May/June 2024 Edition

Contents

  • LC Net Focus
  • Announcements
  • Project & Activity Updates
  • Spotlight on Life Cycle Networks
  • Life Cycle Community News
  • Life Cycle Event Calendar
  • Job Announcements

Contact us:

LC Net Focus

 

Demonstrating for a Full Life-Cycle Approach to Plastic Pollution outside INC-4 Session in Ottawa, Canada, April 2024. Photocomposition by Charlotte Van Hal based on images by Elisa Tonda and Claudia Giacovelli. 

Countdown to Change: Ottawa Hosts Crucial INC-4 UN Summit for Global Plastic Treaty Negotiations

Representatives from around the world met in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, for a week-long session that started April 22nd to advance the drafting of the first global treaty aimed at halting the escalating issue of plastic pollution.

Among the attendees were UNEP/Life Cycle Initiative’s Programme Officers Llorenç Milà i Canals and Claudia Giacovelli, who participated in the fourth meeting of the United Nations Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for Plastics (INC-4).

Following the decision reached at the UN Environmental Assembly in 2022, where 175 nations committed to drafting the world’s first legally binding treaty on plastic pollution by the end of 2024, efforts are underway to end plastic pollution. This treaty is meant to address plastics across their entire life cycle—from production and consumption to disposal.

Read the full details on the INC-4 Summit.

Announcements

Invitation for Participation: Working Groups Addressing Biogenic Carbon in LCA

The Life Cycle Initiative Biogenic Carbon Project is progressing! More than 120 stakeholders representing various sectors, backgrounds and regions have volunteered to join working groups. These groups are currently being established, focusing on four key topics: (1) Temporal issues, (2) End of life, (3) System boundaries, and (4) Standards and barriers. Throughout the upcoming period until July 2024, the working groups will explore ways in which biogenic carbon is handled in LCA and the rationales for these differences.

A recording from the webinar presenting these four groups is available online. A password is required to access the video: 1167402438

It is not too late to get involved! If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Sam Cooper at en8sc@bath.ac.uk.

Call for research institutions willing to connect their data with the GLAD open scientific data node

GLAD is actively pursuing the creation of an Open Scientific Data Node on its platform, aiming to provide a collaborative environment for scientific data sharing. This initiative seeks to establish a new node dedicated to hosting data from various academic providers, offering free access to academic institutions and providing an accessible avenue for university departments to share structured LCA data.

We invite academic institutes to join us in this collaborative effort to build an Open Scientific Data Node on the GLAD platform.  Interested in connecting your dataset? Please contact archana.datta@un.org.

A warm welcome to Life Cycle Initiative’s new interns: Qihui and Charlotte

The Life Cycle Initiative Secretariat is delighted to welcome our new interns who joined us in March: Qihui Yuan and Charlotte van Hal, injecting fresh perspectives and enthusiasm to our mission.  

Qihui Yuan 
Hello! My name is Qihui Yuan, and I am the newest intern at the Life Cycle Unit, joining from the Environmental Policy program at Sciences Po, Paris. With a background in environmental policy and a passion for sustainable development, I am eager to contribute to the impactful work of our team. Having lived and studied in multiple countries, I bring a diverse perspective to our discussions on environmental challenges and solutions. I look forward to learning from everyone and making a positive impact during my internship.

Charlotte van Hal 
Hello, I am Charlotte from the Netherlands. I recently completed a two-year master’s program in Sustainable Business and Innovation at Utrecht University. I conducted a quantitative thesis study on climate change perceptions in Africa and the implications for policy adaptation to mitigate the consequences of climate change. My practical experience extends to coordinating the marketing communications for a biotechnological scale-up, for which I previously investigated circular business- and EU regulatory opportunities to commercialize cow-manure into cellulose fibers. I am excited to have been granted the opportunity to further my understanding of LCA’s practical application and contribute to projects of the Life Cycle Initiative.

Project & Activity Updates

Global LCA Data Access Network (GLAD)

An upgraded conversion tool, Lavoisier from IBICT, is currently being implemented to GLAD, with the objective of enhancing conversion from ecospold2 to ILCD and vice versa in alignment with the nomenclature resources available on GitHub. This newest version was presented at SETAC Symposium in Seville from May 5th to 9th. Moreover, GLAD is establishing an Open Scientific Data node for collaborative data sharing. Academic institutes are invited to join this effort.

Beta launch of GLAM during SETAC – May 8th

The beta launch of the Global Guidance for Life-Cycle Impact Assessment Method (GLAM) took place during the SETAC Conference on May 8th. Developed through collaboration with over 230 experts, this milestone marks the completion of the third phase of development, which focused on finalizing method. These include the development of characterisation factors (CFs), worker exposure assessments for accidents, fine particulate matter, and organic chemicals, as well as CFs for terrestrial acidification and finalization of a survey on weighting factors for high, middle, and low-income countries, and harmonizing life cycle inventory (LCI) and life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) flows.

Following its debut, the beta version of GLAM will undergo testing and stakeholder consultations for refining and improving the guidance, culminating in a final launch at the SETAC LCA Case Study Symposium in Gothenburg in October 2024.

A new paper operationalizing the recommendations to assess soil quality in LCA

Following the GLAM workshop in 2019, the Life Cycle Initiative recommended soil organic carbon (SOC) as an indicator for soil quality in LCA, ad interim. The reason for the recommendation being ad interim was due to the insufficient spatial disaggregation of available characterisation factors for SOC in LCA, as well as perceived lack of testing. A new paper just published overcomes these limitations, likely triggering an update of the level of recommendation. The paper is open-access and follows additional work led by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre:

  • De Laurentiis V, Maier S, Horn R, Uusitalo V, Hiederer R, Chéron-Bessou C, Morais T, Grant T, Milà i Canals L, Sala S (2024) Soil organic carbon as an indicator of land use impacts in life cycle assessment Int J Life Cycle Assess DOI:10.1007/s11367-024-02307-9

SCP-HAT: Presentation for Circular Economy Strategy Development in Brazil

Under the framework of support that UNEP provides to the government of Brazil in shaping its national circular economy strategy, on April 25th, a presentation on SCP-HAT was organized. The session offered insights into the tool and how it can support in identification of hotspots and support in guiding the sectors prioritization on which the circular economy strategy in Brazil should focus on.

InTex Presentation to the PEF Data Collection Working Group

We are excited to share insights from the InTex project with the PEF Data Collection Working Group, enriching the PEFCR development process. The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method, standardized across the EU, quantifies product environmental impact. PEFCR for Apparel and Footwear provides specific rules for 13 categories to improve the comparability of environmental impacts. UNEP’s InTex project educates SMEs in non-EU countries on calculating product footprints using PEFCR, thereby testing the PEFCR methodology outside EU boundaries. This exploration offers valuable opportunities for learnings that can inform the EU, recognizing the global interconnections within the textiles value chain. Find the latest PEFCR methodology here.

Rede ACV: Benchmarking Environment for Business Engagement around LCT and LCA in Brazil

Rede ACV was launched in 2013 with the mission of mobilizing companies, coordinating with governments, and educating consumers to incorporate Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) in general and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in particular as instruments to guide decision-making. With around 60 associates representing different segments and business models, it aims to create a cooperative environment for the use of LCT and LCA in Brazil; educate and train society about them, their application, and benefits; make available and disseminate information about LCT and LCA in Brazil to various audiences; and collaborate with and support the Brazilian government in consolidating the national life cycle inventory database.

Recently, the Rede ACV’s SDG working group welcomed Archana Datta (UNEP) for a session on Life Cycle Initiative’s projects and tools. Around 40 associates from various sectors learned about GLAD, Biogenic Carbon, and SCP-HAT initiatives to promote life cycle thinking in Brazil, crucial amid rising demand for sustainability in policies, certifications, and markets.

Find more information about Red ACV on its LinkedIn profile here.

Life Cycle Community News

IBICT’s 70th anniversary celebration and the intervention on LCA data

Image: Opening ceremony IBICT 70 years, panelist from left to right: Clara Chu (Mortenson Center), Mariana Gonçalves (ABC), Tiago Emmanuel Nunes Braga (IBICT), Alberto Pacheco Capella (UNEP), Jeannette Lebrón Ramos (IFLA), Fábio Eon (UNESCO).  

From April 15th to 19th, 2024, the Brazilian Institute for Science and Technology Information (IBICT) celebrated its 70th anniversary by highlighting its achievements, notably in Information for Sustainability. Alberto Pacheco Capella (UNEP) and the Life Cycle Initiative joined in celebrating the partnership with Brazil and IBICT on this occasion.

The Coordination of Applied Technologies (COTEA) held workshops on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Conceptual Map of Information for Sustainability. A thematic panel launched the Sustainability Information Laboratory (LIS) Portal, presenting its main products and services: Conceptual Map of Information for Sustainability, the Scientific and Regulatory Overview of Sustainability in Brazil and the Digital Library for Sustainability. This was followed by a roundtable discussion on “LCA at IBICT: a history of sustainable partnerships”.

For more information visit https://lis.ibict.br/.

New Handbook for Life-Cycle Sustainability Assessment with global perspectives

The Handbook for Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment, led by the World Resources Forum and the University of Bordeaux, features contributions from over fifty authors across continents. Building on knowledge and experience developed within the Life-Cycle Initiative starting in 2011 with the publication: Towards a LCSA. The new Handbook covers 3 major sections: Methodology and Data, Sectoral and Policy Applications, and Emerging Developments and Conclusions. This collaborative effort over 2.5 years aims to equip decision-makers with tools for informed recommendations based on life-cycle thinking and multidimensional sustainability considerations. Selected chapters are open access, available for download here.

Preview Survey Results: Quantifying the average CO2 emission reduction induced when companies rely on Life Cycle Assessments (LCA)

This joint MIT and Life Cycle Initiative study explores the impact of life-cycle analysis (LCA) on environmental decision-making across industries. The survey collected data on LCA usage, behavior changes influenced by LCA results, and associated impacts. It reveals that LCA’s do not merely inform about the footprint of a product, process, or system, but can also strategically direct the kinds of decisions to be made in response to the results obtained, thereby influencing effective changes in business-as-usual practices. Though the data obtained in this analysis does not explain why certain behavior changes are more frequently executed compared to others, this could, however, be addressed in future industry analyses.  The study suggests that implementing changes based on the results of 477 LCA’s conducted over a period of at least 10 years led to savings of around 680,000 tons of CO2 equivalent. This can be interpreted as the estimated positive impact (or “handprint”) of LCA within the specific spatial and temporal scope of the study.

Fashion Industry Target Consultation

The “Fashion Industry Target Consultation” has extended its deadline until Friday 31 May. This multi-stakeholder project, led by UNEP and the Global Fashion Agenda, aims to gather stakeholder insights on key milestones necessary to achieve a net-positive industry. Feedback received until May 31st will contribute to the results presented in the GFA Monitor, expected to be published later in 2024. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in shaping the future of the fashion industry. Learn more and contribute to the consultation here: https://globalfashionagenda.org/fashion-industry-target-consultation/

Final results of the ORIENTING Project “Operational Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment Methodology Supporting Decisions Towards a Circular Economy”

The ORIENTING project unveiled its findings at the World Circular Economy Forum 2024 in Brussels, Belgium, on April 18th. Topics included the relevance of LCSA in different decision-making contexts, aligning with European policy initiatives like the Ecodesign for Sustainable Product Regulation and the Green Claims Directive. The panel also explored the role of life cycle-based methods in policy frameworks and advancing a Product Sustainability Footprints (PSF).

Life Cycle Event Calendar

9th International Social Life Cycle Assessment Conference (S-LCA 2024)

28-31 May, 2024 • Curitiba, Brazil

The 9th International Social Life Cycle Assessment Conference (S-LCA 2024) will take place from May 28th to 31st 2024 in Curitiba, Brazil.

The S-LCA 2024 is organized by Gyro, from the Federal Technological University of Paraná (UTFPR), together with the Federal University of Ceará (UFC) and the Federal Institute of Goiás (IFG), supported by the Social LCA Alliance and the Working Group on ACV-S (GTACV-S).

More Information

LCIC 2024

3-5 July, 2024 • Berlin, Germany and online

The 4th Life Cycle Innovation Conference will be held in Berlin, Germany, and online. Early Bird tickets are available now! LCIC 2024 gathers a diverse group of sustainability enthusiasts, including innovators, researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers. The conference theme, “Collaborate, Innovate, Co-create,” emphasizes interaction and networking. With sessions, workshops, and barcamps covering various life cycle innovation topics, each conference day focuses on policy, decarbonization, and digitalization.

More information

5th Chilean Conference on LCA

7-9 August, 2024 • Talca, Chile

The 5th Chilean Conference on Life Cycle Assessment will take place at the Universidad Católica del Maule (UCM), Chile. The Conference is jointly organized by the local LCA Network (RedACV Chile) and the UCM, with the support of the Iberoamerican Network of LCA (RICV) and the Life Cycle Initiative. The event will bring together researchers, practitioners, and policy makers from Chile and abroad, to discuss the central theme of “advancing efforts towards a sustainable economy”. You may contribute to this Conference by submitting an abstract for the following sessions: 

  • Environmental Life Cycle Assessment 
  • Social Life Cycle Assessment 
  • Life Cycle Costing 
  • Eco-labelling and Environmental Product Declarations 
  • Circular Bioeconomy 
  • Circular economy 
  • Sustainable cities 
  • Water, energy and food nexus 
  • Sustainable production systems 
  • Sustainable Organisations and Services 

Submit your abstract
More information: https://redacvchile.wixsite.com/acvchile or by email.

14th LCA Food International Conference

8-12 September 2024 • Barcelona, Spain

The 14th LCA Food conference will be held in Barcelona, Spain. Hosted by IRTA, a research institute under the Government of Catalonia and the Ministry of Climate Action, Food, and Rural Agenda, this conference is committed to reducing the environmental impact of agrifood systems and advancing healthier, more sustainable diets. With a 28-year legacy, it has grown into the world’s foremost platform for addressing environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability. It attracts participants from academia, consultancy, agrifood companies, NGOs, and public bodies, occurring biennially across Europe, America, and Asia.

More information

ICLCAS 2024 – International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainability: 26-27th September 2024

International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainability (ICLAS) discusses the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainability. The conference is held on September 26 and 27, 2024 in Vancouver, Canada.

More information.

SETAC Europe 26th LCA Symposium, “Making LCA Meaningful: Good Data, Better Models, Sustainable Decisions”

21 – 23 October 2024 | Gothenburg, Sweden

The SETAC Europe 26th LCA Symposium is a two-and-a-half-day event gathering experts from academia, industry, government, and NGOs to discuss the latest research and applications in life cycle assessment (LCA). This year’s theme, “Making LCA meaningful: good data, better models, sustainable decisions,” aims to enhance life cycle inventory data, improve life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) application, and deepen the understanding of LCA’s diverse contexts and enhancements. The symposium will offer presentations, discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities to contribute to these goals.

The final version of the Global Guidance for Life-Cycle Impact Assessment Method (GLAM) is planned to be launched at this event.

More information

First edition of the MCV Conference series (MCV 2024)

13-14 November, 2024 • Lille, France

MCV is the first French-speaking conference on life cycle practices. The conference was founded based on the request of industry research and public institutions to promote the topic of Life Cycle Thinking in French-speaking regions. The primary objective of the MCV conference is to bring together decision-makers, experts, researchers, and institutions to discuss and exchange lifecycle-based initiatives, innovations, products, and services. Although the primary language of the conference is French, simultaneous translation is provided to facilitate knowledge exchange.

More information

XI International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in Latin America – CILCA, April 2025

The XI International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in Latin America – CILCA 2025, is scheduled from April 7 to 11, 2025, in Mexico City. CILCA 2025 aims to showcase methodological advancements, discussions, success stories, and technological innovations supporting the life cycle approach as the scientific foundation of the circular economy. Abstract submissions on the theme “Life Cycle Assessment as the basis of the circular economy: production, consumption, and more sustainable societies” are welcomed. For more information visit www.cilca2015.mx. Contact: LGuerecaH@iingen.unam.mx.

Life Cycle Job Announcements

UNEP – Pharmaceutical Life Cycle Expert

UNEP is recruiting a pharmaceutical lifecycle expert consultant for a Geneva-based position. The role involves reporting on identified hotspots and pathways of pharmaceutical residues, drafting recommendations for manufacturers and regulatory authorities, providing an overview of existing methodologies, and contributing technical input to expert meetings and consultations.

The deadline to apply is March 15th. More information.


UNEP – Coordinator of a toolkit development to assess plastic pollution sources in aquatic environments

UNEP is seeking a consultant for a 12-month home-based position as Coordinator of toolkit development to assess plastic pollution sources in aquatic environments. The role involves crafting a final draft for toolkit application and facilitating its introduction and implementation in a designated pilot country.

The deadline to apply is March 20th. More information.


IRTA – Postdoc in “ecosystem services in LCA” for the Sustainability in Biosystems Program

IRTA is seeking an enthusiastic and motivated Postdoc to conduct research on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of agrifood systems in the Sustainability in Biosystems Program. This postdoc position will focus on conducting research and innovation activities related to the challenges of the ecological transition of food systems, particularly regarding the methodological improvement of (agroecological, agrifood) LCA to better consider environmental services of sustainable land management practices.

The deadline to apply is March 19th. More information.


Quantis – LCA Specialist

Quantis Switzerland is in search of an LCA specialist to join their team. Responsibilities include working on projects in Switzerland and globally in collaboration with Quantisians from other offices (Berlin, Boston, Paris, Milan), conducting product LCAs for a range of products and systems, including complex novel technologies, and calculating Corporate Carbon Footprints, incorporating advanced Scope3 models. Do you have a Strong knowledge of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Corporate Footprint, carried out in one of Quantis’ key sectors (food, fashion or cosmetics)?

More information.


VL Svenska Miljöinstitutet – Early career researcher: “chemical footprints” in LCA

IVL is searching for a researcher who has recently earned a doctoral degree and is interested in continuing research in a field that focuses on the applicability of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a decision support tool in the early development of chemicals, materials, and products. Are you intrigued by the research topic of considering human toxicity and ecotoxicity indicators in LCA?

The deadline to apply is March 19th. More information.

Become a Funding Partner

The work of the Life Cycle Initiative would not be possible without the support of its sponsors. By contributing to the Initiative, organizations not only gain access to unparalleled expertise in how to align their activities with their United Nations Environmental and Social Development commitments, but they also play a role in transforming their activities, as models of Life Cycle Thinking. With the new 2022-2027 strategy of the Life Cycle Initiative, funding partners will also get significant visibility through the Initiative’s support to UNEP projects in high-impact sectors such as plastics, textiles, buildings and construction, mobility, etc. If you are interested in becoming a funding partner, please contact us!

Yes, I’m interested to contribute as a Funding Partner

Ongoing 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 thinking contributes to different policy agendas, sustainable business and decision making, in various countries and regions. You may send your content to info@lifecycleinitiative.org. 

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; please send us your piece approximately two weeks before the release date. We look forward to your contributions in disseminating life cycle knowledge from global policy and business agendas! 

Yes, I have content for the LC Net!

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