2022 has been a monumental year, marking the 50th anniversary of UNEP and the 20th anniversary of the Life Cycle Initiative. Life-cycle thinking as an approach to inform decisions, received unprecedented attention in the global policy arena, as reflected in the UNEA 5.2 resolution which initiated the process of negotiation of an international legally binding instrument to address the full life-cycle of plastic. Within UNEP also, life-cycle approaches have provided the scientific foundation for the organization’s focus on delivering change in high-impact sectors including plastics, textiles, buildings, and construction, and mining.
The Life Cycle Initiative continued applying life-cycle approaches to inform decisions and policymaking with the publication of “Single-use face masks and their alternatives: Recommendations from Life Cycle Assessments” and “Single-use supermarket food packaging and its alternatives: Recommendations from Life Cycle Assessments”. The Initiative also released the report on the nine pilot projects on Social LCA, provided policy support in the areas of national environmental footprints with SCP-HAT used in developing the 2nd NDC of South Sudan, co-hosted a side event with Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction: ‘Pathways to Sustainable Markets through credible, comparable Lifecycle-based information’ in COP27, and supported the first session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee on plastic pollution (INC-1).
All of this would not have been possible without the contribution of our committed Life Cycle Community that continued to bring life-cycle thinking to the forefront in conversations with both businesses and policymakers. We also acknowledge that the successes we achieved in 2022 would not have been possible without the contribution of our Steering Committee and the generous support of our funding partners.