LC Net Focus

What does UNEA4 mean for the Life Cycle community

Congratulations Life Cycle community for the global acknowledgement of Life Cycle Assessment and life cycle approaches at the Fourth United Nations Environment Assembly! (UNEA 4) The texts and narrative endorsed in UNEA4 provide a strong acknowledgement that life cycle approaches (including Life Cycle Assessment) are a must to achieve sustainable consumption and production, increase resource efficiency, and reduce risks (e.g. of hazardous chemicals and all forms of waste). Life cycle approaches and assessment, in various denominations, are mentioned 21 times across 8 of the resolutions, as well as in the Ministerial Declaration of the 2019 United Nations Environment Assembly. All of the resolutions and the Ministerial Declaration are available online

Many members of the Life Cycle Initiative actively participated in the negotiations of the resolutions as well as in the many events that took place in Nairobi around the UNEA4, between 4 and 15 March 2019. The Initiative was highly visible within the “Camp One Planet” hosted by our partner, the One Planet network, where live demos of the newly launched SCP Hotspot Analysis Tool (SCP HAT) were on the agenda each day.

UNEA4 invites and requests all actors across the value chain (including governments, business and finance sector) to act informed by life cycle approaches, and explicitly requests UN Environment to support member states at several levels. From the Life Cycle Initiative, we see this as a “coming of age” of life cycle approaches, certainly among the global environmental policy-making community, and invite everyone to help us ramp up our collective impact!

>> Read the full UNEA4 report and the prominence of life cycle approaches


Call for Proposals: ‘Recommendations from Life Cycle Assessment studies of single-use plastic bags and their alternatives’

The Life Cycle Initiative is issuing a Call for Proposals for a project that aims to show how Life Cycle Assessment can lead to informed policy decision-making following the example of single-use plastic bags and its alternatives. The project output will be two compact, literature-based reports. The deadline for submission is 24 May 2019, COB.

>> Access background information and download the application template


Call for Expression of Interest: Pilot testing the Social LCA Guidelines

The call for expression of interest for piloting the revised Social LCA Guidelines is out! Be one of the first to apply the new Guidelines in projects supported by the revision committee. Access first hand web-based trainings, be part of an active network and make your learnings accessible to the global community via the revised guidelines companion document that will have a feature on each pilot project.

We are seeking a diverse set of projects involving different industries and locations and applying a range of approaches. Participating in the pilots will give you the opportunity to be one of the first to implement the guidelines and give a direct feedback on the results. 

>> Get more details on how to participate


The Business Case for Life Cycle Thinking

The Life Cycle Initiative launched “The Business Case for Life Cycle Thinking” during UNEA4. This booklet is a compilation of stories from diverse businesses across the globe that use Life Cycle Thinking approaches to improve their companies’ environmental footprint as well as their bottom line. The compilation presents different projects undertaken by the UN Environment and the Life Cycle Initiative to demonstrate how Life Cycle Thinking can be integrated via The Life Cycle Management Capability Maturity Model (LCM-CMM), Organizational Life Cycle Assessment (O-LCA), and Eco-Innovation.

>> Download the publication


Product Environmental Footprint Training during SETAC Helsinki 

On 26 May, the European Commission, in collaboration with UN Environment and the Life Cycle Initiative, is organizing a free training for LCA practitioners of the PEF/OEF rules in Helsinki, back-to-back with the SETAC Conference. Please note there is no possibility to offer travel support to participants, but a share of the 50 places will be provided in priority to participants from developing countries and emerging economies. Save the date in your agenda!

>> Get more details and register


Registration is now open for the 3rd official USEtox PhD Summer School (until 15th May!)

Hosted by Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) on 3-7 June 2019, and organized by Technical University of Denmark and NTU Food Technology Centre, this course provides an overview of multimedia chemical fate modelling, multi-pathway human exposure modelling, ecosystem and human health effects modelling, and comparative indicators for human-toxicological and ecotoxicological impacts. Deadline of registration is 15 May 2019.

>> Get more details and register


Announcement: Win participation in the LCM 2019 conference

The Life Cycle Initiative is thrilled to announce a competition to win participation in the 9th International Conference on Life Cycle Management, to take place on 1-4 September 2019 in Poznan, Poland. Participating is easy! All you have to do is to complete the e-learning module on Life Cycle Thinking and tell us how you are using Life Cycle Thinking in your personal or work life.

>> Get more details and apply


Call for papers of the International Social Life Cycle Assessment Forum

The International Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) Forum “The Circular Economy is about People”  will take place in Pescara – Italy, on the 12-13 September 2019. The forum is now calling for papers, and deadline of submission is 10 July 2019.

The forum is an international event organised by the Department of Economic Studies of the University “G. d’Annunzio” of Pescara-Chieti, in collaboration with Ecoinnovazione, the Social LCA Alliance, Region Abruzzo, and the Life Cycle Initiative. This forum is aiming to be an opportunity for academia, industry and policy makers to meet, discuss, network, find cooperation and business opportunities around the topic of social management of products, services and businesses from a life cycle perspective.

>> For more information and registrations, please visit the call for papers, draft forum agenda and contact Ms. Claudia Topalli: [email protected]


New report published by UN Environment: Waste Not, Want Not: Reducing Food Loss and Waste in North America Through Life Cycle-Based Approaches  

This report examines ways in which life cycle thinking and related tools such as life cycle assessment can be used to inform effective policymaking, aimed at reducing food loss and waste. It describes how these methodologies can help decision makers prioritize policies and interventions through better estimates of the environmental impact of food loss and misuse, comparisons of food waste disposal options, and evaluations of alternative intervention or abatement strategies. Case studies presented in the report highlight examples of how life cycle thinking is already being used successfully to reduce food loss and waste in North America.

>> Access the report

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Life Cycle Initiative project updates & event feedback

Outcomes of the 2nd Multi-stakeholder consultation workshop on a systematic approach to marine plastics

In late January, the 2nd multi-stakeholder consultation workshop on a systematic approach to marine plastics took place at the UN Environment offices in Paris. The workshop built on background research conducted by UN Environment and on the findings of the 1st workshop, which highlighted hotspots, problematic products and polymers, and key areas of intervention along the global plastics value chain, for a systemic approach to marine plastics. The 2nd consultation brought together plastics and marine experts, decision makers and innovators from different horizons to provide their insights for a systemic and preventive approach to marine plastics, advising on actions that can be taken by different actors and at the different stages of the value chain (extraction, production, consumption, waste management) in a concerted effort. Discussion focused on actions to address marine plastics related to specific focus areas. 

>> Read more


Industrial meeting and expert workshop on the Social LCA Guidelines revision and pilot, held during 24-26 April  in Paris

The Social LCA Guidelines revision process reached a new milestone with the industry meeting and expert workshop that took place on April 24th to 26th  April at the UN Environment office in Paris. The workshop starts on 24th April with the industry meeting: over 30 participants from different sectors joined the industry meeting with a few more joining remotely. The meeting was a chance to provide an overview of Social LCA and of the progress made in the revision process and also to launch the call for expressions of interest in the road testing. Participants voiced a strong interest in the further development of Social LCA. They applauded the aim of making the guidance more approachable and accessible to a wider audience. In particular, the assessment of life cycle positive social impacts in addition to the evaluation of a product or company footprint was high on the list of most wanted. Many companies expressed an interest in joining the pilots.

>> Read more


Opportunities from the Social LCA Metrics workshop, held on the 5th of April in Brussels

The Life Cycle Initiative participated in the Social LCA Metrics workshop to identify opportunities to collaborate with DG GROW and other relevant stakeholders in the topic of Social Life Cycle Assessment metrics. The workshop showed that the practice on social assessment has progressed enormously in the last decade, and the demand is there from private and public actors. The revised guidelines by the Life Cycle Initiative are eagerly expected. This increased need for social LCA metrics is coming from different quarters, such as sustainable procurement and sustainable finance exercises, expanding research as well as from many companies making positive contributions to the SDGs. The assessment through Social-LCA impact pathways will help focus on material aspects and allow for better communication as well as properly leveled contribution to the SDGs. 


Looking back at great momentum at USEtox training in Sri Lanka

As part of the GEF-funded project to advance the consideration of chemicals in products within SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management), an introductory training on USEtox was hosted by Sri Lanka’s National Cleaner Production Centre last January. 25 participants from engineering and science backgrounds gathered to be introduced to the USEtox model. The training essentially aimed to further spread awareness on available chemical exposure assessment methods and therefore, assisted in meeting the increasing need for such methods and tools.

>> Read more

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Acknowledging our peers and colleagues

We would like to bid farewell / see you soon to three colleagues leaving the Initiative’s  Steering Committee/Secretariat to pursue new adventures in their career and life, and thank them for the great contribution and collaboration in the past years / months.

Sanjeevan Bajaj (represented FICCI in the Steering Committee)

We want to sincerely thank Sanjeevan for her great contribution to the Initiative in the past 9 years, representing FICCI in the Steering Committee (International Life Cycle Board until 2017, and Steering Committee in the last two years). Sanjeevan has accomplished great work by linking the Initiative with the agenda and activities in India and Asia. It will be a pleasure to continue collaborating with Sanjeevan as an individual member, as well as through her new organization. 

Kristina Bowers (programme officer in UN Environment)

Kristina has contributed great work and service in the past two years in UN Environment’s life cycle team. As coordinator of the REAL project, Kristina has been in touch with many of you in the life cycle community through the activities related to GLAD, e-learning modules, pilot projects of applying life cycle thinking, capacity building and the development of very successful Sustainable Consumption and Production-Hotspots Analysis Tool. The Initiative’s work has advanced substantially in the mentioned areas,  thanks to Kristina’s efficient and professional work. She has been a great asset of the team, and will surely be missed by the Secretariat of the Initiative and many UNEP colleagues.

Alexander Koch (intern in UN Environment)

We also want to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for Alexander Koch’s excellent work in the past 6 months as an intern in UN Environment. He has not only accomplished the daily Secretariat support (and ensure the LC Net appeared on time in your in-boxes!), but also taken strong initiatives in developing creative and effective solutions for the communication of the Initiative’s work. Alex runs the extra mile (literally; he is an accomplished runner!) demonstrating his good technical competency in supporting the project activities and publication on plastics and business models of applying life cycle thinking.

“Bon voyage et bon courage” to all of them;
we trust our paths will cross again in our life cycle. 


Our Calendar: where we and our partners will be active

SETAC Europe 29th Annual Meeting | 26-30 May 2019 | Helsinki, Finland

The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Europe 29th Annual Meeting will feature a variety of training, networking and learning opportunities on the theme “One Environment. One Health. Sustainable Societies.”. One overlying track of the meeting will be “Life Cycle Assessment and Footprinting” and will feature several interesting sessions which revolve around Life Cycle Thinking.

>> Consult the event website

CILCA 2019 Conference | 15-19 July 2019 | Cartago, Costa Rica

The eight edition of the CILCA Conference of the Iberoamerican Life Cycle Network (RICV) will take place in 2019 in Costa Rica (Cartago), from 15 to 19 July 2019. CILCA 2019 is being co-organized with the Association for LCA in Latin America (ALCALA), and the Costa Rica National Life Cycle Network. The CILCA 2019 has adopted as the overarching central topic “LCA: Global Competitiveness” to frame the discussions and exchanges. Watch this space for further information on the Life Cycle Initiative gathering being organised during lunchtime on 17 July, as well as a workshop on Marine litter and LCA co-organised with FSLCI and RICV on 16 July.

Early-bird registration deadline closes on 15th May. For more information please contact [email protected]

>> Consult the event website

9th International Conference on Life Cycle Management | 1-4 September 2019 | Poznań, Poland

The LCM (Life Cycle Management) conference series is one of the world’s leading forums for environmental, economic and social sustainability. The focus is on practical solutions for the implementation of life cycle approaches into strategic and operational decision-making, whether in science, industry, NGOs or public bodies. TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE FUTURE is LCM2019's draft title and the conference will consider the current challenges and prospects in life cycle management. 

>> Consult the event website

International Social Life Cycle Assessment Forum | 12-13 September 2019 | Pescara, Italy

The International Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) Forum “The Circular Economy is about People”  will take place in Pescara – Italy, on the 12-13 September 2019. The forum is now calling for papers, and deadline of submission is 10 July 2019.

>> See information under Announcements above

LCA XIX | 24-26 September 2019 | Tucson, AZ, USA

The American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) is hosting its 3rd LCA conference in Tucson, Arizona. It is a great opportunity to connect with experts from academia, industry, consulting and, government and NGOs on the latest innovations in life cycle thinking.

>> Consult the event website

Joint conference: 4th Congress of Engineering, Science and Environmental Management and 5th International Conference of Greening of Industry Network | 28-30 October 2019 | Mexico City, Mexico

The Congress is organized by the Mexican Association of Engineering, Science and Environmental Management (AMICA) and Greening of Industry Network (GIN). 

>> Read more
>> Consult the 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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Job Announcements

Part-time consultant position open in UN Environment to support the Global LCA Data Access network (GLAD)

A substantive number of dataset providers (nodes) has indicated to be interested in connecting to GLAD. In order to enable these dataset providers to manage the technical and operational aspects related to connecting datasets to GLAD, the Life Cycle Initiative is looking for a passionate and skilled IT development specialist to support nodes in the connection process. Experience in coordinating multi-stakeholder processes and in establishing and maintaining productive partnerships with clients, as well as in open source LCA database development and a good understanding of Life Cycle Assessment, are essential.

Do you have what it takes to help us make GLAD a truly global system of interconnected LCA databases? Then please check all details and apply through the following link: (look for Consultants, Job ID 115831, job title: Consultant to support the Global LCA Data Access network (GLAD)

The deadline for applications is 20 May 2019, COB. Please pass this on to anyone you think will qualify!

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On-going 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 thiking contributes to different policy agendas, sustainable business and decision making, in various countries and regions. You may send your content to info(at) 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, so please send us your piece approximately at least 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!

Secretariat of the Life Cycle Initiative

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