Global Principles and Practices for Hotspots Analysis
(Flagship 3a)

Goal, objectives and key deliverables for this project
While hotspots analysis is proving to be a helpful and effective tool that assists in the identification of areas to be prioritized for action, there is currently no common approach to hotspots analysis. Neither does any accepted guidance exist on how to translate and apply the results of this analysis into meaningful product sustainability information for use by industry, governments and other stakeholders. For example, some product sustainability initiatives only use LCA or footprinting studies to determine the hotspots associated with product portfolios, product categories or individual products. Others also include an analysis of sales and trade data to focus efforts on high volume, ‘big impact’ product categories; or rely on technical experts perspectives, stakeholder expertise or on a combination of all of the above approaches. This lack of consistency is due in part to:

  • The absence of a recognized set of guiding principles and practices for hotspots analysis;
  • The lack of a globally agreed methodological framework for hotspots analysis; and
  • A lack of agreement on the appropriate use or application of product sustainability information derived from hotspots analysis.

As such, this project will involve the organization of a global process whose aim is to develop and agree on global principles and guidance through a consensus building process. It has four over-arching objectives:

  1. To develop a common understanding of hotspots analysis approaches currently in use and the sharing of the learning and experiences derived from these analyses;
  2. The development, agreement and piloting of global principles and practices to support the uptake and application of ‘hotspots’ analysis, as a means of prioritising international action on product sustainability;
  3. To build and share the knowledge base from existing hotspots analysis world-wide to support the development of a richer and more global view of the product categories and individual products that offer the most opportunities for performance improvement by tackling the hotspots associated with them; and
  4. The development and agreement of guidance on the consistent and appropriate use of the product sustainability information derived from hotspots analysis.

For more information on this Flagship Activity, please contact its co-chairs, Jim Fava and Mark Barthel.

Flagship activity updates