Training Materials

The Life Cycle Initiative is pleased to provide the life cycle community worldwide with a series of training materials which focus on life cycle management and some specific tools such as (environmental) life cycle assessment. The materials produced include, where possible, handbooks for trainers and examples on what and how to implement a life cycle approach. They were produced by internationally acknowledged educational organizations.


Water Footprint Training

Published: 2016  (with the support of the European Commission)

The training materials include:

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Life Cycle Management — Capability Maturity Model Training Material

The aim of the LCM-CMM is to focus on capability development and implementation to fully operationalize and mainstream Life Cycle Assessment in product development, marketing, and strategic decision-making in business.

The LCM-CMM material consists of two components:

  • the LCM-CMM guidance document (workbook) and
  • the training slides and accompanying worksheets for in-class exercises.

Access the training materials.


Water Footprint and Corporate Water Accounting for Resource Efficiency

Authors: Maite Aldaya, Derk Kuiper, Jason Morrison, Rita Schenck, Peter Schulte,  Erika Zarate.

Published: 2013

Description: This report provides an overview on the public and private initiatives as well as methods and tools for water accounting and efficiency worldwide with the aim of raising awareness and enhancing sustainable water management. The report includes three documents developed by UNEP:

  1. “Water footprint assessment, policy and practical measures in a specific geographical setting”. UNEP and Water Footprint Network.
  2. “Corporate Water Accounting – An Analysis of Methods and Tools for Measuring Water Use and its Impacts”. UNEP and UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate with the Pacific Institute.
  3. “Mapping Initiatives on Corporate Water Disclosure”. UNEP, the CEO Water Mandate and the Global Reporting Initiative.
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Life Cycle Management Navigator

Published: 2013

Description: The Life Cycle Management Navigator is a capacity building guide and decision support tool specifically designed for corporate decision-makers in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) worldwide. It aims to assist them to manage the growing demand and expectations in the field of Life Cycle Management. Using the Navigator helps to gain an understanding of the appropriate selection, adoption and usage of today’s most important Life Cycle Management tools.


Measuring Water use in a Green Economy

Lead author: Jacqueline McGlade

Published: 2012

Description: This report analyses the different ways for quantifying and accounting for water flows and productivity within the economy (including environmental needs). Based on data from the literature, the report provides the current state of knowledge of the different indicators and tools for quantifying water productivity and highlights why this is important for developing robust allocation and management systems that preserve the natural capital. It is therefore an important piece of work to inform the discussions on decoupling economic growth from water use and impacts and the debate on resource productivity indicators going beyond GDP and carbon that underpin a green economy. The report focuses on two main elements: 1) the conceptual background and knowledge on how water use puts pressure on the environment; 2) methodologies to quantify water availability and use and how this influences ecosystems.

Global Guidance Principles for LCA Databases Primary

Authors: Guido Sonnemann & Bruce Vigon 

Published: 2012

 Description: The document provides guidance principles for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) databases; this includes how to collect raw data, how to develop datasets and how to manage databases. The publication also addresses questions concerning data documentation and review, coordination among databases, capacity building and future scenarios.

Social Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment

Primary authors: Sonia Valdivia, Cássia Maria Lie Ugaya 

Published: 2011

LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) Training Kit Material

Primary authors: Reinout Heijungs & Helias Udo de Haes of CML, Leiden University, the Netherlands. Secondary authors: Philip White & Jay Golden, School of Sustainability, Arizona State.

Published: 2008 

Description: This training kit presents the central messages of Life Cycle Assessment in a format accessible to life cycle experts and practitioners. The training kit explains LCA under four topics (372 slides): (1) Introduction to LCA and its relation with environmental decision support; (2) Overview of LCA; (3) In-depth presentation of the main issues in LCA; (4) Specialization modules for selected topics. A list of resources is also available such as a complete example of LCA kindly provided by our Mexican partners

 LCM Publication

LCM (Life Cycle Management) Training kit material

Authors: Jennifer Cooper, Josh Hendry, Chris Peterson and James Fava of Five Winds International, Greg Schiefer of SETAC North America, Sonia Valdivia & Guido Sonnemann of UNEP, Allan Astrup Jensen of FORCE Technology, Paolo Frankl of Ecobilancio 

Published: 2007 Description: The LCM Training kit is based on the work of the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative task forces on Life Cycle Management. Life Cycle Management aims to minimize the environmental and socio-economic burdens associated with product or product portfolio throughout its entire life cycle and value chain. This training kit consists of 4 parts and more than 700 slides (from an introduction, through how to use LCM and to communicate on benefits, to the presentation of stakeholders expectations). It also illustrates how businesses are putting life cycle thinking into practice.

Download the background report

Life Cycle Management: a bridge to more sustainable products [Publication] [Slides]

Authors: Allan Astrup Jensen, Arne Remmen, Anne Landfield, Kim Christiansen, Kun Mo Lee, Tom Swarr, Paolo Frankl, Michael Kundt, Burcu Tuncer, Gerald Rebitzer, Robert Ackermann 

Published: 2005 

Description: In 81 slides, this tool provides an introduction to sustainability and life cycle thinking before explaining life cycle management in several steps: integrated management systems and tools, life cycle based design and product development, communication of life cycle information, stakeholder relationships, economic aspects in LCM, and process LCM. It also provides examples of applications of these aspects in life cycle management.

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