LC Net Focus

Development of National LCA Database Roadmaps

We are pleased to announce the finalisation of the Development of National LCA Database Roadmaps project, which was part of the Resource Efficiency through Application of Life cycle thinking (REAL) project. The REAL project was implemented by UN Environment and the Life Cycle Initiative with financial support from the European Commission.

With emphasis on inclusiveness, accessibility and interoperability, the national project teams, led by local project partners, established roadmaps for the development of national databases for life cycle assessment (LCA) in Brazil, Ecuador, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Uganda. The project ran from October 2018 to August 2019 and was coordinated by the ecoinvent Association.

The reports and other information material that resulted from the project will be published on the Technical Helpdesk for LCA Databases later this year.

>>Read more

Announcements

Members: Mark your calendars for the 3rd General Assembly of the Life Cycle Initiative on 24 September 2019

On 24th September 2019, 11:00-15:30 (CEST), the Life Cycle Initiative will host its third online General Assembly, open to all members of the Initiative. The programme of the Assembly will provide an update on the achievements of the past 12 months, discuss future activities, and enhance cooperation among members.

Another important objective of the General Assembly is the election of new members of the Steering Committee. As stipulated in the governance of the Initiative (Annexes 3.2 and 3.3 of the strategy document), one seat of each constituency in the Steering Committee (government, business, science & civil society) rotates every year. In addition to the regular three seats available, the representative for the Government of Sweden has had to step down and there is one extra seat to be filled in the governments’ constituency this year. In order to respect the geographical representation rule, institutional members from the following regions may opt for election to the Steering Committee this year:

• Government: Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, North America, West Asia (2 seats)

• Business: Africa, Asia/Pacific, North America, West Asia (1 seat)

• Science & Civil Society: Africa, Asia/Pacific, North America, West Asia (1 seat)

Members based in the geographies above and interested to be a candidate to the Steering Committee election, are reminded to please send an email to [email protected] with a short description of your motivation and qualification to be in the Steering Committee. Please send your candidacy email before 9 September 2019.

Those of you subscribed to this newsletter but who are not yet members of the Initiative, Remember that membership registration is open throughout the year. You or your institution can join by downloading, completing and returning a signed membership application form to [email protected] and copy [email protected].

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Join the #AnatomyOfAction Challenge!!!

We are excited to announce that our partners the One Planet Network is launching a new initiative to encourage individuals to make positive environmental changes in their personal lives. The initiative Anatomy of Action (AoA), which is informed by life cycle thinking, will be launched on 12th September at UNESCO, Paris. We encourage you to Join the digital Challenge (15 - 30 September) and find more information about how you can get involved please visit https://www.anatomyofaction.org. Collective actions can have a major planet-positive impact. Anyone, anywhere can contribute!

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New Plastics Economy Global Commitment (NPEGC)

After signing the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment for its launch in October 2018, we are happy to be reporting progress against our specific commitment (“contribute to life cycle based tools to enhance the knowledge on amounts of plastic leaking into the environment, and ways to assess the impacts associated to those amounts for use in Life Cycle Assessment”). Specifically, the Initiative has been collaborating with UNEP and IUCN to co-develop a “National Guidance for Marine Plastic Hotspotting and Shaping Action”, with implementing partners EA and Quantis.

This guidance aims to provide countries with a prioritization methodology and tool to identify key hotspots on marine plastics and drive sound actions towards closing the plastic tap. The guidance is accompanied with methodological modules on modelling approaches, as well as practical spreadsheet for data collection and analysis. The overall publication will be published in early 2020, and the modules and data collection/analysis tools will be tested in more than 10 countries and published during 2020 too.

On the Life Cycle Impact Assessment side, the launch of the new MariLCA project was announced in the previous newsletter, and many of you have already shown interest to contribute, through the project’s website: many thanks! In addition, and in line with the vision's recognised “importance of taking a full life-cycle and systems perspective, aiming for better economic and environmental outcomes overall”, the Life Cycle Initiative is commissioning a study on ‘Recommendations from Life Cycle Assessment studies of single-use plastic bags and their alternatives’, implemented by IVL Sweden. The report is expected to be published in end 2019, and will inform the request from member States expressed in UNEA4 Resolution 9 on Addressing Single-use Plastic Products Pollution.

The contribution from the Life Cycle Initiative to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, together with the progress of the over 400 signatories to date, will be communicated during the side event at the Our Ocean Conference next 23-24 October in Oslo, Norway, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme. We herewith encourage all actors across the life cycle to act boldly towards a New Plastics Economy, guided by the actions concerted in the Global Commitment. And watch this space for more news and updates on the 1st anniversary celebration at the Our Ocean Conference!

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Life Cycle Initiative side event during World Resources Forum 2019

The Life Cycle Initiative will organize a workshop in WRF 2019 (Geneva) ‘Apply life cycle thinking to achieve green business and sustainable development’ (tentative date: 23 October; check the latest in https://www.wrforum.org/world-resources-forum-2019/workshops/). The event will open a dialogue among stakeholders from government, business, academia, on how to bring life cycle thinking into critical decision-making processes, to achieve resource efficiency and sustainable development. We expect discussions on topics related to national environmental footprints (e.g. the SCP-HAT), sectoral hotspots and actions (e.g. plastics, food, electronics, chemicals), and capacity development. Everyone interested is very much welcomed to join this event; if you have any questions please contact Mr. Feng Wang

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Reminder of Business Member Reporting

The Life Cycle Initiative is quickly approaching the midway point of our 2022 strategy, and the secretariat would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being a part of our growing community of Life Cycle Champions! Disseminating and implementing Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) is something we feel very passionately about in the Initiative. One of the key visions of our 2022 strategy is to mainstream the use of LCT through our partnerships with companies, showing positive impacts towards the achievement of global agenda goals.

In order to keep track of the impact of the Initiative, all the great work being done within our member companies, and in line with the reporting suggested in the membership form, we have kindly requested that business members send one paragraph to [email protected] explaining the contribution of the organisation towards the Initiative’s goals and ambition, and the achievement of global agenda goals through the application of LCT. We kindly remind you these need to be sent by 15 September 2019.

In the spirit of friendly competition, we will then pick the three organisations who have demonstrated the most impact / best use of the Initiative’s outputs. These will be announced in the next General Assembly (24 September), shared in the UN communication channel, and in next public events with the Life Cycle Initiative.

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Life Cycle Initiative project updates & event feedback

CILCA 2019

The IberoAmerican Conference on LCA ‘2019 (CILCA2019) gathered over 250 participants from 19 countries, in the very nice setting of the TEC Costa Rica in beautiful Cartago. The Life Cycle Initiative was very present across the event including in the opening keynote speech, which highlighted the importance of team work and for all of us to act with ego-less leadership towards applying life cycle thinking for the realisation of the 2030 Agenda. Other relevant highlights included the side events “Marine Litter and LCA: Global and Latin American Initiatives”, co-organised with FSLCI and RICV, and on “Resource Efficiency Through Life Cycle Thinking, REAL Project”, which highlighted key achievements of the REAL project in the region. The Initiative also participated in the partners meeting of the IberoAmerican Network of LCA (RICV); the Initiative looks forward to support RICV in engaging more strongly with the business and government communities.

The Life Cycle Initiative was also present through a gathering of members and interested participants, where a progress update on the programme of work of the Initiative was shared by several of its active members, and ways to engage better with the community were discussed. It is great to be following up on some of the ideas suggested there, such as the in-kind translation of one of the e-Learning modules into Portuguese by the group of Prof. Diogo Aparecido Lopes Silva! (Muito Obrigado Diogo!).

We would also like to use this opportunity to thank our hosts, the Costa Rican Association of LCA (ALCALA), the RICV, and TEC Costa Rica for providing such a great space for exchange, and for accommodating the many demands during CILCA… PURA VIDA!

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SCP-HAT implementation, going from strength to strength

After the successful launch of the SCP-HAT at UNEA4, the tool has been gaining considerable exposure via word of mouth with stakeholders and our colleagues within the UN Environment championing the tool. We are excited to say that the secretariat was invited to present the tool at the UNEP-Resident Coordinators Africa Dialogue in Nairobi on 2-3 September 2019 (more on this in the next newsletter!). In addition, the tool is being further used to inform national Action Plans for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Argentina, Senegal and Bhutan, and a new project is being planned to dig deeper on the hotspots for a specific sector in Argentina during 2020. In addition, we are learning that the government of Turkey is also using the SCP-HAT to inform their National SCP Action Plan, and the UNEP is already investing in the further technical development of the tool to improve on the areas identified during its first year of existence…

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Project Update: GLAD Connection 

We are happy to announce, that thanks to the diligent technical help of GLAD’s node support consultant, Oliver Kusche, Worldsteel's 45 steel datasets have been successfully registered in the production system of Global LCA Data Access (GLAD). After advertising for a consultant position in the May – June Newsletter, the secretariat recruited Oliver in late June 2019. He has since been making great steps to connect more nodes to GLAD and fix some minor technical issues.
We are currently working on fully connecting Ecoinvent to GLAD which we are confident will be available soon. Keep an eye out in upcoming newsletters for more GLAD updates! And check the GLAD website at your convenience.

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Success Story: Greening Guatemalan Palm Oil

Guatemala is the largest exporter of palm oil in the Central America region and the sixth largest producer in the world with 740 million tons produced annually. To encourage sustainable consumption and production patterns in the value chain of palm oil the Resource Efficiency through Application of Life cycle thinking (REAL) initiative, through the implementing partner NGO Guateambiente, partnered with the palm oil producer Las Palmas S.A. The partnership with the Guatemala based producer aimed to identify environmental impacts through a pilot Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). After successful completion, this pilot project became the first complete life cycle assessment to be undertaken in Guatemala, that included emissions from land use change and palm oil mill effluents. Therefore, identifying a Guatemalan carbon footprint average for palm oil production.

To raise awareness of the results and showcase the added value of LCA methodologies, two technical workshops were held over two days. More than 60 participants attended from academia, private and public sectors, including Palm Growers Association, Center for Cleaner Production, and the Guatemalan Ministry for the Environment.

Finally, to further disseminate the value of LCA methods a training session was held with 30 national experts and included the national carbon neutral standard working group, delivering the embryos for the Guatemalan LCA network. Well done Guateambiente!

The project revealed some interesting insights:

• Up to 50% of the supply chains carbon footprint came from the manufacturing of fertilizer and pesticides

• Water usage in the irrigation systems was higher, per ton of crude palm oil, than other countries such as Colombia, Indonesia and Malaysia 

• Palm oil mill effluents were successfully utilised for electricity generation

• Conservation of mangrove ecosystems provides carbon reduction benefits which can generate potential income by selling carbon credits in international carbon markets

>> Consult the success story on the LCI website, as well as the overview video.

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Call for LCA Database Experts – Technical Helpdesk

The initiative is currently looking for LCA Database experts to join our Technical Helpdesk. The LCA Databases Helpdesk facilitates communication among experts and stakeholders by providing key informational resources as well as guidance on responsible management practices and technical requirements for database setup and operation.

We have had a spike in interest following the initiatives presentation in CILCA, and we are keen to keep this great momentum going! Over the coming months we are anticipating a growth in members and questions on the forum and we are keen to register a number of LCA database experts to assist disseminating LCA Database knowledge and expertise.

For more information on the Technical Helpdesk, including how to become a member, or register as an expert please visit our website.

Our Calendar: where we and our partners will be active

NCPC-SA's 4th Industrial Efficiency Conference | 10-11 September 2019 | Pretoria, South Africa

The two-day NCPC-SA fourth Industrial Efficiency Conference, is offered at no cost to business and industry. The programme will include local and international speakers, case studies on becoming low carbon, greener operations through resource efficient and cleaner production. The conference will have two subthemes, namely, RECP in the digital economy, and developing circular economy producers and consumer.

>> Consult the conference website


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


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. Technical issues relevant to India drive the ILCM agenda.

There is a call for abstracts/special sessions:

  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

Please send your abstracts to [email protected]

>> Consult the conference 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 wellbeing through industrial ecology for resilient and sustainable cities". There is a call for papers, and the deadline of submission is 31 January 2020.

>> 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

A new full-time staff position in UNEP’s life cycle team!

A great opportunity to join the Life Cycle team in UNEP (in charge of the Secretariat of the Life Cycle Initiative, among many other exciting things!) is almost out there! Do you have significant international experience in fields related to life cycle thinking and sustainable consumption and production? Are you fluent in English and at least another UN official language? Are you a committed team player and worker? This might be for you!

Please check the UN Careers website in the coming days and look for a Programme Management Officer job opening in Paris (code 19-PGM-UNEP-122345-R-PARIS (O)). 


Short term LCA Consultant in Nigeria

Agrinatura is searching for an expert to undertake an LCA of the maize value chain in Nigeria. The contract is for 45 working days and requires experience in value chains, in particular on maize/cereals. Deadline for application: 13 September!

>>More information

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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)lifecycleinitiative.org 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!

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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 

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