For the integration of land use and biodiversity into LCIA, the so-called hemeroby concept has been developed by UBA and ifeu since the 1990s and revised by [Fehrenbach et al. 2015]. This approach is operationalised by a multi-criteria assessment linking land use to different safeguard subjects: Structure and functionality of ecosystems, biological diversity and different ecosystem services contributing to human health and wellbeing. In this sense, hemeroby is understood as a mid-point indicator giving explicit information on the degree of naturalness and providing implicit information, at least partly, on biodiversity (number of species, number of rare or threatened species, diversity of structures), and soil quality (low impact).
Within the hemeroby concept, the areas of concern are classified into seven hemeroby classes: 1) natural, 2) close-to-nature, 3) partially close to nature, 4) semi-natural, 5) partially distant to nature, 6) distant-to-nature and 7) non-natural, artificial. The hemeroby approach is appropriate for any type of land-use accountable in LCA. However, production systems for biomass in particular (wood from forests, all kinds of biomass from agriculture) are assessed based on different sets of criteria.
The impact category land use is addressed by the midpoint category indicator ‘Distance-to-Nature Potential’ (DNP) (m2-e * 1a/functional unit) focussing on the occupation impact (Fehrenbach et al. 2015).