether the tools are procedural or analytical, what types of impacts are included, what the object of the study is and whether the studies are descriptive or change-orientated. For each object discussed here, there is a tool focusing on both use of natural resources and environmental impacts that seems to be the most suitable. Because different tools focus on different objects, different tools cannot in general easily replace each other.