Discussion Forum on Life Cycle Assessment

Mission and Organisation 

LCA practitioners working in industry, consulting companies and administration and LCA scientists. Each LCA forum is dedicated to a specific topic of immediate interest related to

  • experiences and challenges with LCA application in industry and administration
  • scientific questions in life cycle inventory and life cycle impact assessment metholodogy development
  • dissemination of new scientific findings and results of relevant LCA studies

The LCA Discussion Forum is a platform for the exchange between Internationally reknown speakers are invited according to the topic to present their work. Each forum offers an "open floor" session for short presentations. The LCA forum is dedicated to people interested in the field of LCA, working in Switzerland and abroad. Its content is defined by an advisory board.

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Current Meeting

DF 58 — Company LCA: How to measure the corporate environmental footprint along the full value chain?  

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015, Zürich (in English).

With the advance of LCA, the life cycle approach is increasingly applied on company level. However, the efficient assessment of life cycle impacts on a company level remains a real challenge, be it a retailer with a broad product portfolio or a manufacturing company with hundreds of suppliers. Nevertheless, more and more companies start analysing so-called scope 3 life cycle impacts, and include this in their environmental reports. This trend is pushed by new approaches and tools for efficient scope 3 reporting but also by governmental initiatives like the EU's Organization Environmental Footprint (OEF). How do companies perform their scope 3 assessments? What are the key differences, strengths and weaknesses among approaches and standards? How to deal with avoided emissions (sometimes referred to as “scope 4”), i.e. emission reductions that occur outside of a product’s life cycle or value chain, but as a result of the use of that product? The forum will give the floor to representatives from industry, administration and LCA consultants to present the state-of-the-art of company LCA. Participants can exchange experiences and discuss pros and cons of the different approaches. 


Future Meetings

DF 59 — National environmental footprints and planetary boundaries: From methodology to policy implementation. 

Friday, June 12th, 2015, Zürich (in English).

(How) can we use LCA approaches to relate regional environmental impacts to planetary limits?

Nations and regions, such as the EU, started to quantify their environmental footprint by including environmental impacts caused abroad. Different approaches are used to quantify these impacts:
1) environmentally extended input-output tables, sometimes multi-regional and connecting main global trade partners; 
2) LCA data combined with national and trade statistics; 
3) other statistical approaches.

At the same time, proposals of environmental planetary boundaries are published in the scientific literature.

The forum allows to learn about recent research findings, to discuss pros and cons of approaches as well as of proposed planetary boundary values, and to hear about first plans and experiences with policy implementation.

DF 60 — Environmental use of wood resources. 

Friday, December 4th, 2015, Zürich (in English).

Wood is a renewable resource that can be used for a large number of applications ranging from material to chemical to energy applications. In the past wood resources have been underused in Switzerland, but this is changing rapidly with the demand for more environmentally sustainable products and energy. It is therefore crucial to use the available wood resources in an ecologically optimal way.

This discussion forum invites speakers that present life cycle assessments of wood uses within specific sectors (e.g. building and energy sectors) as well as speakers that present analyses across different sectors (systemic perspective). Additionally, recent developments in life cycle inventory modelling of the wood sector as well as new methods to assess the environmental impacts associated with the use of wood products will be presented. We intend to provide a new perspective on an ecological use of wood resources that is relevant to scientists, policy makers and practitioners.

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