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LC Net • Newsletter of the Life Cycle Initiative

Life Cycle case studies, announcements and more! Nov/Dec 2016 Edition

• LC Net Focus

• Life Cycle in Action

• Announcements

• Our Calendar

• Jobs

Contact us:

[email protected]

LC Net Focus

Exciting future of the Life Cycle Initiative

The Life Cycle Initiative has been up and running for over 14 years. It has fostered the development of life cycle approaches and promoted their application globally, through advocacy and capacity development.

Since May 2016, the Life Cycle Initiative has been conducting an independent strategic review on the achievements and learnings from its Phase 3 activities (2012-2017).The preliminary findings show that Phase 3 has yielded fruitful results to mainstream life cycle thinking at the global level, through its flagship projects and outreach events. The review has also provided detailed suggestions on shaping a clear vision and mission for the future of the Initiative, as well as establishing a transparent and efficient governance to operationalise the vision.

The 30th board meeting of the Initiative took place on 6 October in Kyoto Japan. This meeting confirmed the positive progress made in the current phase; in the meantime, it kicked off the planning of the future of the new Life Cycle Initiative. The board decided to shape a future Initiative, with closer linkages to support global policy agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement, as well as sustainable business practices. The board envisages to scale up the Initiative’s activities to serve wider applications of life cycle knowledge.

A Strategy Working Group is being set up in November 2016, to establish the vision, mission, working areas and governance structure of the new Life Cycle Initiative. The new Life Cycle Initiative is expected to come into shape in 2017, with a brand-new vision and exciting working areas.

If you are interested in the results of the strategic review and the future of the Life Cycle Initiative, please keep a close eye on our upcoming newsletters, or send an email to info(at)

Life Cycle in Action: Case studies from our network

Bogota: for an environmentally healthier city

As a strategy to develop a healthier environment in the city, the environmental authority of Bogota supported a cluster of companies, which benefited from the Life Cycle Initiative’s programme designed for SMEs to implement life cycle thinking and the Life Cycle Management Capability Maturity Model.

In order to support companies in improving their sustainability performance, the project consisted in training this cluster of companies, and giving them the opportunity to exchange on their experiences and to collaborate in developing life cycle improvement projects.

The benefits of implementing this approach enabled the companies to develop improvement projects that enabled tangible results, for the companies to improve their environmental as well as economic performance.

Read more.

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Including abstract deadlines, publications, and other interesting news

1. New report: Opportunities for national life cycle network creation and expansion around the world

A new publication on “Opportunities for national life cycle network creation and expansion around the world” was launched at the EcoBalance Conference on 5 October 2016 in Kyoto (Japan).

The report focuses on analysing the status of mainstreaming life cycle approaches, especially on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) database development, in G20 countries, Switzerland and a few selected emerging economies through a comprehensive survey. The report concludes that mainstreaming is on-going and that having a life cycle network of certain maturity goes hand in hand with the development of a LCA database. Using the results of the study, concrete recommendations are provided, including guiding principles for LCA network creation and next steps for LCA database development around the world.

Please access the report and its annexes here. 

2. New report coming soon: Global Guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators: Volume 1

The ”Global Guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators Volume 1” is aimed at LCA practitioners and method developers. It is the result of an over two-year process of consensus building and consultation among world-leading experts and stakeholders. More specifically, the publication provides significant progress, and recommended characterization factors, in a variety of impact areas: climate change; health impacts of fine particulate matter; water use impacts; and land use impacts on biodiversity. What makes this guidance so special is the global consensus-building process, and its endorsement by an international partnership.

The final publication, together with the characterization factors, will be available later this month. You can already access the Pre-publication Edition report. Please keep an eye on the website and our LinkedIn page for the announcement of the final publication!

3. Training kit “Global Guidance Principles (GGP) on Life Cycle Assessment Data and Databases” is online now!

The purpose of this training kit is to provide trainers on the Life Cycle Initiative Global Guidance Principles (GGP) for life cycle assessment databases, which serves to promote consistent practices for data collection, dataset development, and all aspects of database management. This training kit is a self-contained resource for teaching the practical use of the GGP on LCA databases. After gaining an understanding of the training kit contents and its relationship to the GGP on LCA databases, the trainer should be able to judge:

• what is clearly recommended as good practice on LCA databases by the GGP;

• what is indicated as supportable, even if not based on consensus, and

• what is only implied either as a suggested practice or as a general principle but not a specific directive.

Please access the training kit here.

4. Consultation on Hotspots Analysis and Sustainability Information

Consultation phase is now open for feedback and comments on the resources developed under the second phase of the Life Cycle Initiative Flagship Project ‘Hotspots Analysis and Sustainability Information’. This project is in partnership with the Consumer Information for Sustainable Consumption and Production Programme of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes. The flagship project aims to develop a flexible methodological framework for product and sector level hotspots analysis to support stakeholders in public and private sectors, in their prioritization efforts to accelerate a shift towards Sustainable Consumption and Production.

We look forward to receiving your views and comments on the resources developed and would also welcome any case studies/examples we could use to better illustrate the Methodological Framework and Communication Guidelines’ messages.

Participate in the consultation. The deadline is December 15, 2016. 

5. The Resource Revolution Trainer

The World Resources Forum, with the support of the International Resource Panel (IRP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) has developed The Resource Revolution Trainer, an online training resource for businesses on decoupling that will allow introducing business managers world-wide to the science of global resource use and productivity. In the form of a Massive Open Online Course  (MOOC), this self-training course combines latest science  from the IRP (it translates the findings of, in particular the IRP Decoupling Reports, into a language that speaks to the business community), with cutting edge ideas around business models and technology innovation. Please find attached the information release. 

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Our Calendar: Where we and our partners will be in the coming months

The 6th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Innovation / 28-30 November 2016 / Bangkok, Thailand

"The 6th International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environment or “SEE 2016” on the theme of “Energy & Climate Change: Innovating for a Sustainable Future” will be organized in conjunction with the 6th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Innovation or “ICGSI 2016” and the 1st International Conference on Climate Technology and Innovation or CTI 2016. The event will be held during 28-30 November 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The ICGSI 2016 is a trans-disciplinary international forum focusing on green process engineering as a path towards sustainable development of societies and regions. Co-hosted by JGSEE and Kasetsart University, the ICGSI is the oldest and largest LCA international conference in the ASEAN region.

Consult the official event website.

CILCA 2017 / 12-15 June 2017 / Medellin, Colombia

The Ibero-American Network of Life Cycle, the Colombian Network of Life Cycle and the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative are organizing the seventh edition of the International Life Cycle Conference in Latin America (CILCA for its acronym in Spanish) from June 12 to 15 of 2017 in Medellín, Colombia. The central topic will be Life Cycle Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals and the call for abstracts will be open soon at the event’s website.

 Consult the official event website.

You can also consult our Events page for more information about the events above. Is there an event coming up in your area? Just let us know and we'll add it to our list.

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Event Flashback

1. SEED Symposium 29 September 2016, Nairobi, Kenya

The Life Cycle Initiative organized a session on Developing African LCA Networks and Capabilities during the SEED Symposium. The overall objective was to provide a platform for African practitioners and professionals interested in Life Cycle approaches, to learn more about the topic and the Life Cycle Initiative’s work in this area. Following presentations from the Initiative, South Africa and Uganda, together with participants from other African countries actively engaged in the discussions on next steps for setting up the networks.

2. EcoBalance conference 3-6 October 2016, Kyoto, Japan

A session on the Global Guidance on Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators, by the Life Cycle Initiative, was well attended and counted on the presentations of lead authors of the report stemming from the last 2-3 years of work, and specifically the expert Pellston Workshop® organized in Valencia in January 2016. The report itself was launched as a pre-publication preview while the last steps of the review process and language editing are being finalized. The global need for guidance and recommendations on consensus-based indicators was evident in several scientific sessions of the conference.

3. Expert workshop on LCA data and its contribution to policy making 7 October 2016, Kyoto, Japan

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Japan co-organized the workshop on 7 October with UN Environment and Life Cycle Initiative: “Contributions of Life Cycle Thinking to Sustainable Development Pathways – and the Role of Global LCA Data Access Network” (GLAD). This workshop offered a great opportunity for approx. 60 delegates from governmental officials, public institutes, LCA software and data providers and academia world, to exchange opinions and share new information on LCA data and its application in global, regional and national policy agenda. The participants and experts discussed the progress and future of the GLAD Initiative. Professionals from various countries introduced the experience of LCA database development, and explored how the GLAD Initiative can contribute to LCA database development and environmental policies.

4. Expert Group Meeting on Key Environmental Indicators in the Tourism Private Sector 12-13 October, Paris, France

This meeting was part of UN Environment’s work on the private sector to facilitate the application of science-based information in a business context, highlight the use of multi-stakeholder dialogue and interviews in tourism value chains. It was co-organized by the Life Cycle Initiative, the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the 10YFP and the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change (ESCI-UPF) and with support of the French Government. During the two-day meeting, the group developed a draft consultation document, selecting key monitoring indicators and targets for the tourism sector that reflect the requirements of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement. It helps to reach international consensus on environmental indicators that could be relevant to the sector in current practice, to explore common issues and challenges and to identify key indicators based on life cycle/hotspots approaches.

The consultation document will facilitate outreach to the tourism private sector on which business should be routinely reporting to track environmental performance. This draft consultation document will be further discussed and improved, through a series of consultation steps, including a meeting on 10 November organized by the Morocco Ministry of Tourism, as part of the 3-day official tourism side event concurrently with the UNFCCC COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco (10-12 November 2016); and then it will be followed by a public consultation process with industry and experts. The final guidance document will incorporate all relevant and new information, priorities and best practices to support measuring and reporting environmental performance of the tourism private sector.

5. The Indian Conference on Life Cycle Management 17-18 October 2016, New Delhi, India

The Indian Conference on Life Cycle Management, organized by the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) and supported by the Life Cycle Initiative, took place during 17-18 October in New Delhi, India. The conference attracted Indian and international representatives from government, industry, academia as well as non-government organizations. The conference discussed the application of Life Cycle based tools and approaches for tactical decision making in enabling shift towards Responsible Consumption and Production, and supporting the latest global policy agendas. The Secretariat (Feng Wang) and flagship project co-chair (Mark Barthel) of the Initiative presented the work of the Initiative and engaged actively in the discussion. As a highlight, partners from the Life Cycle Management Capability Maturity Model project shared the achievement and learnings from two pilot projects: India Glycols Ltd. (RK Sharma) and Rucid (Samuel Nyanzi).

A UN Environment training “Life cyle based solutions for sustainable value chain management” was organized during 19-20 October, back to back with the conference. The training was supported by the REAL project (Resource Efficiency through Application of Life cycle thinking) funded by the EC. It was attended by 30 participants in the Asia-Pacific region, covering a broad spectrum of topics on performance assessment, implementation, measurement and disclosure, and policy formulation based on life cycle tools. It helped decision-makers from public and private sectors to identify key “hotspots” areas for improvements for better environmental performance and management.


Consultant position in UN Environment

UN Environment’s SLCI branch (the Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch) is currently recruiting a communication consultant in Paris, to provide communication materials for two projects (including the newsletters of the Life Cycle Initiative), and materials related to the business and industry consultations. The consultant will also work on the migration of the Branch's website pages to a new system. Please use the following link to apply for this position. The deadline for applications is 23 November 2016. Get more details

Staff position in UN Environment 

UN Environment’s RIVU unit (Responsible Industry and Value Chain) is currently recruiting an Associate Programme Management Officer. This staff position is based in Paris, and will work on projects related to eco-innovation, RECPnet, and sustainable value chain. Please use the following link to apply for this position. The deadline for applications is 20 November 2016. Get more details.

Coordination Officer (P4) position in UN Environment

A new job opening in UN Environment's Responsible Industry and Value Chain Unit, seeking an experienced candidate with at least 7 years of progressively responsible positions in the private sector, applying resource efficient and cleaner production, sustainability reporting and innovation for sustainability among others. Mastery of life cycle approaches and related topics, as well as project management, are among the requirements! 

Please apply online. The deadline to apply is 15 January 2017.

Have you got a job to broadcast to over 4000 readers? Let us know.

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Secretariat of the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative

For more information, please visit our websiteor feel free to contact us by email