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Climate - Decarbonation - Sustainable development - Life Cycle Analysis - Chemical Risk Assessment - 

Dr Erwan Saouter
Sustainable Development Expert

With over 30 years of professional experience, with the  World Business Council of Sustainable Development (WBCSD) as Director of Climate and Energy , with the  European Commission and the Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development (JRC), within the regulatory and safety affairs of Procter & Gamble , with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), but also as founder and managing director of 3 companies: Science & Environment , Biocomp Nepal and now Net-Zero Impact, I have the skills and experience to help you design your roadmap towards Net-Zero Impact.

Full profile here:

Books on Energy Transition

Couverture du livre "Révolution Energétique"

May 2023

Buy at De Boeck Superieur

ISBN: 978-2-8073-5764-8

Couverture du livre "All you need to know about the next energy revolution"

March 2024

Springer Nature

ISBN 978-3-031-51331-2

Chapter 1

High energy consumption is the founding element of today's civilization, which began 200 years ago with the consumption of fossil fuels. This has led to a meteoric rise in demographics, quality of life and life expectancy, but also to unprecedented availability and consumption of goods. By 2023, over 80% of total energy demand will be based on fossil fuels, with order-of-magnitude differences in total consumption from country to country. While millions of people have little or no access to energy, the impact of global resource consumption on the planet profoundly affects the way the planet functions. Human activities affect climate, biodiversity, the water cycle, soil fertility, forests and many other indicators.

Keywords: Energy consumption, fossil fuels, economic activities, GDP, demographics, planetary boundaries, ecological services, 


Chapter 2

The planet's climate has changed radically many times over the last few billion years, each time bringing about drastic changes in the way the planet functions, but this is the first time these changes have occurred in an extremely short space of time. The main reasons for these changes are greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, livestock farming, intensive agriculture and the over-consumption of resources. The greenhouse effect is a normal phenomenon that has enabled life to develop on the planet as we know it today. However, too great an increase in greenhouse gases directly affects the planet's overall climate.  The challenge facing humanity today is to urgently find ways to halt emissions and capture and store as much as possible of the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, while continuing to provide the energy we need. 


Keywords: Climate, Greenhouse gases, GHG sources, CO2 , Carbon cycle, Decarbonization


Chapter 3

The solutions for decarbonizing our energy supply and our economy in general are numerous. They include phasing out the use of fossil fuels, capturing and storing CO2 before it reaches the atmosphere, capturing and storing CO2 already in the atmosphere, improving energy efficiency and avoiding energy waste. We also need to switch to low-carbon energy sources, such as renewables and nuclear power. All these solutions have a role to play, and the proportion of each type of energy depends on local conditions (there is no one-size-fits-all solution). It is also essential that the economic, social and environmental impacts of each of these solutions be analyzed from a life-cycle perspective, to avoid today's solutions becoming tomorrow's problems. Natural solutions such as tree planting and ecosystem restoration have a fundamental role to play, and massive investment in them is urgently required. Finally, the implementation of the circular economy, the promotion of sobriety and the adoption of a new way of life (low-carbon mobility, less meat-based diets, reduced consumption, etc.) are all essential.


Keywords: Energy supply, renewable energies, nuclear, solar, wind, biomass, natural climate solutions, carbon capture, CCUS, energy efficiency, consumer lifestyles.


Chapter 4

Without a radical change in our energy mix, and in the way we produce, consume and live, greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts will explode. While energy efficiency and sobriety are essential levers of action for wealthy countries (50% of global emissions are generated by 10% of the population, or 750 million people [2]), they are inadequate for 90% of the world's population, who aspire to a better quality of life. The energy and ecological transition is an inescapable reality, but it must above all be egalitarian, with better distribution and management of energy and natural resources.  To achieve this transition, Western countries can tighten their belts, but this will not be enough to compensate for growing needs. We therefore need innovation and investment more than ever. Finance has a key role to play.


Key words: Energy mix, equitable transition, innovation, green finance

Career and Main Achievements

Net-Zero Impact, WBCSD, European Commission, Science and Environment, Biocomp Nepal, Procter & Gamble, US Environmental Protection Agency

Couverture d'un rapport


USEtox - ACV - EU Product Environmental Footprint

  1. Owsianiak, M. , Michael Z. Hauschild, Leo Posthuma, Erwan Saouter, Martina G. Vijver, Thomas Backhaus, Mélanie Douziech, Tamar Schlekat, Peter Fantke. Ecotoxicity characterization of chemicals: Global recommendations and implementation in USEtox. Chemosphere 310, 136807 (2023).

  2. Sala, S., Biganzoli, F., Mengual, E. S. & Saouter, E. Toxicity impacts in the environmental footprint method: calculation principles. Int. J. Life Cycle Assess. 27, 587–602 (2022).

  3. Dorne, J. L. C. M. et al. EFSA’s OpenFoodTox: An open source toxicological database on chemicals in food and feed and its future developments. Environ Int 146, 106293 (2021).

  4. Erwan Saouter, Fabrizio Biganzoli, Rana Pant, Serenella Sala, Donald Versteeg: Using REACH for the EU Environmental Footprint: building a usable ecotoxicity database (part I). Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 05/2019;, DOI:10.1002/ieam.4168

  5. Erwan Saouter, Deidre Wolff, Fabrizio Biganzoli, Donald Versteeg: Comparing options for deriving chemical ecotoxicity hazard values for the EU Environmental Footprint (part II). Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 05/2019;, DOI:10.1002/ieam.4169

  6. Peter Fantke, Nicolo Aurisano, Jane Bare, Thomas Backhaus, Cécile Bulle, Peter M. Chapman, Dick De Zwart, Robert Dwyer, Alexi Ernstoff, Laura Golsteijn, Hanna Holmquist, Olivier Jolliet, Thomas E. McKone, Mikołaj Owsianiak, Willie Peijnenburg, Leo Posthuma, Sandra Roos, Erwan Saouter, Diederik Schowanek, Nico M. van Straalen, Martina G. Vijver, Michael Hauschild: Toward Harmonizing Ecotoxicity Characterization in Life Cycle Impact Assessment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 09/2018; 37(12)., DOI:10.1002/etc.4261

  7. Erwan Saouter, Karin Aschberger, Peter Fantke, Michael Z Hauschild, Aude Kienzler, Alicia Paini, Rana Pant, Anita Radovnikovic, Michela Secchi, Serenella Sala: Improving substance information in USEtox® , part 2: Data for estimating fate and ecosystem exposure factors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 07/2017; 36(12)., DOI:10.1002/etc.3903

  8. Erwan Saouter, Karin Aschberger, Peter Fantke, Michael Z Hauschild, Stephanie K Bopp, Aude Kienzler, Alicia Paini, Rana Pant, Michela Secchi, Serenella Sala: Improving substance information in USEtox® , part 1: Discussion on data and approaches for estimating freshwater ecotoxicity effect factors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 06/2017; 36(12)., DOI:10.1002/etc.3889

02. Ecolabel - ACV - Risk Assessment

  1. Erwan Saouter, An De Schryver, Rana Pant, Serenella Sala: Estimating chemical ecotoxicity in EU ecolabel and in EU product environmental footprint. Environment International 09/2018; 118., DOI:10.1016/j.envint.2018.05.022

  2. Saouter, E. G., Perazzolo, C. & Steiner, L. D. Comparing chemical environmental scores using USEtoxTM and CDV from the European Ecolabel. Int. J. Life Cycle Assess. 16, 795–802 (2011). DOI:10.1007/s11367-011-0314-6

  3. Serenella Sala, Assumpcio’ Anton, Sarah J. McLaren, Bruno Notarnicola, Erwan Saouter, Ulf Sonesson: In quest of reducing the environmental impacts of food production and consumption. Journal of Cleaner Production 09/2016; 140., DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.09.054

  4. Sara Corrado, Fulvio Ardente, Serenella Sala, Erwan Saouter: Modelling of food loss within life cycle assessment: From current practice towards a systematisation. Journal of Cleaner Production 06/2016; 140., DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.06.050

  5. Bruno Notarnicola, Serenella Sala, Assumpció Anton, Sarah J. McLaren, Erwan Saouter, Ulf Sonesson: The role of life cycle assessment in supporting sustainable agri-food systems: A review of the challenges. Journal of Cleaner Production 06/2016; 140., DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.06.071

  6. Bradley Ridoutt, Peter Fantke, Stephan Pfister, Jane Bare, Anne-Marie Boulay, Francesco Cherubini, Rolf Frischknecht, Michael Hauschild, Stefanie Hellweg, Andrew Henderson, Olivier Jolliet, Annie Levasseur, Manuele Margni, Thomas McKone, Ottar Michelsen, Llorenç Milà I Canals, Girija Page, Rana Pant, Marco Raugei, Serenella Sala, Erwan Saouter, Francesca Verones, Thomas Wiedmann: Making Sense of the Minefield of Footprint Indicators. Environmental Science and Technology 02/2015; 49(5)., DOI:10.1021/acs.est.5b00163

  7. Serenella Sala, Erwan Saouter: Planetary Boundaries and Chemical Pollution: A Grail Quest?. 11/2014; 36(6)., DOI:10.1515/ci-2014-0603

  8. Erwan Saouter, Gert van Hoof, Charles A. Pittinger, Tom C. J. Feijtel: The effect of compact formulations on the environmental profile of Northern European granular laundry detergents: Part I: Environmental risk assessment. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 11/2001; 6(6):363-372., DOI:10.1007/BF02978867 

  9. Erwan Saouter, Gert van Hoof, Tom C. J. Feijtel, J. William Owens: The Effect of Compact Formulations on the Environmental Profile of Northern European Granular Laundry Detergents Part II: Life Cycle Assessment. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 06/2002; 7(1):27-38., DOI:10.1007/BF02978907

  10. Erwan Saouter, Peter White: Laundry Detergents: Cleaner Clothes and a Cleaner Environment. Corporate Environmental Strategy 02/2002; 9(1):40-51., DOI:10.1016/S1066-7938(01)00149-X

  11. Erwan Saouter, Gert van Hoof:  A Database for the Life-Cycle Assessment of Procter & Gamble. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 01/2002; 7(2):103-114., DOI:10.1007/BF02978854

  12. Erwan Saouter, Charlie Pittinger, Tom Feijtel: Aquatic Environmental Impact of Detergents: From Simple to More Sophisticated Models. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 11/2001; 50(2):153-9., DOI:10.1006/eesa.2001.2084

03. Comunicating Science

Couverture d'un rapport
  1. Erwan Saouter, Ina Andreasen: Costs and Benefits of Communicating Product Safety Information to the Public Via the Internet. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 04/2006; 2(2):191-5., DOI:10.1002/ieam.5630020212

  2. E Saouter: Science-in-the box or a commitment towards more transparency. EnviroInfo (2), 163-171. ISBN 282930275-3

04. Eco-Toxicology

  1. Pascal Radix, Marc Léonard, Christos Papantoniou, Gilles Roman, Erwan Saouter, Sophie Gallotti-Schmitt, Hervé Thiébaud, Paule Vasseur: Comparison of Four Chronic Toxicity Tests Using Algae, Bacteria, and Invertebrates Assessed with Sixteen Chemicals. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 11/2000; 47(2):186-94., DOI:10.1006/eesa.2000.1966

  2. Pascal Radix, Marc Léonard, Christos Papantoniou, Gilles Roman, Erwan Saouter, Sophie Gallotti—Schmitt, Hervé Thiébaud, Paule Vasseur: Comparison of Brachionus calyciflorus 2‐d and microtox® chronic 22‐h tests with Daphnia magna 21‐d test for the chronic toxicity assessment of chemicals. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 10/1999; 18(10):2178 - 2185., DOI:10.1002/etc.5620181009

  3. Erwan Saouter, Mark Gillman, Tamar Barkay: An evaluation of mer-specified reduction of ionic mercury as a remedial tool of a mercury-contaminated freshwater pond. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 03/1995; 14(3):343-348., DOI:10.1007/BF01569949

  4. Erwan Saouter, Mark Gillman, Ralph Turner, Tamar Barkay: Development and field validation of a microcosm to simulate the mercury cycle in a contaminated pond. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 01/1995; 14(1):69 - 77., DOI:10.1002/etc.5620140109

  5. S Nazaret, W H Jeffrey, E Saouter, R Von Haven, T Barkay: MerA gene-expression in aquatic environments measured by message-RNA production and Hg(II) volatilization. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 12/1994; 60(11):4059-65.

  6. Erwan Saouter, Beat Blattmann: Analyses of Organic and Inorganic Mercury by Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry Using a Semiautomatic Analytical System. Analytical Chemistry 07/1994; 66(13)., DOI:10.1021/ac00085a018

  7. Erwan Saouter, Ralph Turner, Tamar Barkay: Microbial Reduction of Ionic Mercury for the Removal of Mercury from Contaminated Environments. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 06/1994; 721(1):423-7., DOI:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1994.tb47413.x

  8. E. Saouter, P. G. C. Campbell, F. Ribeyre, A. Boudou: Use of Partial Extractions to Study Mercury Partitioning on Natural Sediment Particles—A Cautionary Note. International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry 12/1993; 54(1):57-68., DOI:10.1080/03067319308044427

  9. E. Saouter, L. Hare, P.G.C. Campbell, A. Boudou, F. Ribeyre: Mercury accumulation in the burrowing mayfly Hexagenia rigida (Ephemeroptera) exposed to CH3HgCl or HgCl2 in water and sediment. Water Research 06/1993; 27(6-27):1041-1048., DOI:10.1016/0043-1354(93)90068-S

  10. Tamar Barkay, Ralph Turner, Erwan Saouter, Joanne Horn: Mercury biotransformations and their potential for remediation of mercury contamination. Biodegradation 06/1992; 3(2):147-159., DOI:10.1007/BF00129080

  11. Landis Hare, Erwan Saouter, Peter G. C. Campbell, André Tessier, Francis Ribeyre, Alain Boudou: Dynamics of Cadmium, Lead, and Zinc Exchange between Nymphs of the Burrowing Mayfly Hexagenia rigida (Ephemeroptera) and the Environment. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 04/1991; 48(1):39-47., DOI:10.1139/f91-006

  12. A. Boudou, M. Delnomdedieu, D. Georgescauld, F. Ribeyre, E. Saouter: Fundamental roles of biological barriers in mercury accumulation and transfer in freshwater ecosystems (analysis at organism, organ, cell and molecular levels). Water Air and Soil Pollution 04/1991; 56(1):807-821., DOI:10.1007/BF00342318

  13. E Saouter, F Ribeyre, A Boudou, R Maury-Brachet: Hexagenia rigida (Ephemeroptera) as a biological model in aquatic ecotoxicology: Experimental studies on mercury transfers from sediment. Environmental Pollution 02/1991; 69(1):51-67., DOI:10.1016/0269-7491(91)90163-Q

  14. Saouter ER, R Le Menn, A Boudou, F Ribeyre: Structural and ultrastructural analysis if gills and gut of Hexagenia rigida nymphs (Ephemeroptera) in relation to contamination mechanisms. Tissue and Cell 02/1991; 23(6):929-38., DOI:10.1016/0040-8166(91)90042-R

  15. Catherine Zoll, Erwan Saouter, Alain Boudou, Francis Ribeyre, André Jaylet: Genotoxicity and bioaccumulation of methyl mercury and mercuric chloride in vivo in the newt Pleurodeles waltl. Mutagenesis 08/1988; 3(4):337-43., DOI:10.1093/mutage/3.4.337

  16. SYLVIE NAZARET, WADE H. JEFFREY, ERWAN SAOUTER, ROBIN VON HAVEN, TAMAR BARKAY: merAGeneExpression inAquatic Environments Measured by mRNA Production andHg(II) Volatilizationt.

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