May/June 2020 Edition
• LC-Net Focus
• Deep Dive
• Announcements
• Project Updates
• News from our Network
• Our Calendar
• Life Cycle Jobs

LC-Net Focus

Life Cycle Thinking in the times of COVID-19

As the UN Secretary-General powerfully said in a recent editorial in the New York Times: "A recovery from #COVID19 must not take us just back to where we were last summer”.

The COVID-19 crisis is severely impacting trade, mobility and global supply chains, and we are likely heading to the biggest economic recession since the Great Depression. In this context, life cycle thinking and life cycle assessment remain essential to support decision-making to move towards a more resilient society and to ensure the uptake of sustainable consumption and production patterns.

The Life Cycle community must speak up at this time of crisis: we are asking for YOUR intelligence. LCA studies hold the evidence of how some alternative systems of delivering the functions humans need to live and thrive are better for the environment than others. Let’s make sure this information is available to the governments and financers that are pulling together recovery packages and economic stimuli! UNEP is bringing together evidence to inspire Member States and relevant stakeholders to do just that (see UNEP COVID-19 updates), and from the Secretariat of the Life Cycle Initiative we will strive to bring relevant LCA information as evidence to support those options that should be the building blocks of tomorrow’s sustainable consumption and production.

We are already informing the emergency responses, e.g. environmental considerations in healthcare and medical products (and their waste management). And we need to start informing economy-wide options that will be used in recovery plans: trillions of investments are already being prepared to re-ignite the economy, e.g. in transport and energy infrastructure, housing, supporting new ways of economic activity… LCA studies and data may not be available at a great level of detail for everything, but we have enough evidence to support useful guidance. E.g. in the Deep Dive section of this newsletter (see next article) we see how life cycle thinking is informing the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance, and in the last issue we discussed how reusable shopping bags can be superior to single-use ones if adequately used. LCA also informs the key aspects to transition to sustainable mobility, and key considerations for remote working vs. office working.

We call the life cycle community to come forward with existing LCA publications informing key choices in e.g. the buildings and construction; energy delivery; transport; and food sectors; on-line vs. in-person meetings; among others. From the Secretariat we will then work with relevant UNEP teams in pulling factsheets to inform Member States and other stakeholders.

Please send your publications on the above-mentioned topics to Ms. Oumayma Ouzane and Mr. El Hadji Dia. Let us contribute to #BuildTomorrowBetter!

Deep Dive

Life Cycle Considerations within the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance

European Commission on implementation of the Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth
By Paolo Masoni, Ecoinnovazione srl. and Member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.

Last March, the Final Report of the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (the “Taxonomy”) was published, and this “Deep Dive” piece provides an overview of what it is, why is a life cycle approach important for it, and what could be the role for the Life Cycle community in its full implementation. The Sustainable Taxonomy is a classification system at European Union level to establish clarity on which economic activities qualify as ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’. It shows the environmental performance and minimum social standards that are necessary for economic activities to reach Europe’s climate and environmental goals. It has been developed by the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG), established to advise the European Commission on implementation of the Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth.

>> Read more


Please join us for the Stakeholder Consultation on the Creation of a Global Life Cycle Impact Assessment Method!

The Life Cycle Initiative calls all interested parties to join us for the Stakeholder Consultation on the Creation of a Global Life Cycle Impact Assessment Method, which will take place on Thursday May 7, 2 PM CEST in an online event.

Please register here if you would like to participate, and you will be contacted ahead of the event with the link to connect.


SAVE THE DATE for the MariLCA online workshop I 10 June 2020, 2:30 pm CEST I Online event

The Marine Impacts in Life Cycle Assessment (MarILCA) project has as its main objective to integrate potential environmental impacts of marine litter, especially plastic, in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) results.

The MarILCA project team is hosting a free webinar for interested stakeholders to present its initial methodological framework for the inclusion of marine plastics in Life Cycle Impact Assessment metrics, as well as generating a discussion on the future steps that should be followed to achieve harmonized environmental impact categories.

>> Register for the webinar | Add event to calendar (.ics).

SAVE THE DATE for the GLAD Launch I 11 June 2020, 3-5 PM CEST I Online event

To achieve better LCA data accessibility and interoperability, UNEP, the Life Cycle Initiative and its partners have created GLAD: the Global LCA Data Access Network.

On this easy-to-search platform, users can find life cycle inventory datasets from providers from around the world and download them in their preferred format. Join our online event to learn more about the GLAD’s features and functionalities.

During the event, the new e-publication ‘Roadmap for national LCA database development: Guidance and recommendations from around the world” will be released. The publication has been compiled by the ecoinvent Association and The Green House following the support of national LCA database roadmaps in several countries as part of the project REAL, funded by the European Commission.

Please keep a close eye on the website of GLAD and the Life Cycle Initiative for the dial-in details. Add event to calendar (.ics).

WEBINAR: "Can I recycle this?"

The One Planet network’s Consumer Information Programme invites you to join the release of its new report: "Can I recycle this?" - A Global Mapping and Assessment of Standards, Labels and Claims on Plastic Packaging. The report assesses labels and claims on plastic packaging, based on a consultation of experts and the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information. It concludes by providing five recommendations that will help improving on-package communications about sustainability.

Two webinars are offered at alternative times to allow participation across the globe, on Wednesday May 13, 10-11 AM CEST; and on Thursday May 14, 5-6 PM CEST.

>> Register for the webinar

New Faces in the Life Cycle Initiative Secretariat!

In March, as the confinement hit France, we had to say goodbye to Joséphine Courtois who has been hard-working as an intern in the Secretariat of the Life Cycle Initiative over the past six months. Joséphine maintained the bar of the Initiative interns high, providing useful support in many of our deliverables 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, Oumayma Ouzane, who joined us on the first day of the lock-down, March 16! Oumayma has been working remotely like the rest of the team, and we are all eagerly waiting the opportunity to have proper welcome lunch…

And as of this week, the UN Volunteer position announced in previous newsletters supporting the Secretariat of the Life Cycle Initiative and UNEP’s life cycle team in various tasks, has been filled by El Hadji Dia! El Hadji has started to work remotely from his native Senegal until the current situation allows his relocation to Paris.

Welcome Oumayma and El Hadji!

Project Updates

An update on the Social LCA project

The Social LCA Project focuses on the revision of the Guidelines of Social Life Cycle Assessment, and road testing it in the private sector. Currently, the updated Guidelines are in the review process until 10th May, and you can participate in the review. The result of the commenting process with be presented at the 7th Social LCA virtual conference (June 15-17).

The road testing started in November 2019 with the kick-off meeting. It will last to February 2021 and it aims to implement the new guidelines and collect the experiences in a compendium document of the guidelines.

Eight Companies from different sectors and a Municipality are taking part of the project: food, automotive, packaging, metal, cosmetics and waste:

• BMW Group - Automotive
• Confetti Pelino S.r.l. - Food
• Ponzio S.r.l. - Metal
• Japfa Ltd. - Food
• Aptargroup - Packaging
• International Copper Association (ICA) - Metal
• Department of Space and Population (DIEP), University of Cuenca - Waste
• Tata Steel Ltd. - Metal
• Product Social Metric Roundtable - Cosmetics

>> Read the full update

Pre-announcement on the publication of ‘National guidance for plastic pollution hotspotting and shaping action - Introduction report’

The Life Cycle Initiative will soon publish a guidance ‘National guidance for plastic pollution hotspotting and shaping action - Introduction report’, co-developed with UNEP and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is a harmonized methodological framework to be applied in the real world. The methodological framework enables countries, regions and cities to identify plastic leakage ‘hotspots’, finding their impacts along the entire plastic value chain, and then prioritising actions once these hotspots are identified. This guidance is a result of 2-year project with methodological development and pilot projects in more than 7 countries.

Please keep a close eye on our website, Twitter and Linkedin during May/June.

News from our network

Webinar on Sustainability after COVID-19, Tuesday May 12, 3pm CEST

The Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP) are organizing a series of webinars around the topic; the latest takes place on 12 May with the title Sustainability after COVID-19: Can the global Green New Deal movement survive the pandemic? A great set of panelists will surely make this a truly insightful event, which we hope many from the Life Cycle community can attend (and influence!).

>> Register for the webinar

Call for data on climate footprints and costs of mitigation options within the transport sector from IPCC

The writing team of the sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group III is launching a call for quantitative data on climate footprints and costs of mitigation options within the transport sector. The data provided will support the evidence base for Chapter 10 (transport sector) of working group three of the sixth assessment cycle.

This call is for the LCA and transport research communities, to make results on climate footprints and costs of different mitigation options for land-based passenger and freight transport, as well as maritime transport to be used for the Sixth Climate Assessment Report (AR6).

>> Letter of support from IPCC WG3 co-chairs Jim Skea and PR Shukla.
>> For full description and submission process, please click here (SUBMISSION DEADLINE: JUNE 15)

Call for expressions of interest from UNEP for project around sustainable consumption and production and circular economy

UNEP is looking for an Implementing Partner to contribute to the delivery of its project ‘’Mainstreaming coherent and effective sustainable consumption and production policies, including through circular economy models: Best practices and recommendations’. The project supports the implementation of the resolution UNEP/EA.4/Res.1 on Innovative pathways to achieve sustainable consumption and production, adopted at the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in March 2019.

>> Full description and application process (APPLICATION DEADLINE: MAY 8)

Call for Proposals on ‘Regional circular economy study in the electronics sector (Latin America and the Caribbean)’

UNEP is looking for a partner in the Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC), for the development of a regional study that assesses current capacities, approaches and initiatives present in the LAC region on the electronics sector. The study will also recommend action and provide a roadmap to transition towards a Circular Economy in the electronics sector in the LAC region.

>> More details in the application form (doc) (SUBMISSION DEADLINE: MAY 29)

Our Calendar: where we and our partners will be active

SAVE THE DATE for the MariLCA online workshop I 10 June 2020, 2:30 PM CEST I Online event

The Marine Impacts in Life Cycle Assessment (MarILCA) project team is hosting a free webinar for interested stakeholders to present its initial methodological framework.

>> Register for the webinar | Add event to calendar (.ics)

SAVE THE DATE for the GLAD Launch I 11 June 2020, 3-5 PM CEST I Online event

UNEP, the Life Cycle Initiative and its partners will have a launch event for GLAD: the Global LCA Data Access Network. Please keep a close eye on the website of GLAD and the Initiative for the connection details.

>> Add event to calendar (.ics)

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

The 7th international conference on Social Life Cycle Assessment was originally planned to be held on June 15-17 in Gothenburg, Sweden, on the Chalmers campus Johanneberg. Owing to all uncertainties, the Swedish Life Cycle Center now plans for an online event, with the option to also hold a physical event for those who may travel and if the situation clears. A decision to hold such a physical event will be taken later.
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 | Online event

The ISIE Americas 2020 conference was supposed to be held from 6 to 8 of July 2020 in Lima, Peru; but the organizing committee and ISIE members have decided to go online with the Conference amid COVID-19. The theme of the conference is "Enhancing circularity and well-being through industrial ecology for resilient and sustainable cities".

>> Get more information and register

Life Cycle Innovation Conference | 26-28 August 2020

The Forum for Sustainability through Life Cycle Innovation (FSLCI) invites you to join the 2nd Life Cycle Innovation Conference (LCIC 2020), a truly unique conference that provides a highly interactive space to think sustainability and innovation together, not apart! The conference will take place from August 26-28 and focus on innovative approaches and methods to address sustainability challenges as well as innovative products and services that will help transition towards a more sustainable world. The conference combines traditional presentations sessions with workshops and barcamps (spontaneous group discussions).

>> Register for the event

The SETAC 8th World Congress I POSTPONED
The SETAC 8th World Congress, was supposed to be held from 6–10 September 2020 in Singapore, but amid the growing global public health concern around the COVID-19 virus, the organizers of the SETAC 8th World Congress are in process of rescheduling the meeting to 2021 or 2022. They are working to identify a time to hold the meeting in the future and will communicate updates as soon as they become available.

The event promises to be an amazing international meeting, especially appropriate for students, young scientists and those at the cutting edge of their respective scientific fields.

>> Get more information

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

The theme of the 75 Jubilee LCA forum is “Life Cycle Thinking = Lower Footprint?”. LCA is supposed to help us tackle the huge global environ¬men¬tal 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 improve¬ments? And what can we learn from these cases? You are 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 the 13th to the 16th of 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.

>> More information on 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. 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 Jobs

Internships at the Life Cycle Initiative – UNEP

We are pleased to announce that the Life Cycle Initiative will soon be accepting applications for two 6- month internship posts in our UNEP Paris office. There are two opportunities available each lasting six months: internship period September 2020 – March 2021, and period March 2021 – September 2021. The intern will work under the direct supervision of the Head of the Life Cycle Initiative, in coordination with Programme Officers of the life cycle unit in UNEP.

The job opening will soon be announced online, please keep a close eye on our website and UN Career Portal Inspira.

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.

>> Get all the relevant information and apply

Ongoing call for LC Net 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 Feng Wang. 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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