DF 55 — Abiotic resources – New impact assessment approaches in view of resource efficiency and resource criticality.
Friday, April 11, 2014, ETH Zurich (in English)
Abiotic resources have become a growing political concern with increased focus on resource scarcity, natural availability and dependency on foreign supply.
For a near-future time horizon, both the USA and the EU have identified so-called “critical raw materials” (including platinum group metals, rare earth elements, niobium, and tungsten), and resource efficiency has become one key element of the sustainability policy of the EU and Switzerland.
For the long time horizon, new as well as updated approaches for abiotic resource impact assessment have recently been developed within the context of life cycle assessment. This development has been extremely diverse with no unifying practice on how to assess resource extraction from the natural environment.
The goal of this discussion forum is to present and discuss these different approaches with respect to, for example, the relevance of resources as a separate safeguard subject in environmental assessment, and their interpretations of the environmental mechanisms related to resource extraction.
The invitation and registration form will be available end of February 2014.
Already available: Invitation to hand in Short Presentations for DF55 Abiotic Resources
DF 56 — Are Environmental Declarations of Products and Organisations the way to harmonise LCAs?
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014, Zürich (in English)
In the last years, several initiatives were taken in order to harmonise the LCA methodology for products and organisations. A recent example is the EU environmental footprint initiative “Single Market for Green Products”. It is a voluntary initiative with the goal of enabling comparison of environmental performances between similar products and companies active in a similar sector.
In this context methodological guidelines are developed such as PEF, PEFCR, OEF, OEFCR and ENVIFOOD protocol. Which other initiatives aiming at harmonisation of LCA are currently under development? Are the expectations of the stakeholders met? Is harmonisation of LCA on track?
The discussion forum will give the floor to European and Swiss legislators, LCA researcher, LCA practitioners and industries participating in the 3-year pilot phase of the initiative, to discuss the harmonisation of measuring and communicating life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations.
DF 57 — Life cycle assessment in the building sector: analytical tools, environmental information and labels.
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, Zürich (in English)
Buildings are an important consumer of energy and an important source of greenhouse gas emissions. In the last decade buildings and their environmental impacts are getting more and more attention.
Analytical tools are being developed, environmental information based on environmental product declarations is being standardised and several sustainability and environmental labelling schemes are being used in Switzerland, including BREEAM, LEEDS, DGNB, SGNB, SNBS, and Minergy-eco. The labels partly rely on life cycle assessment data or environmental product declarations.
The discussion forum will provide a systematic overview on different tools, information and labelling schemes, highlighting common aspects and main differences.