Announcing the 2017 LCA Award

Background: Capacity development activities of the Life Cycle Initiative

The Life Cycle Initiative has the goal to enable users around the world to put life cycle thinking into effective practice, and UN Environment serves as its secretariat. The Life Cycle Initiative has contributed since 2002 to enhance the capacities and skills on Life Cycle approaches worldwide. However, the number of LCA professionals in developing countries is still very low and insufficient to meet local needs. These countries lack financial resources for acquiring LCA tools, data and/or expertise. The flagship project “Global capability development” of the Life Cycle Initiative (project duration: 2012-2017) has the aim to strengthen and consolidate the life cycle work at the global level, including documentation of local life cycle consultants and databases available.

As part of the flagship activities being pursued in 2017, support is being provided to practical projects implementing Life Cycle approaches. This activity leverages support from LCA experts, and providers of LCA software and data to institute practical projects. Overall, many developing countries are expanding their LCA capacities, however, there is still a lack of LCA tools to advance the implementation. An LCA Award would allow the transfer of required tools and knowledge to good quality project proposals from these regions.

Overall aim of the 2017 LCA Award

  • Strengthen capacities for putting life cycle thinking into effective practice in emerging and developing countries in targeted regions (Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia)
  • Generate local Life Cycle knowledge and make it easily accessible
  • Demonstrate the value of using Life Cycle Approaches in the context of a specific project

Project proposals eligible for the 2017 LCA Award

Proposals aiming at applying Life Cycle Approaches with expected results being useful for relevant decision-making

Important dates:

  • Application submission deadline: 13 July 2017
  • Notification of selection: 25 July 2017
  • Project implementation period: 29 July 2017 to 29 July 2018
  • Reception of the final reports: 29 July 2018

Who can apply:

Individuals and organizations based in Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and Asia. A Help-Desk will be available for all applicants to provide guidance during the preparation of the applications and to facilitate the implementation of selected proposals by connecting applicants with potential sources of information and knowledge and with LCA software/database providers. However, free software and database licenses may be offered only to not-for-profit organizations.

Application evaluation criteria:

  • Quality: Well-defined scope and goals, as well as realistic and well-structured project plan (including resources and deliverables)
  • LCA focus: Demonstrated application of Life Cycle Thinking (not based on a single impact category but on multiple impact categories) and use of LC based approaches (such as environmental LCA, social LCA, eco-design, environmental claims, local LCA database, among others)
  • Impact: Expected results are useful for decision-making towards improved sustainability (resources saved, social or economic benefits gained, etc.)
  • Capacity: Knowledge and experience of the project team
  • Sustainability: In-kind contribution and/or co-funding to support project implementation

How to apply:

Applicants should submit the proposal in the application form (Word doc) along with a CV of the applicant to the Help-Desk for the 2017 LCA Awards at Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), New Delhi, at:

Support to proposals selected, reporting and accessibility of results:

  • Selected proposals requiring LCA softwares and/or databases, will be granted them thanks to the sponsors of this activity (see the Acknowledgements part).
  • A Help-Desk will be available to provide guidance during the preparation of the applications and to facilitate the implementation of proposals selected by connecting applicants with the providers of software/ database tools, and with potential sources of information and knowledge. Services of the Help-Desk will be provided free of cost to all applicants.
  • At the end of the implementation a final report shall be submitted to the Help-Desk for evaluation of the overall results. Reports with outstanding results will be acknowledged as front-runners.
  • Projects’ results will be made available to the public.


Special thanks to the following LCA tools providers for their support to this activity (alphabetical order).

  • LCA Software providers: GaBi LCA (thinkstep), SimaPro (Pré Sustainability), Umberto (ifu Hamburg), WebLCA (IKE, China)
  • LCA Databases providers: ecoinvent, GaBi databases (thinkstep), Product Social Impact LCA database (GreenDelta), and Social Hotspots Database (SHDB)

For any further information, please contact the Help-Desk at: