Our Key Programme Areas

The Life Cycle Initiative achieves its vision and mission through the following three key programme areas:

1. Technical and Policy Advice, and Stewardship for Life Cycle Approaches

The Life Cycle Initiative offers a Community of Practice of choice. This allows collaboration towards mainstreaming Life Cycle Thinking and approaches into decision and policy making. Typically, a group of users seeking guidance for life cycle approaches in concrete applications would be gathered with relevant experts, selected in an open process.

The Community of Practice is achieved through: a global forum for life cycle user groups (to identify areas where more development work is needed); a repository of best practice (capitalizing experiences at different levels, from companies to governments), and; global guidance, tools and position papers developed collaboratively by life cycle experts and users (providing value in the process of harmonization and improvement of the use of life cycle knowledge).

2. Life Cycle Capacity Development

Work on Life Cycle Capacity Development aims at generating the necessary skills and capacity for the global application of life cycle approaches. Diverse channels and products are provided for the various target audiences of capacity development programmes: policy makers, business decision makers, practitioners. Such products include e-Learning, workshops, on-line and on-paper dissemination of success stories and best practice, and pilot projects.

Local and regional capacity is ensured by way of collaboration and partnering with local networks which secure the continuity and scale-up of capacity delivery beyond the action of the Life Cycle Initiative, as well as the work with higher education institutions to include life cycle approaches in curricula.

3. Life Cycle Knowledge Consensus and Platform

The Life Cycle Initiative ensures science-based global consensus building for the basic knowledge necessary to underpin life cycle approaches at the pre-competitive level (life cycle data, and environmental, social and economic impact assessment factors). This is done through robust processes engaging the global experts and user communities. Access to Life Cycle Knowledge as a public good and endorsed by the Life Cycle Initiative – including LCA databases and libraries of impact characterization factors properly linked through a global nomenclature system – is provided through a knowledge sharing platform. This enhances the robustness of life cycle approaches applied globally. The direct users of deliverables in this area are mainly Life Cycle Assessment practitioners and experts. Regular non-technical summaries on progress in the life cycle knowledge area are provided to inform policy and decision makers.