After the success of Global Guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators and Methods (GLAM) phases 1 and 2, we now into phase 3 of the GLAM project!

After two phases focusing on specific impact categories, GLAM phase three is now focusing on establishing a comprehensive, consistent and global Environmental Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) method, covering classification, midpoint and damage characterisation, normalisation and weighting to assess the life cycle impacts of products and services on human health, ecosystem and natural resources.

Together, are focusing on identifying scientifically robust and applicable methods and agreeing on the findings and conclusions regarding life cycle impacts of products on human health, ecosystem and natural resources or ecosystem services and eventually on a method to consistently combine these environmental impacts into an aggregated score.

The consensus finding activities includes open working groups and systematic stakeholder consultation and dialogue.

Over 130 scientists from 28 countries have been involved in the development of the GLAM LCIA method, including defining the method itself and how to operationalize it. More than 250 people –from around the world– have participated to two stakeholder consultations, providing important feedback.

Building on these comments, the final scoping document maps out a clear path towards a global LCIA method, bringing us one step closer to our goal of building consensus around life cycle knowledge.

Stakeholder Consultation webinars

Consult the recording of the stakeholder consultation for this project that took place on 7th May online, with the participation of close to 200 people from around the world. 117 participants are already involved in the project, including 32% female and an encouraging 13% participants from Asia, Africa or Latin America and the Caribbean

Consult the recording of the stakeholder consultation for this project that took place on 18th November online. Topics included milestones in LCIA guidance, an overview of the GLAM task forces: human health; ecosystem quality; natural resource and ecosystem services; normalisation, weighting and cross-cutting issues.

The slides (pdf) are available for download.

More about GLAM

Project Title: Global Guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators and Methods (GLAM)

Co-Implementing Partners: University of Michigan, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Denmark’s Technical University (DTU)

Co-Funding Partners: The Life Cycle Initiative funding partners, Swiss Government, French Government, German Government, the Copper Alliance, MERA, ifu of the iPoint group, One Planet Network, Rio Tinto, ACE

Project Background

In 2013, the Life Cycle Initiative launched this project to enhance global consensus on environmental life cycle impact assessment indicators. The project aims to generate tangible and practical recommendations for different environmental indicators and characterization factors used in Life Cycle Impact Assessments (LCIA).

This is done in cooperation with an international expert task force who prepares recommendations on the individual topic areas. Progress is reviewed in stakeholder engagement events and expert consultation workshops. To ensure the validity of the generated guidance, participants are selected for their technical expertise as well as their geographic representation. The mix of participants consists of a balance of domain experts from five topical tracks: LCIA method developers, providers of life cycle thinking studies (primarily consultants and industry associations), and users of life cycle information, including governmental and intergovernmental organizations, government, industry, NGOs, and academics.

The different project phases provide guidance on a distinct set of indicators:

• Phase 1 [2013-2016]: Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts, health impacts of fine particulate matter, water use related impacts – water scarcity and human health impacts, land use related impacts on biodiversity, cross-cutting issues

Photo 1: participants of the Pellston workshopTM during Phase 1 in Valencia, Spain.

• Phase 2 [2017-2019]: Acidification and eutrophication, human toxicity, natural resources – mineral primary resources, land use impacts on soil quality, ecotoxicity, cross-cutting issues

Photo 2: participants of the Pellston workshopTM during Phase 2 in Valencia, Spain

LCIA Guidance (Volume 1 and Volume 2) and accompanying Characterisation Factors: https://www.lifecycleinitiative.org/applying-lca/lcia-cf/

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