Project Title: Guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment

Co-Implementing Partners: Social Life Cycle Alliance

Co-Funding Partners: Life Cycle Initiative funding partners

Project Summary:

The project has developed revised guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA). A first set of guidelines published in 2009 provide a map, a skeleton and a flashlight to guide stakeholders engaging in the assessment of social and socio-economic impacts of the life cycle of products.

Since the first publication, the relevance of S-LCA has only increased, and a plethora of initiatives promoting value chain due diligence have been positioning social issues as a central concern, for private and public sector actors alike. In the wake of this development, the Life Cycle Initiative continues to be closely involved in making the methodology for S-LCA more approachable and practical for anyone who wants to become familiar with and start applying the method.

In 2020 a new edition of guidelines was released to assist novices and experts alike. It also addresses Social Organization LCA (SO-LCA), which links social impacts of a product’s consumption and production to the organization’s impacts across the life cycle of a product.

Download the updated Guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment of Products and Organizations

These new guidelines were launched during a webinar on the 21st of January 2020, a recording of the video can be found on the Initiative’s YouTube channel.

Eight companies from the metals, food, automotive and cosmetic industries provided feedback about the different challenges and benefits of S-LCA, while learning how to integrate S-LCA into product development. Results from the pilot projects will be summarised into a compendium in 2021.

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