Life cycle thinking is a key factor in switching to more sustaSIACVinable consumption and production patterns. But to successfully achieve this pillar of the global transformation envisaged by the Sustainable Development Goals, robust life-cycle approaches must be integrated in both the public and private sectors, at a global level.

The International week for Life Cycle Assessment, held in Brasilia, Brazil, 13-17 March, yielded several major advancements to encourage life cycle-based data and policies. One of the Life Cycle Initiative’s partner organizations, Brazilian Institute for Information in Science and ibictTechnology (Ibict) led the organisation of this Week, together with UNEP.

Experts, industry and policy representatives from around the world participated in this series of meetings and forums, to discuss public policies and technical cooperation agreements.

  • Participants to the International Forum on LCA cooperation exchanged experience and learnings about how to create policy frameworks encouraging sustainable consumption and production (SCP). The discussion focused specifically on sustainable public procurement, and sustainable production policies such as eco innovation and eco-design. The learnings from this forum are being put together in a practical Guidance document on “How to incorporate Life Cycle Thinking in Sustainable Public Procurement Policies”, which will complement UNEP’s work in this area. Other policy briefings (e.g. on incorporating LCT in sustainable production policies) will follow.
  • The Global LCA Data Access network, a government initiative participated by UNEP, which includes LCA experts and private-sector representatives, met to determine ways to make consistent LCA data more widely available and accessible. The ambition to deliver a platform to enable a seamless access by users to global LCA data by 2017 was confirmed.
  • The Brazilian Institute for Information in Science and Technology (Ibict) launched the Brazilian National Bank of LCA Inventories (SICV Brazil) and of the Latin American Life Cycle Assessment Journal” (LALCA), an electronic, open and free access journal on LCA. These two launches mark an important step for advancing life cycle thinking in Brazil, and are an important acknowledgement of the work and engagement of Ibict in Brazil over the last decade. These major steps to develop life cycle knowledge and its use are the results of many years of collaboration and engagement from a great number of stakeholders. These achievements will help improve the Brazilian production system, its competitiveness, and its international integration, while respecting the need for sustainable development. At a global level, they are also essential advancements to enable the use of life cycle approaches, as a way to facilitate the transition towards Sustainable Consumption and Production patterns.