February 13, 2024

Overall Sustainability Framework

Insights to NFA’s Sustainability Assessment

The Horizon Europe project AeroSolfd aims to develop and demonstrate three different types of retrofit solutions to mitigate exposure to particulate air pollution. The solutions are exhaust particle filters on petrol cars, brake wear filters for buses, and filter squares for (semi-)closed environments. While the expected direct benefits are obvious, any production requires materials and energy, and costs as well as produces its own environmental chemical and social risks. Therefore it must be assessed whether each of the retrofit solutions are overall sustainable. This is in line with the EU ambitions of the Green Deal and Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.


We have developed a framework for the overall sustainability assessment and identified that the solutions may contribute to ten of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

SDGs Wheel

The Sustainable Development Goals wheel

The overall sustainability assessment approach builds on results obtained from different assessment methods: risk assessment, environmental and social life-cycle assessment, and economic assessment. These different methods have partial topical overlap, which needs to be understood and aligned. A complete assessment involves the evaluation of the safety, environmental, social and economic aspects in all the steps from the extraction and processing of raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, use, and maintenance, to recycling and disposal.

4 things

The 10 SDGs AeroSolfd is focussing on

The safety evaluation will be risk assessments of specific relevant aspects to each of the retrofit solutions to identify the potential risks that the processes may pose to the people (workers and public) and the planet. Similarly, environmental, social and economic evaluations will identify the potential (positive and negative) impacts on people and the planet, by the means of environmental and social life cycle assessment. The overall assessment will then combine the potential risks and impacts to deliver a full overview of the sustainability of the three retrofit solutions

A preliminary conceptual sustainability assessment framework was made following a top-down approach and built on a previously published framework and approaches. This process was followed by a bottom-up co-creation approach that took into consideration a risk scoping analysis, built on the workplace scenario including all life cycle steps, and further shaped within workshop discussions with the retrofit developers to define the final framework and data needs.


The final framework will be refined by implementing data collected from real scenarios and exposure cases from each of the three AeroSolfd solutions for the exhaust particle filters, brake wear filters, and (semi-)closed environment filters.

Det Nationale Forskningscenter Forarbejdsmiljo (NFA)


Note: The content of this publication has not been approved by the United Nations and does not reflect the views of the United Nations or its officials or Member States.

Overall Sustainability Framework

Insights to NFA’s Sustainability Assessment The Horizon Europe project AeroSolfd aims to develop and demonstrate three different types of retrofit solutions to mitigate exposure to particulate air pollution. The solutions are exhaust particle filters on petrol cars, brake wear filters for buses, and filter squares for (semi-)closed environments. While the expected direct benefits are obvious,…

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