November/December 2019 Edition

LCNet Focus


Sustainable Consumption and Production Hotspots Analysis Tool (SCP-HAT)

The SCP-HAT is an online application that analyses the environmental and socio-economic performance of 171 countries over the past 25 years to provide scientific evidence of areas where improvement can be made. The tool allows countries to see where “hotspots” of unsustainable practices in consumption and production are occurring by integrating a wide-range of data on raw material use, greenhouse gas emission and climate change, air pollution and health, land use and biodiversity loss. It provides data at national level as well as for 26 standard sectors. The tool is intended for use by policy experts, statisticians and the general public, and can be accessed here.

The objective of the SCP HAT tool is to continuously enhance its scientific relevance for policy design and strategic interventions. Moving forward, we are excited to announce that we will shortly begin developing the tool further to provide even more insight with a more detailed approach to sectors and the inclusion of new environmental and socio-economic performance indicators. Please share your experiences and insights with us!

>> Read more
>> Access the tool



The Life Cycle Initiative welcomes its new Steering Committee

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the 3rd General Assembly of the Initiative on the 24th of September. We hope you found it informative and enjoyed it just as much as we enjoyed hosting it. Please use the following link to access the presentation from the event.

A new and exciting phase began for the Life Cycle Initiative shortly after the General Assembly on the 3rd of November 2019, with the election of the Steering Committee. The statistics of the election can be found in the election report summary.

The Steering Committee is comprised of 10 seats: three occupied by government representatives; three by business representatives; and three by science and civil society stakeholders, including one seat for an ‘individual’ committee member. The remaining seat is occupied by a representative of the UN Environment Programme. Every constituency must have representatives from different regions to ensure adequate geographical representation. You can see the governance structure of the Life Cycle Initiative directly on our website.

Congratulations to the four elected members! The newly elected Government representatives to the Steering Committee are the United States – Department of Agriculture (USDA-ARS-NAL) – North America, and the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) – Asia/Pacific. The business constituency for the coming mandate has been filled by FICCI in India – Asia/Pacific, who has been re-elected for the second time. Finally, CIRAIG – North America has also been re-elected to represent the science and civil society constituency.

The Secretariat warmly welcomes all our new Steering Committee members!

Global Guidance on Environmental Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators (GLAM) Volume 2 published!

We are excited to announce that the second volume of the Global Guidance on Environmental Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators (GLAM) is now ready and accessible directly through our website!

Through this report, the aim of the Life Cycle Initiative is to initiate a global process to reach consensus on recommended environmental indicators and characterisation factors (CFs) for life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). Four initial topics were discussed in international task forces for 24 months before concluding with the publication of Global Guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators Volume 1 (Frischknecht & Jolliet 2017; Jolliet et al. 2018).
The four topics were climate change, fine particulate matter impacts on human health, water use impacts (scarcity and human health impacts), and land use impacts on biodiversity. The same process was replicated for additional environmental topics for the second report, namely 1) acidification and eutrophication, 2) human toxicity 3) mineral resources 4) soil quality and related ecosystem services, 5) ecotoxicity, as well as 6) crosscutting issues.

The delivery of this report involved academic domain experts, LCIA method developers, consultants, industry associations, and users of life cycle information, including intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), government, industry, and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). This enabled to maintain the balance between scientific rigour and practicality, to bridge the gap between scientific complexity and the call for meaningful and well-tested environmental indicators, while carefully defining the domain of applicability for which the developed indicators are appropriate.
The first volume is still available on our website and you are invited to discover our second and latest exciting volume!

>> Discover GLAM Volume 2

Call for Proposals: ‘Hotspots analysis for different value chains involving ozone-depleting substances’

The Life Cycle Initiative is issuing a Call for Proposals for a study aiming to carry out a hotspot analysis for different value chains involving ozone-depleting substances (ODS), regarding the impacts on ozone depletion and climate change as well as other relevant impacts. The deliverable should be a short summary report on the global overview of the hotspots in different value chains using ODS to deliver their functions and highlight the key areas of intervention.

The deadline for submission is 15th of December, COB.

>> Access background information and download the application template

Position Paper on Circular Economy

The Life Cycle Initiative has recently started working on a position paper on circular economy (CE), which is expected to be finished in end 2019. It is based on the assumption that Life Cycle Assessment could become a useful tool in CE programs as a way to ensure that the best environmental decisions are made when evaluating different options to close the loop. This is partly because both CE and Life Cycle (LC) community consider environmental, social and economic dimension. Life cycle perspective can thus help prevent CE strategies from overlooking possible upstream and downstream impacts, potentially leading to less efficient or even bad solutions.
This position paper aims to provide the LC community’s perspective in terms of conceptual definitions, scope, methodology and measurements. We want to reach consensus within the LCA community on terminology and priority issues in order to improve the opportunity for the inclusion of the LC approach in the global discussion and in methodological tools for the implementation of Circular Economy.

If you would like to contribute to this position paper (e.g. providing knowledge, expertise, case study and editing), please write to Feng Wang, and copy Josephine Courtois, with your area of expertise. Thank you!

The GLAD Working Groups on Nomenclature and Metadata descriptors are back!

As we advance in the implementation of the Global LCA Data Access network (GLAD) we are happy to re-activate the working groups on Nomenclature and the Metadata Descriptors, two essential elements to ensure LCA data interoperability within GLAD. These working groups will be animated by the Technical Management Group of GLAD, and will be key to ensure the adequate evolution of metadata descriptors as well as to maintain the nomenclature system that is required to keep up to date with new versions of databases being published, as well as new life cycle impact assessment methods requiring new flows, etc. Do you have experience with developing, sorting and managing LCA datasets? Have you been dealing with the intricacies of managing LCA data within software packages?

You probably have what it takes! If so, and are willing to put some of your time for the good of the LCA community, please reply to this survey.

Join the project overview webinar on ‘Guidance on plastic pollution hotspotting & shaping actions’ | 25 November 2019

UN Environment Programme and IUCN have been jointly collaborating on the project 'Guidance on plastic pollution hotspotting and shaping actions’, with the technical support from EA and Quantis. A leaflet of the project summarizes its objectives and approach. On 25 November, a webinar will be organized to introduce the progress of the project, as well as the guidance that will be published soon. Please refer to the following information to join the webinar.

Date & Time: Monday 25 November 2019, 2:00-3:30PM (GMT+1)

Please join the webinar through Skype for business from your laptop or your mobile phone APP:

Call for Applications for the 2019 LCA Award

With the great support from the World Resources Forum and various LCA databases and software companies (ecoinvent, IKE, ifu Hamburg, GreenDelta, Social Hotspot Database, PRé Sustainability, Thinkstep), the Life Cycle Initiative launches its new call for applications for the 2019 LCA Award. The award aims to enhance the capacity to apply life cycle thinking around the world, by generating local life cycle data, knowledge and application.

The deadline for application is 31st of December 2019.

>> More information on how to participate

Calling for input on contributions from Life Cycle Thinking / LCA to Green and Sustainable Chemistry

Responding to Resolution 4/8, adopted by the UN Environment Assembly in March 2019, UNEP is synthesizing the analysis of best practices in sustainable chemistry into manuals on green and sustainable chemistry. The development of these manuals will take place in 2020. UNEP welcomes inputs of best practices from the lifecycle community on Sustainable Chemistry. These examples could demonstrate how life cycle thinking contributes to green and sustainable chemistry, or how green and sustainable chemistry are / should be based on lifecycle thinking.

For more background information, please refer to information document (SAICM/IP.3/INF/9) made available at the occasion of the third meeting of the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. This document outlined among others the approach to be taken in responding to the mandate to prepare manuals on green and sustainable chemistry.

>> Please contact Sandra Averous at [email protected] if you would like to contribute.

Second social LCA metrics workshop | 6 December 2019

The European Commission, in cooperation with the UN Environment Programme and the Life Cycle Initiative, is organizing the second social LCA metrics workshop open to all stakeholders, member states, and LCA practitioners on the 6th of December 2020. The workshop will be exceptionally held in Pescara, Italy in occasion of the social LCA Forum, 5 and 6 December 2019.

>> More information | Event website
>> Specific request and registration, please contact [email protected].

Event Feedback and Activity Updates


World Resources Forum 2019: the global platform for resources expertise

The WRF 2019 conference was held in Geneva on the 23rd and 24th of October and was centered on the theme of ‘Anchoring Natural Resources and Raw Materials Management for Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production’. The WRF has a large array of stakeholders, both individual and institutional, making it a strong science-based platform for sharing knowledge on the economic, political, social and environmental implications of global resource use.

The Life Cycle Initiative had the chance to organize two workshops during the WRF conference ‘Apply life cycle thinking to achieve green business and sustainable development’, as well as ‘Towards a Circular Economy for Electronics’. In the life cycle workshop, there was a very rich composition of presenters and panelists (Sonia Valdivia from WRF, Steven Stone, Elisa Tonda and Feng Wang from UNEP, Stefanie Hellweg from ETH, Joao de Sousa from IUCN, D. Sanjeevan Bajaj from Sukhbir Agro Energy Ltd., Gregor Wernet from ecoinvent, and Dean Tashobya from Uganda National Bureau of Standards) to exchange their experiences and viewpoints on the barriers and opportunities to apply life cycle thinking in business and policies.

This conference also served as a great way to disseminate the Sustainable Consumption and Production Hotspot Analysis Tool (SCP-HAT).

Our Ocean Conference

Oslo (Norway) hosted on 23-24 October the high level Our Ocean conference, which brought together leaders from governments, businesses, civil society and research institutions to share their experience, identify solutions and commit to action for a clean, healthy and productive ocean. A significant portion of the conference was devoted to tackling ocean pollution, and in this context the first annual progress report of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment was launched. The Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme, and the Life Cycle Initiative endorses it since its launch in October 2018.

This report provides an unprecedented level of transparency on how almost 200 businesses and governments are changing their plastic production and use to achieve this. It shows promising early progress, including major commitments to reduce the use of virgin plastic, the introduction of some reuse pilot projects, and increased demand for recycled plastic in packaging. However, a lot of the focus is still in the “last R”: Recycle, and a key challenge is to incentivise reuse models that we know are more resource efficient and prevent plastic pollution. Significant efforts are also ongoing on eliminating the use of plastic products which are considered most problematic. The Life Cycle Initiative will also be delivering results of meta-analyses of LCA studies comparing single-use plastic products and their alternatives during 2020, which will help inform some of such decisions.

IBICT presented life cycle thinking in the SNCT conference

Dr. Thiago Rodrigues from the Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology (IBICT), steering committee member of the Initiative, presented life cycle thinking in the 16th National Science and Technology Week on 27 October in Brasilia. The name for the conference is “Bioeconomy: Diversity and Wealth for Sustainable Development”.

Thiago demonstrated the importance to use LCA as a tool to measure the use of natural resources and environmental impacts caused by a product all along its value chain, from raw material extraction to its disposal. The tool is a support to making decisions that will improve the environmental, economic and social performances of products. He also introduced the international network on the Global LCA Data Access (GLAD), in which IBICT has been playing a strong role to provide a reference to the world.

The [avniR] Conference

The [avniR] conference is an international event that gathers nearly 250 public decision-makers, companies, researchers and consulting firms every year. This year the conference focused around the application of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Ecodesign for the implementation of the circular economy. The objective of this year’s conference was to share the latest best practices, scientific insights and innovations leading to the successful implementation of Life Cycle Management to boost competitiveness.

The Life Cycle Initiative participated in the plenary on ‘implement a more circular future’, in which Feng Wang presented a wide variety of UNEP projects related to circular economy. This conference also served as a great way to disseminate the Sustainable Consumption and Production Hotspot Analysis Tool (SCP-HAT), drawing a connection between this tool and circular economy.

News from the LC Network

Progress on Peru LCA

We wish to inform you of the good progress on Peru LCA. You can find an informative video directly on PeruLCA website, the Peruvian National LCA database. This video is part of the project ‘Advance SCP’, put in place by the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, supervised by the Ministry of the Environment of Peru and financed by the UN Environment Programme and the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety of Germany.

>> Watch the video

Goodbye to Kate O’Brien and Welcome to Joséphine Courtois

At the end of October, we had to say goodbye to Kate O’Brien who has been working as an intern in the Secretariat of the Life Cycle Initiative over the past six months. Kate has delivered excellent work on coordinating the finalization of the GLAM report, the single-use plastic bag study, and numerous tasks in the Secretariat. We wish her much success in her future career in the life cycle and sustainability fields.

At the same time, we are very pleased to welcome our new intern Joséphine Courtois, who joined us in September.


A new exciting opportunity at UNEP Finance Initiative

A great opportunity to join the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) as a consultant in Geneva is now available! UNEP FI is seeking a researcher/writer to undertake a global study on risks and opportunities related to financing a circular economy. The consultant would undertake primary and secondary research, writing, editing and integration of stakeholder feedback during peer reviews/consultations to deliver the scoping report on key opportunities and mechanisms to advance circularity through the financial sector.
The deadline is 19th of November.

>> Apply here

Upcoming Events

Indian Conference on Lifecycle management (ILCM) 2019 | 14-15 November 2019 | Gujarat, India

ILCM is a flagship event instituted by FICCI to promote Life Cycle Thinking among various stakeholder groups in India - government, industry, academia as well as non-voluntary sector. The forum focuses exclusively on Life Cycle Management and related topics. The conference brings the latest knowledge and understanding on science based Sustainable Consumption and Production practices, and technical issues relevant in India to drive the ILCM agenda. Key topics include:

1. How to embed Life Cycle considerations into Existing Business Practices
2. Need for Evolving Life Cycle Assessment to achieve better alignment with Circular Economy
3. Need for Indian LCIA Data Infrastructure for advancing Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy based strategies
4. Progressing Indian LCA landscape from current product based LCA to the portfolio of LCAs, LCT in policy making

>> Visit the conference website

Social LCA Forum | 5-6 December 2019 | Pescara, Italy

The European Commission, in cooperation with the UN Environment Programme and the Life Cycle Initiative, is organizing the second social LCA metrics workshop open to all stakeholders, members states, and LCA practitioners on the 6th of December 2020. The workshop will be exceptionally held in Pescara, Italy in occasion of the social LCA Forum, 5 and 6 December 2019.

This year’s forum edition focuses on social aspects of circular economy and as drivers for competitiveness, and on the role of S-LCA methodology in this context. There is a limited number of places and the workshop registration is absolutely required.

More details are available at For more information and registrations please contact: [email protected].

ISIE Americas 2020 Conference | 6-8 July 2020 | Lima, Peru

The ISIE Americas 2020 conference will be held in July 2020 in Lima, Peru. The theme of the conference is "Enhancing circularity and well-being through industrial ecology for resilient and sustainable cities". There is a call for papers, and the deadline for submission is 31st January 2020. Consult the event flyer.

Ongoing call for LCNet Contributions

Members of the Life Cycle Initiative, please feel free to submit your event, job vacancy, news, capacity development opportunities, topics and stories related to life cycle thinking and LCA, to be shared with the global life cycle community. We are always looking for featured coverage on the experience how life cycle thinking contributes to different policy agendas, sustainable business and decision making, in various countries and regions. You may send your content to [email protected] and copy [email protected]. Note that we cannot accept contributions of a commercial nature.

LCNet is released bimonthly in the beginning of January, March, May, July, September and November; please send us your piece approximately two weeks before the release date.

We look forward to your contributions in disseminating life cycle knowledge from global policy and business agendas!

Thank you to the Life Cycle Initiative Funding Partners!

For more information, please visit our website or feel free to contact us by email.
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