37. LCA Discussion Forum

Carbon footprint and LCA: identify the most effective way to reduce the environmental footprint of consumers’ goods

Discussion forum on Life Cycle Assessment
March 19th, 2009, Lausanne, Hotel Alpha-Palmiers

Everything we buy, produce and use has an impact on the environment. Increasing awareness of environmental threats, especially climate change, has led to many initiatives that aim to decrease the environmental impact of consumer goods. Labels have been used for some years now; public and private initiatives propose to mark consumer goods with carbon or environmental labels. Companies and retailers are developing their own environmental strategies, such as offsetting part of the impact of products. In the meantime, Life Cycle Assessments are increasingly being used by companies to assess and understand the environmental impact of their products. The 37th discussion forum on Life Cycle Assessment aims to assess the role of LCA in achieving the most cost-effective reduction of the environmental impact of consumer goods. Should the focus be on carbon footprinting, like the majority of the existing initiatives? Is it worth developing environmental labelling?
Some retailers aim to quantify the carbon footprint of their products. Others class products in terms of their climate change impact. A third method used is LCA within organisations. This aims to guide professional purchasers and therefore removes the burden from the consumer when making daily in store choices. These approaches have been developed simultaneously and all have their advantages and disadvantages. This discussion forum will serve as a platform for retailers, companies, consumers, organisations and policy makers to assess the various approaches and establish the most appropriate way to benefit from information gained through LCA.

The DF 37 will discuss the following questions in particular:
- How to communicate the results of LCA?
- How reliable are the actual labels?
- Can the labelling of products be a good tool for communicating LCA to public/distributor?
- Do labels reach the consumer?
- Do consumers ask for numbers or buy / not buy information?
- Are consumers ready to delegate responsibility to “their” retailer?
- How can LCA most cost effectively support the aim of reducing the environmental footprint of food consumption?

The floor is open for short presentations (5 to 10 minutes). If you are interested, please submit an abstract before 7th March.We hope that this forum will be of interest to you and we are looking forward to welcoming you in Lausanne.

Carole Dubois and Yves Loerincik


Download:    Program_DF37.pdf 

Time Title Speaker Affiliation
9:00   Welcome and Panoramic view of the different labels and standards
DF37-1 Loerincik.pdf
Yves Loerincik   Ecointesys - Life Cycle Systems 
9:20   Marketing and Sustainable Development: the New Deal
DF37-2 Camblain.pdf
Olivier Camblain   A.O. & C.: Accompagnement Opérationnel & Conseils 
10:00   Towards a Deeper Understanding of Consumption
DF37-3 Sahakian.pdf
Marlyne Sahakian   Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva 
10:30   Coffee break Aline Clerc and Huma Khamis   
11:00   Can LCA enhance sustainable consumption?
DF37-4 Clerc Khamis.pdf
  FRC: Romand Federation of Consumers and BEUC: European Consumers’ Organization 
11:30   Discussion    
12:00   LUNCH    
13:30   Highlighting the complexity of labelling using LCA
DF37-6 Loerincik.pdf
Yves Loerincik   Ecointesys –Life Cycle Systems 
13:45   Differences between carbon footprint and total environmental impact
DF37-7 Jungbluth.pdf
Niels Jungbluth   ESU-services 
14:00   Ongoing International Standardization Initiatives of Carbon Footprinting
DF37-8 Buxmann.pdf
Kurt Buxmann   Independent Environmental Services Professional 
14:15   Case studies of the distribution sector    
  Industrial solution for calculation and analysis of the consumption goods environmental cost
DF37-9 Alazard.pdf
Caroline Alazard   Greenext 
  Coop: LCA studies on fruit and vegetables production
DF37-10 Hofer.pdf
Brigit Hofer   Coop 
  Climatop & Myclimate: First experiences with the labelling and communication of climate friendly products
DF37-11 Schmid.pdf
Heinz Schmid;
Thomas Kägi  
15:30   Coffee break    
16:00   Short presentations    
  The Carbon Footprint of Nations - A global, trade-linked analysis
DF37-12 Hertwich.pdf
Edgard Hertwich   Industrial Ecology Programme and Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology 
  What kind of life cycle information is interesting and useful for consumers? Experiences from the FIN-MIPS Household study
DF37-13 Lettenmeier.pdf
Michael Lettenmeier  Wuppertal Institut fuer Klima, Umwelt, Energie 
  PlasticsEurope project about Environmental Product Declaration: Towards an Eco-footprint methodology
DF37-14 Castelan.pdf
Guy Castelan  PlasticsEurope France 
16:45   Discussion    
17:15   Good-bye Yves Loerincik   Ecointesys - Life Cycle Systems 
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