The UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative is pleased to provide the life cycle community worldwide with a series of training materials which focus on life cycle management and some specific tools such as (environmental) life cycle assessment. The materials produced include, where possible, handbooks for trainers and examples on what and how to implement a life cycle approach. They were produced by internationally acknowledged educational organizations.
UNEP is developing a database of trainers that used the materials provided below. In case you are one of them, please send us your contact details. Now, please click on the selected training tool link below.
Water Footprint Training
The training materials include:
- An introduction to the basic concepts of water footprint, designed to be accessible for a non-expert public. In the perspective of raising awareness in the issue, the module presents different types of water footprint metrics and the pros & cons (TBC) of theses metrics.
- An advanced training material for more advanced LCA practitioners, describing past and current methods and focuses on a life cycle based approach. This module provides the basis to understand all the relevant aspects of water footprint to perform or critically review water footprint assessment.
- Extensive descriptions of calculation methods of the impacts of water use and water consumption are provided. Both midpoint impacts and damages (endpoints) on the environment are explained and illustrated.
- As water footprint can be assessed in different ways, the strengths and the weaknesses of the different approaches are explained and guidance on selecting a proper approach is provided.
- This material has been checked through a thorough validation process. It has been used to conduct workshops and the comments of the participants and independent reviewers were fully addressed.
Life Cycle Management — Capability Maturity Model Training Material
The aim of the LCM-CMM is to focus on capability development and implementation to fully operationalize and mainstream Life Cycle Assessment in product development, marketing, and strategic decision-making in business. From a practical point of view, this approach aims at continuously raising the organisational maturity of an entity and its suppliers in order to make value chains more sustainable. To make that happen, the capability framework divides sustainability concepts into smaller elements, with specific objectives tailored to the current state of knowledge and practice of the organization.
The LCM-CMM material consists of two components which are the LCM-CMM guidance document (workbook) and the training slides and accompanying worksheets for in-class exercises. The function of the training slides is to provide participants with a basic understanding of the elements of the LCM-CMM, guidance and worksheets to help them accomplish the following tasks at their own company or organization.
Authors: Maite Aldaya, Derk Kuiper, Jason Morrison, Rita Schenck, Peter Schulte, Erika Zarate.
Description: This report provides an overview on the public and private initiatives as well as methods and tools for water accounting and efficiency worldwide with the aim of raising awareness and enhancing sustainable water management. The report includes three documents developed by UNEP in the area of water footprint and corporate water accounting and disclosure for resource efficiency: 1. “Water footprint assessment, policy and practical measures in a specific geographical setting”. UNEP and Water Footprint Network. 2. “Corporate Water Accounting – An Analysis of Methods and Tools for Measuring Water Use and its Impacts”. UNEP and UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate with the Pacific Institute. 3. “Mapping Initiatives on Corporate Water Disclosure”. UNEP, the CEO Water Mandate and the Global Reporting Initiative.
Lead author: Jacqueline McGlade
Description: This report analyses the different ways for quantifying and accounting for water flows and productivity within the economy (including environmental needs). Based on data from the literature, the report provides the current state of knowledge of the different indicators and tools for quantifying water productivity and highlights why this is important for developing robust allocation and management systems that preserve the natural capital. It is therefore an important piece of work to inform the discussions on decoupling economic growth from water use and impacts and the debate on resource productivity indicators going beyond GDP and carbon that underpin a green economy. The report focuses on two main elements: 1) the conceptual background and knowledge on how water use puts pressure on the environment; 2) methodologies to quantify water availability and use and how this influences ecosystems.
Authors: Guido Sonnemann & Bruce Vigon
Published: 2012 Description: The document provides guidance principles for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) databases; this includes how to collect raw data, how to develop datasets and how to manage databases. The publication also addresses questions concerning data documentation and review, coordination among databases, capacity building and future scenarios. LCA databases provide fundamental energy, materials, land, water, consumption data and emissions data into water, air and soil for a wide range of processes, productucts and materials. In this way the publication provides the bridge between the data users and the data providers, making basic information easily accessible for computing the environmental footprints of materials and products that are key to make and judge green claims and to allow institutional and individual consumers to make informed consumption choices.
Primary authors: Sonia Valdivia, Cássia Maria Lie Ugaya
Primary authors: Reinout Heijungs & Helias Udo de Haes of CML, Leiden University, the Netherlands. Secondary authors: Philip White & Jay Golden, School of Sustainability, Arizona State.
Published: 2008 Description: This training kit presents the central messages of Life Cycle Assessment in a format accessible to life cycle experts and practitioners. The training kit explains LCA under four topics (372 slides): (1) Introduction to LCA and its relation with environmental decision support; (2) Overview of LCA; (3) In-depth presentation of the main issues in LCA; (4) Specialization modules for selected topics. A list of resources is also available such as a complete example of LCA kindly provided by our Mexican partners
Authors: Jennifer Cooper, Josh Hendry, Chris Peterson and James Fava of Five Winds International, Greg Schiefer of SETAC North America, Sonia Valdivia & Guido Sonnemann of UNEP, Allan Astrup Jensen of FORCE Technology, Paolo Frankl of Ecobilancio
Published: 2007 Description: The LCM Training kit is based on the work of the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative task forces on Life Cycle Management. Life Cycle Management aims to minimize the environmental and socio-economic burdens associated with product or product portfolio throughout its entire life cycle and value chain. This training kit consists of 4 parts and more than 700 slides (from an introduction, through how to use LCM and to communicate on benefits, to the presentation of stakeholders expectations). It also illustrates how businesses are putting life cycle thinking into practice.
Authors: Allan Astrup Jensen, Arne Remmen, Anne Landfield, Kim Christiansen, Kun Mo Lee, Tom Swarr, Paolo Frankl, Michael Kundt, Burcu Tuncer, Gerald Rebitzer, Robert Ackermann
Description: In 81 slides, this tool provides an introduction to sustainability and life cycle thinking before explaining life cycle management in several steps: integrated management systems and tools, life cycle based design and product development, communication of life cycle information, stakeholder relationships, economic aspects in LCM, and process LCM. It also provides examples of applications of these aspects in life cycle management.
Why take a Life Cycle Approach?