March/April 2020 Edition

LC-Net Focus

New Report: The 2019 Annual Progress Report of the Life Cycle Initiative

The 2019 Annual Progress Report of the LC Initiative is now directly accessible through our website. The report is a great way to catch up with the progress of the Initiative across its 2017-2022 strategy through the achievements of various projects. 2019 was a landmark year for the Life Cycle Initiative, as we have received unprecedented attention to mainstream life cycle thinking at the global policy level.
LC Initiative 2019 progres report
Several resolutions adopted at the Fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA4), request UNEP to deliver specific studies, knowledge and support to member states related to life cycle approaches at different levels. In response to these requests, the Life Cycle Initiative has advanced significantly on providing policy support through the development of tools and training modules to mainstream life-cycle thinking and facilitate evidence-based decision making in governments and businesses. 2019 was also the midterm point for the strategy 2017-2022 and we can celebrate significant successes on our three main programme areas as we pass this milestone: Technical and policy advice, Capacity development, and Knowledge.

>> Access the 2019 Annual Progress Report


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The Life Cycle Initiative has a new Funding Partner!

In February 2020, the Basque Government’s Ministry for the Environment, Territorial Planning and Housing, represented by IHOBE, the Public Environmental Performance Agency, officially became a new funding partner of the Life Cycle Initiative, hosted by UNEP.

IHOBE supports the Basque Government in developing Environmental Planning (Basque Environmental Frame Program 2020, Biodiversity Strategy 2020, Climate Change Plan and the Circular Economy Strategy 2030) and Demand Driven Instruments to foster Ecodesign and Circular Economy (legislation, economic instruments, standards, market instruments), leading Ecoinnovation Project Supporting Programs (a budget of 1,5 million Euros/year that activates more than 35 projects) and transferring its results to the private sector through its companies network of Green Supply Chain Management and a cascade network that reaches more than 300 industrial SMEs. IHOBE also coordinates the Environmental R&D priorities and partners in the Basque Research and Development Plan 2020 in the area of Circular Economy.

IHOBE became a funding partner of the Life Cycle Initiative to support the access and interoperability of LCA data, to enhance harmonization of impact assessment methods and to foster application of LCA globally and by SMEs.

>> More information on IHOBE

Get Involved: GLAM Phase 3 launch

The Life Cycle Initiative is pleased to announce the launch of the Global LCIA guidance Phase 3 “Creation of a Global Life Cycle Impact Assessment Method", aiming at establishing a comprehensive, consistent and global environmental Life Cycle Impact Assessment Method (LCIA). Building on the recommendations for nine impact categories from the first two phases (Frischknecht and Jolliet, 2016 & 2019), the integration of individual environmental indicators into a consistent, harmonized and more comprehensive LCIA midpoint to damage method will be key to facilitate application and use of life cycle based information by governments, industry and NGOs.

The recommended global LCIA method will cover four main areas including normalisation and weighting (NW) to assess the life cycle impacts of products and services on human health (HH), ecosystem quality (EQ) and natural resources (NR).

>> Please express your interest on the linked form to join one or several of these task forces, either as a LCIA developer status (expertise in the field, minimum in-kind commitment of 8 days’ work/year, regular attendance to teleconferences) or a stakeholder status providing important advisory comments.

>> More information on this project

New Report: LCA studies on single-use plastic bags and their alternatives

The meta-analysis study on single-use plastic bag developed with IVL is nearly finalised after stakeholder consultation and is now from our website in a pre-publication draft. A series of other studies on single-use plastic products will be published throughout the year including on take-away food packaging as well as beverage bottles. A high-level summary report for policy makers integrating the findings in previous studies will be published in October 2020 as an information document to the Fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA5).

>> Access the pre-publication draft report

New Report: “Addressing Marine Plastics: A systemic Approach – Recommendations for Actions”

Building on two previous reports (Addressing Marine Plastics: A Systemic Approach – Stocktaking Report and Mapping of Global Plastics Value Chain and Plastics Losses to the Environment: With a Particular Focus on Marine Environment) developed under the GEF project ‘Addressing Marine Plastics - A Systemic Approach’, the latest report ‘Addressing Marine Plastics: A Systemic Approach – Recommendations for Actions’ identifies gaps to address marine plastics at each value chain stage, and recommends actions to be taken by different stakeholders to achieve a circular economy for plastics at the global level. The report also recommends actions in priority sectors where plastic leakage is substantial and impacts on the environment are high.

>> Access and download the report


Event feedback and activity updates

Participation to the Workshop “Product Environmental Footprint: Experience of Green Coffee in Latin America and the Caribbean” in Bogota, Colombia - February 19th 2020

The Workshop “Product Environmental Footprint: Experience of Green Coffee in Latin America and the Caribbean” gathered two regional initiatives with similar needs in Latin America and the Caribbean, with experts from the European Commission (EC) on Environment Footprint. UNEP and ECLAC organised this workshop in the context of the REAL project, to respond to demands from the countries participating in the Red del Café and Alianza Ambiental regarding their compliance with Performance Environmental Footprint (PEF) requirements.

The two regional initiatives are the Latin American and Caribbean Coffee Environmental Footprint Network (Red del Café) and the first regional ecolabeling programme, Environmental Alliance of America (Alianza Ambiental de América). The participation of the EC Environmental Footprint Team and experts on dataset generation, documentation and sharing from the EC JRC allowed covering key requirements for PEF-Compliance: related to modelling, data format, aggregation level, data quality requirements, review process… Intensive debate facilitated by on-line participation of the EC experts and members of Red del Café from all over the region allowed to define specific points to be developed in the next few months, with the aim of having a PEFCR proposal for Green Coffee endorsed by the Environmental Footprint Team. The financial and expert contribution from the European Commission in this event is kindly acknowledged.

News from our Network

Educational LCA videos from ELSA-PACT Business Chair

The ELSA-PACT Business Chair has produced 3 educational videos on LCA that we invite you to discover on the following links:
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  • Understanding Life Cycle Thinking in English and in French
    This video presents in 3 minutes "what is LCA" by taking the example of a consumer product, an orange juice. The target audience is very broad and ranges from the general public to corporate managers and engineers.
  • LCA and public decision support - Application to the case of water at territorial scale in English and in French
    This video illustrates the contributions of LCA for public decision-making. It is based on the example of water management at the territorial level (sanitation, drinking water supply, irrigation, REUSE). The target audience is decision markers for cities or territories as well as water management specialists or LCA practitioners.
  • LCA as a tool contributing to your company’s performance in English and in French
    The latest video presents how LCA can be useful to the various departments of a company (design, purchasing, marketing, production, quality, etc.). The target audience is business executives, managers, engineers, etc.
>> For more information related to ELSA-PACT please contact the Project Manager: Charlotte Pradinaud or the chairholder, Philippe Roux.

>> Access the website

Our Calendar: where we and our partners will be active

First Meeting of the G20 Climate Stewardship Working Group | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | 3-4 March 2020

Under Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of the G20, UNEP’s Life Cycle Initiative has been invited to contribute to the first meeting of the Climate Stewardship Working Group (CSWG) in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) on 3-4 March 2020. The focus of the CSWG discussions during the 2020 Saudi Presidency will be on how to manage emissions in the food value chain, the industry sector and mobility. The specific focus in the mobility sector will touch on how Life-Cycle-Assessment (LCA) and science-based decision-making can help to achieve climate ambitions and inform mobility policies. UNEP will provide a framework of how LCA is used in each stage of the Policy Cycle, and will provide some examples of LCA-based transport policies from around the world. Key messages from a recent report of the International Resource Panel (IRP) on Resource Efficiency and Climate Change will be presented, about the contribution of material efficiency strategies applied in light duty vehicles to the reduction potential of GHG emissions. Outcomes of the event will be reported in the next LC Net.

The SETAC Europe 30th Annual Meeting I 3-7 May 2020 I Dublin

Be part of the SETAC Europe 30th Annual Meeting, which will be held from 3–7 May 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. This 5-day event featuring a variety of training, networking and learning opportunities, promises to be an exciting place if you are interested in emerging research, regulatory developments and the latest methodologies in environmental toxicology and chemistry. Over 2,500 scientists, assessors, regulators and managers from academia, business and government, representing an average of 60 countries, provides a unique networking opportunity and a chance for cross-collaboration long after the closing session.

The Life Cycle Initiative will be hosting several events during the conference:
  • Monday 4 May, 09:00 – 13:00, Launch of the Global LCA Data Access network, GLAD. Wicklow Meeting Room 2. For more information and to confirm your participation please e-mail Ms. Claudia Giacovelli
  • Tuesday 5 May, 09:30 – 16:30, Life Cycle Initiative Steering Committee meeting (only for members of the SC)
  • Wednesday 6 May, 15:30 – 18:00, Workshop of the MariLCA project, Wicklow Hall 2B (session 5.06 ends at 15:30 in same room) For more information and to confirm your participation please e-mail Mr. Philip Strothmann
>> More information
>> Register to attend the event

7th International Conference on Social Life Cycle Assessment I 15-17 June 2020 I Gothenburg, Sweden

Swedish Life Cycle Center are pleased to inform you that on June 15-17, 2020, the 7th international conference on Social Life Cycle Assessment will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, on the Chalmers campus Johanneberg. The conference is co-arranged by KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, and it is hosted by the Swedish Life Cycle Center.

>> For more information about the conference, please visit the easychair website, or the life cycle center website.

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".

>> More information and registration

The SETAC 8th World Congress I 6-10 September 2020 I Singapore

The SETAC 8th World Congress, which will be held from 6–10 September 2020 in Singapore, promises to be an amazing international meeting, especially appropriate for students, young scientists and those at the cutting edge of their respective scientific fields. The venue, Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, offers an incredible experience for attendees, where SETAC has secured a block of discounted rooms.
Note that abstract submission will open in January.

>> More information
>> More information on the venue

75th Jubilee Swiss LCA Forum I 14-15 September 2020 I Zürich, Switzerland

The theme of the 75th Jubilee LCA forum is “Life Cycle Thinking = Lower Footprint?”. LCA is supposed to help us tackle the huge global environmental challenges, as the necessary improvements of our global environmental performance (climate, biodiversity, water, toxics, etc.) and the global trends don't yet match at all. LCA alone cannot do the trick, but we would expect LCA to be an important tool supporting economy and society to identify ways how to operate within planetary boundaries. But - is it? Which big decisions made use of LCA and lead to substantial absolute environmental improvements? And what can we learn from these cases?
You are cordially invited – as presenter and/or participant, from industry, administration, science, or NGO – to discuss:
  • How much does LCA really help in reducing pressure on the environment?
  • Which important decisions were based on LC thinking and analysis?
  • How can LCA become more effective for big & relevant issues?
>> Register for the event

The 12th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food I 13-16 October 2020 I Berlin, Germany

The International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food is the leading conference series on sustainability of food systems worldwide. Every second year, it unites around 400 scholars and practitioners working in academia, industry and public institutions from more than 40 countries.

Organized by leading research and practice institutions dealing with the sustainability improvements of food production, the Conference brings the spirit of innovation and forces research and industry to work together towards sustainable agri-food systems.

The 12th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food will take place from 13-16 October 2020 in Berlin at Ellington Hotel Berlin. This 12th edition focuses on “Towards sustainable agri-food systems” and will bring together results of sustainability research and applied activities to contributing to meet the challenges of the 21st century. It is chaired by the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL) in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Leadership at University of Witten/Herdecke (ZNU), corsus – corporate sustainability and thinkstep.

>> Key dates and conference topics

Seventh edition of the Brazilian Congress on Life Cycle Management (CGV 2020) I 19-22 October 2020 I Gramado, Brazil.

The Brazilian Congress on Life Cycle Management (GCV 2020) reaches its seventh edition, consolidating itself as a key event regarding Life Cycle Management in Brazil. This year, the Congress will focus on the theme “Contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals”. In addition to the academic approach, the event will also address the business use of LCA.

Proposals regarding the following theme will be accepted for GCV 2020: circular economy, eco-design, life cycle management in organizations, life cycle assessment (LCA) and public policy, life cycle cost (LCC), social LCA, labeling, Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) and databases.

The Congress will promote discussions around topics such as: eco-design, circular economy, life cycle management in organizations, environmental labeling, life cycle inventories, databases, etc.

>> More information

Life Cycle Job Announcements

UN International Youth Volunteer in the Paris-based UNEP team!
Calling all young champions of life cycle approaches and sustainable consumption and production! Are you passionate about making a difference in the world by defining policies and practices that incorporate a science-based life cycle perspective? Are you fluent in BOTH French and English? Do you want to join a dynamic team in UNEP as a UN International Youth Volunteer (receiving a Volunteer Living Allowance)? Then you probably have what it takes! Check this opportunity to join the Paris-based UNEP team working on Life Cycle and Sustainable Consumption and Production approaches! Apply soon! The application deadline is 8 March 2020.

>> Full description and application proces
Senior LCA Consultant in Paris office – Quantis
Quantisians are agents of change, working to build a sustainable future. They guide top organizations to define, shape and implement intelligent environmental sustainability solutions. You’d be part of a dynamic team of ‘creative geeks’ that takes the latest science and makes it actionable. As a Senior LCA Consultant in the Paris branch, you will support the delivery of high-quality consulting services for the clients, with a focus on providing expert-level support and guidance on metric-related aspects of client projects. You will help deliver metric-based solutions to clients as well as metric-related thought leadership internally and externally.

>> Find all relevant information and apply

On-going 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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