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.

New Downloads

DF 64:  Novel computational approaches in LCA. (Presentations and video recordings vailable)

DF series 2017:  Flyer for DF in 2017 (completed version, DF 67 included)

DF 63:  How can LCA support the circular economy? (Presentations and video recordings)

DF 62:  LCA and decision making: when and how to use consequential LCA? (Presentations and video recordings)

Current Meeting

DF 65 — How suitable is LCA for Nanotechnology assessment? 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017, ETH Zürich, Alumni Pavilion 

We cordially invite you to the 65th Discussion Forum on Life Cycle Assessment.
The official language of this event is English. 

Ten years ago, participants to an international workshop in Washington D.C. on “Nanotechnology and Life Cycle Assessment” concluded that, a priori, the LCA ISO framework is fully suitable for the assessment of nanomaterials and nano-products, despite notable shortcomings in the availability of inventory data and missing evaluation instruments for impact assessment. Since then, various actors have worked extensively on these aspects with the goal of ensuring that traditional and nano-specific environmental issues can be assessed within a unified, comprehensive and consistent framework.

This discussion forum will provide an overview of the key challenges that face practitioners and data providers when undertaking LCA of nanotechnology and will present possible solutions. The opening session will outline the need for environmental assessment of nanotechnologies in light of growing interest in nanomaterials for consumer and industrial applications and prevailing concern for the potential environmental impacts of nanoparticle emissions. The possible role of LCA in guiding environmentally-responsible innovation for emerging nanotechnologies will then be discussed. The second session will focus on prospective modelling of nanotechnologies and will consider how uncertainty should be dealt with in LCA of emerging technologies. A key question to be addressed is whether or not lab-scale data can or should be used as a basis to assess the potential impacts of intended future plant-scale production and, if so, what methods could be applied. Case studies will be presented to provide insights into how these issues have been dealt with in reality. The third session will outline why and how existing LCIA models must be modified (in terms of fate, exposure, and toxicity modelling) to enable more representative evaluation of the potential impacts of nanoparticle/nanomaterial emissions. In the fourth and final session, the potential added values of combining LCA with risk assessment (RA) approaches will be discussed, highlighting the potential for enhancing our knowledge of how nanotechnologies affect the environment, human health, and society.

This forum aims to provide a fertile ground for discussion between LCA researchers, practitioners and other people interested in the sustainable development of nanotechnologies. 


Future Meetings

Call for short presentations for DF 65-67:

You work on a topic relevant to one of the Discussion Fora in 2017 and wish to present your findings?

"Open floor" sessions for short presentations will be available in each forum. Please contact the LCA Discussion Forum secretariat – the sooner the better. 
For more information and to receive news on the LCA Discussion Forum, please contact: lcaforum (at) ethz.ch 

DF 66 — LCA of Mobility solutions: approaches and findings. 

Wednesday, 30 August 2017, ETH Zürich, Alumni Pavillon 

(The official language of this event is English.)

Today, passenger and freight transport are causing substantial environmental burdens contributing to global warming and other adverse impacts on human health and ecosystems due to emission of pollutants, noise, etc. Despite of the introduction of cleaner technologies, overall mobility related burdens continue to increase. However, the mobility sector might face substantial changes such as the shift from fossil fuels to electricity and electricity-based fuels or the introduction of autonomous vehicles with yet un-known environmental consequences.

This discussion forum will provide insights into state-of-the art assessment of mobility – from the individual technology to the system level and covering the environmental, social and economic dimensions. User-friendly tools for the comparative evaluation of mobility options in business and administration, such as mobitool v2.0, will be presented, including case studies from first applications. Furthermore, assessments of large-scale mobility solutions for entire regions will be shown, for the current situation as well as future scenarios, including major technology developments and changes.

DF 67 — Tracking current and forecasting future land-use impacts of agricul­tural value chains. 

Friday, 03 November 2017, ETH Zürich, Alumni Pavillon 

(The official language of this event is English.)

Materials from renewable feedstocks may cause significant environmental impacts due to land use and land use change related to feedstock sourcing. Whilst these impacts are clearly spatially-dependent, spatially-resolved impact assessment is often hampered by lack of data, and in some cases, methods or models. In addition, the location and impacts of production are likely to change in the future, e.g. due to the consequences of climate change and due to sourcing trends in a growing economy and considering geopolitical conditions.

This discussion forum will focus on 1) Methods that can be used to track the current locations of crop production systems in complex supply chains to support spatially resolved impact assessment and 2) Methods and tools to predict future locations of crops in the context of megatrends such as climate change and increasing demand for agricultural raw materials. Advances of methods for spatially resolved consideration of environmental impacts of land use change will also be covered in this LCA forum.


This forum has received funding from/is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 641459 for the RELIEF (RELIability of product Environmental Footprints) project:




Flyer 2017

The flyer 2017 for download:

Sponsors 2017











24 June 2017 Copyright 2012 by LCA Discussion Forum  | Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement