The LCM (Life Cycle Management) conference series is one of the world’s leading forums for environmental, economic and social sustainability. The focus is on practical solutions for the implementation of life cycle approaches into strategic and operational decision-making, whether in science, industry, NGOs or public institutions. It takes place every second year, each time organized by a leading research institution and industry in the domain.
Demonstrations of LCM, whether at the stage of methodology development, tools and methods experimentation, or LCM-driven success stories as market innovations, are expected at the LCM2023 conference. The objective is to discuss and advance the implementation of life cycle approaches along the businesses value chains, supporting environmental, social and economic sustainability.
The LCM2023 detailed program is now available!
Tuesday 5, September
8:00 – 17:00
Belgium & North of France
15:00 – 18:00
LCM Organizing Committee
Only for invited participants
17:00 – 18:00
Université Catholique de Lille
18:00 – 20:30
- Introduction to LCM2023 edition,
- North of France region, and
- the University Catholique de Lille,
- Networking cocktail.
Université Catholique de Lille
Wednesday 6, September
8:00 – 10:00
10:00 – 11:00
11:00 – 12:30
Plenary Session: LCM in the decision making process
12:30 – 14:00
Lunch break & Poster thematic session
14:00 – 15:30
15:30 – 16:30
Coffee break & Posters thematic session
16:30 – 18:00
18:00 – 20:00
20:00 – 23:00
Lille Grand Palais
Thursday 7, September
8:00 – 09:00
08:00 – 09:00
09:00 – 10:00
Plenary Session: Carbon neutrality
10:00 – 11:00
Coffee break & Posters thematic session
11:00 – 12:30
12:30 – 14:00
Lunch break & Posters thematic session
14:00 – 15:30
15:30 – 16:30
Coffee break & Posters thematic session
16:30 – 18:00
18:00 – 20:00
20:00 – 00:00
Friday 8, September
08:00 – 09:00
09:00 – 10:30
10:30 – 11:00
Coffee break & Posters thematic session
11:00 – 12:30
12:30 – 13:30
Lunch break & Posters thematic session
13:30 – 15:00
15:15 – 17:00
Lille Grand Palais
Chair: Monia Niero
Co-chair: Jan Bollen
Chair: Anna Wikström
Co-chair: Debbie Steckel
Chair: Michiel De Bauw
Co-chair: Yolan Gielen
Chair : Anne de Bortoli
Co-chair : Jennifer Bravinder
Chair: Matthias Finkbeiner
Co-chair: Ketan Prasad Vaidya
Chair: Eleonore Loiseau
Co-chair: Pekka Maijala
Chair: Adelaide Feraille
Co-chair: Maxime Trocmé
Chair: Dieter De Lathauwer
Co-chair: Jacques Chevalier
Chair: Guido Sonnemann
Co-chair: Ananda Kumaran Sekar
Chair: Gonzalo Guillén-Gosálbez
Co-chair: Peter Saling
Chair: Margaux Escande
Co-chair: Agnes Comte
Chair: Diego Iribarren
Co-chair: Jef Van Valckenborgh
Chair: Anne Prieur-Vernat
Co-chair: Jan Mertens
Chair : Sergiy Smetana
Co-chair : Viktor Klochko
Chair: Ulrike Eberle
Co-chair: Marcela Porto Costa
Chair: Christian Krüger
Co-chair: Tomas Ekvall
Chair: Steven van Hemelryck
Co-chair: Koen Boone
Chair: Caroline Mir
Co-chair: Juan Felipe Cerdas Marin
Chair: Denis Chevé
Co-chair: Gert Van Hoof
Chair: Tomas Rydberg
Co-chair: Alberto Bezama
Chair: Anne Perwuelz
Co-chair: Caroline Bottin
Chair: Wouter De Soete
Co-chair: Scott McAlister
Chair: Denis Le Boulch
Co-chair: Philippe Osset
Chair: Anse Smeets
Co-chair: Matthias Fischer
Chair: Deborah Andrews
Co-chair: Elizabeth Newton
Chair: Christian Traisnel
Co-chair: Hélène Teulon
Chair: William Lepercq
Co-chair: Enrico Benetto
Chair: Rupert Baumgartner
Co-chair: Bálint Simon
Chair : Nicolas Perry
Co-chair : Yaw Sasu-Boakye
Chair: Stéphane Morel
Chair: Sara Russo Garrido
Co-chair: Ladji Tikana
Chair: Marzia Traverso
Co-chair: Nils Jaeger
Chair: Hanna Maria Nilsson-Lindén
Co-chair: Piet Vitse
Chair: Nils Thonemann
Co-chair: Mateo Saavedra del Oso
Chair: Raoul Meys
Co-chair: Artur M. Schweidtmann
Chair: Julie Clavreul
Co-chair: Morten Ryberg
Chair: Stephanie Muller
Co-chair: Frédéric Goettmann
Chair: Steven De Meester
Co-chair: Milad Golkaram
Chair: Rose Nangah Mankaa
Co-chair: Davide Bonaffini
Chair: Mario Martín-Gamboa
Co-chair: Thomas Gibon
Chair: Jo Dewulf
Co-chair: Shaniq Ursula Pillay
Towards meaningful sustainability assessment in a circular economy: successes and failures
A growing number of indicators, metrics and frameworks are available to decision makers in industry and policy institution to assess the sustainability of circular economy initiatives. Many metrics are based on life cycle assessment, meanwhile other approaches focus on specific features of circular economy, such as resource efficiency, material circularity, longevity. The choice of which is the best metric depends on the business process and decision context, e.g. product development, supply chain, production, business models, end-of-life. The involvement of relevant stakeholders is key for the implementation of circular economy initiatives. But who are the key stakeholders for circular economy implementation in an organization? How to perform the selection of key actors and when to involve them? How can tools from Life Cycle Management help in dealing with trade-off between different approaches to the assessment of circular economy strategies?
Developing the future life cycle network
Life Cycle networks and communities have been and are an important meeting place for collaboration and fostering competence within the science and application of life cycle assessment and life cycle management. Today, everything from national communities to global networks exists and there are success stories from innovative actions from all over the world. Life Cycle networks have varied purpose and goal and are organized in different manors but what are the common denominators now and in the future? What role can these networks play and for whom? And what joint efforts can they make together?
This session would like to see short presentations from established and planning life cycle networks elaborating on the questions above. This part will serve as an introduction to the session’s round table discussion.
Informing and stimulating green lifestyle choices
In order to reach sustainability goals in the future, green and social living must be considered. The interface between production and consumption set the frame for future sustainable lifestyles, including sharing consumption of transport and space in buildings, or the need of a circular production for clothing and electronics. Sustainable lifestyles imply a change of action. It implies new ways of consumption, including behavior change and nudging, as well as new ways of production, including business modeling and service design. This session encourages using visual examples and digital aids to present new ways of consumption and production for future sustainable lifestyles. We will discuss future lifestyles including their environmental and social effects from a life cycle perspective.
Towards carbon neutrality with life cycle management
Carbon neutrality, or net-zero, is becoming a shared goal among companies, industries, public authorities, and governments, as the consequences of climate change materialize. Measures designed to achieve carbon-neutrality must be informed by life cycle thinking and tools to handle the risk of burden shifting. This session covers recent advances for the development of carbon-neutral pathways at different scales. Contributions must have a focus on pathways and may involve conceptual frameworks, case studies, as well as novel methodological approaches encompassing but not limited to socioeconomic pathways, environmental and social life cycle assessments, material flow analysis, and environmentally-extended input-output analysis. Communications may also address voluntary commitments, public policies and regulatory aspects around net-zero.
Use of LCM in sustainable regional development – applications, experiences and research perspectives
Within countries, regions and local authorities are gaining increasing political and economic independence as they pursue activities such as local resource development, urban and infrastructure planning, waste management, transport, agricultural production, energy and manufacturing, among others. A high degree of life cycle thinking is necessary to pursue such an extensive set of activities within the multi-criteria framework of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To aid this process, a “tool box” containing a range of specific assessment tools and methodologies (e.g. LCA, MFA, …) as well as life-cycle management interventions (e.g. Sustainable supply-chain management, Green purchasing, …) is proposed to guide the development of sustainability policies of regional and local administrations and their immediate stakeholders. The current open development framework of regions in trade, resource and financial flows and demographic movements calls for a diverse variety of life cycle assessment procedures to describe potential impacts, but what is especially needed is a more systematic approach to life cycle management intervention than we have seen in the past. The lack of standardisation of many LCM instruments leads to a variety of different interpretations by key stakeholders about how these are applied, and also uncertainty about their translation into (regional) policy instruments. This session explores the LCM options and current practices of regions using case studies from European and other jurisdictions. As well as providing encouraging examples of life cycle thinking, these case studies also reveal some important constraints for regions in the systematic application of such management tools, and highlight a need for further development of LCM frameworks that can assist in the promotion of regional sustainability.
Valorization of LCA results in a Life Cycle Management perspective
The objective of this session is to illustrate how LCA results can be used to implement LCM in companies.
For example, LCA results could be used for many purposes:
– Strategy and decision-making: new investments, environmental performance of the company, purchase strategy…
– R&D&I: eco-design, public and collaborative research projects…
– Communication: labeling and environmental declaration (ISO 14020), client demand, marketing, non-financial communication…
– Lobbying: standards, national or international laws,…
An innovative approach to rethinking Sustainability, the UN SDGs and the Circular Economy
Society as a whole is facing unprecedented global environmental and societal problems that are affecting people’s behaviour, mental health and ability to respond to these problems. We present a novel strategy to rethink and adapt current approaches to sustainability in order to mitigate these issues and to transfer and embed this knowledge in the workplace and beyond. Using a reverse psychology methodology we have already demonstrated both engagement and deeper learning for students and academics and have successfully transferred the strategy to encourage deeper thinking across disciplines and believe this approach can go beyond sustainability issues alone. We will:
– share and build on our successful practice around Education for Sustainability and beyond;
– discuss and identify strategies to adapt and apply the approach to different disciplines;
– identify delegates’ requirements and workshop ideas about how best to incorporate the practice in their own roles and businesses
The session will be seriously enjoyable! It will start with a presentation about the subject and past examples from different disciplines. Delegates will join break out groups for interactive discussion and contribute and develop ideas related to their specialist subjects. They will also be encouraged to negate as many SDGs as possible. The ideas will be collated and presented to the conference delegates who will be encouraged to vote for the ‘baddest’ / favourite proposals from the session.
Increased life cycle actions in small and medium sized companies
Small and medium sized enterprises’ (SME) use of life cycle approaches is limited. Future changes in for example ISO 14001 or the introduction of EU Environmental Footprint might force a change to that together with increased pressure from costumers. How are we preparing SME´s for these changes? Most tools that are available today are developed to fit organizations with either in-house ability to perform LCA or the financial muscles to buy that competence from consultants. SME´s in general lack both. How can tools or approaches be adapted to be more applicable and available for SME´s? Is making data available and simplifying digital tools the way to go? Are there new and innovative ways to make LCA applicable for SME? This session welcomes presenters with experience in adopting or developing new and innovative ways to make the life cycle approach available for SME. The session will end with a discussion.
Digitization of Product Environmental Information
Following the growth of today’s market, awareness of environmental impacts has been rising significantly, and LCA has become one of the major requirements among industries to increase their competitiveness. Moreover, different formats to exchange product environmental information are emerging to reflect sectors and regions specificities, particularly in the field of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Addressing this rising demand is therefore a heavy task for companies offering a broad range of products and services across multiple countries.
Companies are seeking solutions to automatize the production of LCAs to facilitate the use of LCA results for non-experts, reduce the time needed to perform an end-to-end LCA or EPD, strengthen the robustness and quality of LCAs, and eventually foster eco-design.
This session focuses on innovative tools and approaches for digitizing and automatizing the product environmental information. We welcome original methodological contributions, reviews, and cases studies from academic and business contributors, tackling LCA automation approaches from multiple perspectives, addressing (but not limited to) the following questions:
• How to easily produce specific product environmental data?
• How to reduce uncertainty in ecodesign?
• How to use artificial intelligence to support LCA automation?
• How to use blockchain/DLT to enhance compliance and transparency in LCA/EPD process?
• How to assess business opportunities through digital-enabled LCA modeling?
• Could digitalization allow experts to focus more on ideation/innovation than on data collection and modeling?
Strategy for collection of LCA data from suppliers
How to establish a long-term strategy for a continuous flow of LCI data throughout supply chains? How to go from generic to supply chain specific data in a trustworthy and effective way? Which obstacles do industry needs to deal with and how to incentivise suppliers? Today the technological development is changing fast, and the difference in environmental impact between different supply chains may vary greatly and quickly.
Innovation and digitalization are crucial to solve these issues and the session welcomes presenters with experience and best practice in this field. The session will end up in a panel discussion focusing on innovative and visionary practices and strategies.
Product design for sustainable Life Cycle Management
Many companies have assessed the impact of their activities and their product or service offers. Yet, they may set targets aligned with recognize frameworks as science based targets or planetary boundaries. Then, comes the big question, how to improve the products and set the company on track to achieve its ambitious target? How to transition to Circular and Functional economy in a resilient and sober word.
Our proposal is to have a session to share and discuss best practices in leading the journey of transforming the organisation and improving the new product design. What are the new tools, what are the new competences and skills, and the new decision making framework? And then, let’s see what was the most effective to improve the footprint of your products and contributed to achieve your global goals?
Works from academics on the concept of the transition journey and feedback on companies on what it takes to develop new improved products are welcome. Let’s share the roadbook and support the others in this collective and interactive session.
Social Life Cycle Assessment in practice: Implementation and Value Derived
The inclusion of social aspects into mainstream sustainability management, tools, and methodologies has gained in prominence in recent years. Amidst this context, Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) has developed over the past two decades as a tool to assess the social impacts of products and services across their life cycle. The number of published S-LCA case studies have steadily risen in recent years, and the purposes that these studies serve has diversified over time – ranging from informing product design decisions, procurement decisions, risk management, due diligence processes, and more.
This session aims to showcase cases of implementation of S-LCA in key sectors of the economy, with a focus on understanding what value has been derived by companies as a result or in the process of performing an S-LCA. What has been learned from S-LCA practice? What decision-making has it informed? What types of synergies have been created with other internal processes and what obstacles have been found along the way?
As S-LCA gains in maturity, it is crucial to reflect on the value that can be derived from S-LCA studies and better understand in which context they are best put to use.
Application of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) in the industry
Sustainability is relevant in and for all industries, reporting requirements and valuation methods increase. Consumers of industrial products mention the relevance of sustainably evaluated and certified products. Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) is a framework focusing and assessing all three pillars (LCA, LCC, S-LCA) of sustainability. Although clear definitions of the assessments are existing, literature reviews show that studies were implemented not following the given definitions. The term LCSA is used, but economic and social aspects are neglected. Among focusing on exiting definitions, a pre-selection of indicators and visualization are named as possible supportive aspects for LCSA application.
This session aims to present research and industry best practices on LCSA and practitioner perspectives on a methodology that can support decision-making in industry and policy. Theoretical and practical approaches are welcome and examples can take on pioneering roles.
Sustainability and circularity in business models and business ecosystems
A transition to a sustainable and circular economy requires large scale transformation within industry as well as society. We need innovation not only in products, services and industry applications, but in entire business ecosystems and within the organizations involved in this production and consumption. Actors from both the supply and demand sides within the business ecosystem need to align capabilities and roles to a more circular logic. This includes changes in organizational practices, policy making, customer interaction, business models, and ways to collaborate across actors in the value chain (such as manufacturers, producers, distributors, retailers, customers or consumers (private or public)). Business ecosystem development is particularly important in a circular economy, where benefits, risks and information need to be shared among new stakeholders and in new ways. It is also important that new business models contribute to a decreased environmental footprint. This session welcomes contributions on business ecosystem development and business model innovation for a sustainable and circular economy.
Prospective life cycle management of emerging technologies and Next-generation Materials
Prospective life cycle management (LCM) supports decision-makers in business and policy to anticipate, prevent, and minimize the environmental impacts of emerging technologies and novel materials. Prospective life cycle assessment (LCA) is one important technique in the context of prospective LCM. Assessment-wise methodological challenges exist in each of the four ISO phases when conducting a prospective LCA due to the intrinsic and manifold sources of uncertainty. In this session, the main focus is on addressing these challenges and their potential solutions to conduct prospective LCA and LCM studies of emerging technologies, product systems, and value chains in a consistent and comprehensive way. Contributions should primarily focus on developing and testing new methodological frameworks, approaches, and tools. We invite contributions addressing issues related to the effective upscaling of LCIs using simulations, learning curves, proxy technologies, or technology expert knowledge. Case studies of emerging technologies and novel materials are also welcome to demonstrate applications of prospective LCA and LCM.
Innovation for sustainable construction in buildings and cities
The construction sector has a high contribution to various environmental impacts. Innovations on new materials and new construction processes currently investigated could help lower environmental burdens of construction activities. This session covers the life cycle management of innovative technologies in the construction of buildings and cities, such as innovative material development, new recycling process for construction waste, design for dismantling techniques, 3D printing building, new biobased construction techniques, and processes… Its objective is twofold: discovering innovative technologies developed in industry and/or research and understanding how they can be assessed.
Use of Environmental Product Declaration in different legislations and policies
The use of EPDs in the building sector is getting momentum. From 2011 to 2021, the number of EPDs has been multiplied by almost 4. Moreover, different legislations are implementing EPDs at a national level, e.g., the French RE2020 (implemented in January 2022), imposing the environmental assessment of buildings using EPDs for different construction materials and products.
In North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, etc., public procurement and private organizations are requesting more and more EPDs for their products.
The CPR (Construction Products Regulation) is also evolving, integrating the use of EPDs into European legislation. CPR harmonizes the environmental declaration of construction products and allows a level playing field.
This session aims to expose different case studies and experiences at various levels using the EPDs. The technical assessments of the products using LCA and harmonization to use of EPDs in different ecodesign and benchmarking contexts. The session also highlights the challenges to mainstreaming the use of EPDs.
Transitioning towards sustainable value chains for Chemicals and Materials
The session aims at providing an overview of how life cycle assessment is used to evaluate chemical products and materials and which challenges and solutions exist with regard to improvements along the value chain to make these products more sustainable. The session will show how companies and experts can use LCA results to transform value chains for chemicals and materials in their journey towards resource productivity and sustainability. All type of life cycle studies are within the scope of the session: Environmental LCA, Life Cycle Costing social LCA and/ or the integrated LCSA framework to improve the chemical products. The main point is to use life cycle management to make positive change happen. Overall, it can be said that the chemicals industry has achieved an important degree of maturity in implementing life cycle management since the start of this century. Now it is time to show concrete steps in order to move towards a circular chemistry and net zero carbon emissions.
Environmental impacts and benefits of digital services
Digital services and information systems are essential for society nowadays in promoting communication, services, and commerce. However, there are considerable environmental impacts associated with these digital services. These impacts could be related to the equipment used to store, manipulate, and display the data, such as servers, data centers, and user devices. Hence assessing the sustainability and the environmental impacts of digital services is necessary. The key aspects of the life cycle assessment on information systems and digital services must be highlighted: the materiality of numeric, the sources of impacts, the evaluation methodology and the environmental criteria generally used. Illustrations of some field examples of how to reduce the impacts of digital services and the difficulties encountered when carrying out this approach are appreciated.
Approaching life-cycle sustainability as the actual driver of the energy transition
Achieving sustainable energy systems is a cornerstone of sustainable development. Besides technological advancements, energy systems analysis plays a key role in facilitating sensible decision-making processes in the energy field (regarding both power and transport). In this sense, while sustainability is assumed to be the current driver of energy transitions, a thorough assessment of energy systems is required to check actual suitability under life-cycle sustainability indicators. This conventional session welcomes contributions that fill acknowledged gaps in life cycle sustainability assessment of energy systems (from technologies to regional energy systems) by providing solutions based on pure life-cycle approaches or combined (synergistic) approaches, and with a focus on the prospective performance of renewable power and alternative fuels such as (green) hydrogen.
Assessing sustainability of flexible energy systems
Achieving a carbon neutral society by 2050 is a major challenge over the next few decades. 3 pathways are required to achieve this:
• Increase energy efficiency and consume less energy to do the same or more
• Electrify as many processes as possible with renewable electricity wherever possible
• Embrace hydrogen or hydrogen derivatives (incl. CCU based e-fuels) for processes where high energy density is crucial or for the storage of energy over longer time periods. For this, large amounts of renewable electricity is required.
One major hurdle related to the development of renewables is intermittency and matching of energy production vs. demand, e.g. due to differences in seasonality. Few LCA are available that relate to complex systems accounting for intermittence of renewable energy, either through energy management systems, or through energy storage. This session aims to present case studies developed to improve the assessment of environmental performances of such future systems.
Life Cycle Management applied to food, agriculture, and beverages
The current food system is unsustainable and incapable of feeding the growing population without its’ intensification and worsening the environmental impact of the chain. This way, it is important to find sustainable ways to produce food or reduce waste to provide the necessary nutrients to the population. The implementation of the concept of ecodesign in different areas has proven to be beneficial to decrease the environmental impact through the product life cycle. This concept is described as the integration of social, economic, and ecological sustainability aspects into products’ design and development to balance economic requirements. Ecodesigned food products are optimized in all points of the chain to fulfil the main objectives of this concept: ensure low natural resources’ consumption to preserve the environment, minimize global warming consequences and produce cheaper and better products. Next to ecodesign, also other concepts can be highly valuable in terms of more sustainable food products. Interesting insights on new and developed approaches are the focus of this session!
Contribution of Life Cycle Management to more sustainable plastic value chains
Since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, the number of companies targeting for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by or before 2050 has grown noticeably. Reinvention of processes and step-change in technology development are needed to accelerate the pace of emissions reduction. In additions the recycling of post-consumer and pre-consumer plastic waste is an essential building block for the transition to a circular and net zero economy. Respective recycling technologies are relevant for enhancing resource efficiency, protection of oceans and mitigation of climate crisis effects. The assessment of life cycle impacts of advanced plastic recycling technologies like mechanical recycling, physical and chemical recycling are demonstrated.
The discussion will focus on environmental benefits and shortcomings of the different technologies as well as their role achieving net zero targets in future.
Collaboration along the value chain in retail through LCM
Retailers are working on ways how to calculate, communicate and reduce the environmental footprint of their activities, both within the organisation itself and throughout the supply chain (product portfolio). One key aspect in order to achieve this is collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders (governments, suppliers, employees, consumers, competitors, NGO’s, etc.). In this session, we would like to focus on the unique position of the retailer within the supply chain in being the bridge between producers and consumers. What are the best available technologies to inform, guide, assist and lead consumers towards the products with the lowest environmental footprint? How can producers and all other upstream partners collaborate in further reducing the footprint of consumer products and how can those efforts also be valorised all the way up to the consumers?
Life cycle management for e-mobility services
Electrified mobility (E-mobility) refers to electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. E-mobility will dominate the transport market with the EU ban on combustion-engine vehicles and the implementation of the electrification plan. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are the essential technologies for the full deployment of E-mobility. The market uses different Li-ion battery technologies, such as NMC, LFP, LCO, NCA, and LMO. However, the most used technologies nowadays are NMC and LFP, which use critical raw materials for the EU economy (such as cobalt, lithium, and natural graphite). A considerable number of Li-ion batteries will reach their end-of-life in the coming years, raising the need to develop sustainable recycling processes. Recycling processes of Li-ion batteries will help to recover valuable and critical materials. These recovered materials will represent secondary sources used in manufacturing new Li-ion batteries, which would also reduce the environmental impacts associated with the extraction of these raw materials. Eco-design and design-for-recycling are essential to have more sustainable Li-ion batteries. Another solution is introducing new battery technologies that use less critical raw materials, have higher efficiencies, and have a longer lifetime. Several future technologies show promising characteristics, such as all-solid-state batteries, Lithium-sulfur batteries, Metal-air batteries, etc. This session aims to expose all new developments around e-mobility, from new technologies of batteries to different use conditions of e-mobility to reuse and recycling of the batteries at the end of their life.
Innovation in the metallurgical sector for a better sustainable management
Raw materials are essential to the functioning and integrity of a wide range of industrial ecosystems. Those in the metallurgical sector (ferrous and non- ferrous metals) are among the most concerned and impacting on these aspects. In addition, the metallurgical sector uses energy-intensive industrial processes that cause a considerable amount of pollutant emissions. For example, carbon emissions account for about 10% of global GHG emissions. As a result, the metallurgical sector must assess and find new technological and economically viable processes to reduce its carbon emissions and environmental impacts. There are primarily many ways to improve sustainability: innovative new metallurgical processes that directly reduce emissions; direct or indirect reduction of carbon emissions through carbon capture and storage, etc. This session aims to discuss existing and developing metallurgical processes to significantly improve life cycle impacts, and case studies on carbon capture and storage in the metallurgical sectors: its benefits and shortcomings.
Life cycle management in the bio-economy
Biomass resources from all sectors play a crucial role in transitioning into a low-fossil economy, whether from forestry, agriculture, or marine bio-resources. But at the same time, this transition needs to consider the sustainability of the industrial bio-based sectors, making them more resource-efficient and low environmental impact, to mitigate the climate change, preserve ecosystem and natural resources, to protect air/water/soil quality, and maintain biodiversity.
Replacing fossil-based materials or utilising bio-based materials without considering Life Cycle Management may exhaust bioresources. Therefore, more rational and efficient use of natural resources is essential.
This way, the bio-economy and LCM are closely interlinked. The session will address the need for life cycle management in the bio-economy field in terms of the concepts, life cycle assessment, and management approaches and tools to suit the new requirements posed by the needs within the (circular) bio-economy.
The session will host insights regarding strategies, practices, and experiences in implementing life cycle management in the bio-economy industry and public agencies. The session will also introduce the LCM in forestry for the emerging mass timber building applications to achieve carbon removal/storage benefits and deepen the bio-economy development.
Life Cycle Sustainability in Textiles
Said to be the second most polluting industry in the world, it is clear that the textile sector generates significant impacts. While some of these are clearly linked to the manufacturing, they are in fact spread over the entire life cycle. Scientific studies demonstrate substantial increase in clothing consumption and as a result, increase in production. At the same time product usage has decreased and million tons of textiles are discarded each year.
Initiatives are multiplying in the whole sector including garment, home textiles, smart -textiles, composites and non-woven. Despite a real awareness, the sector continues to develop.
It is therefore essential to establish long-term changes that lie at the interface of the life cycle phases of textile items:
– changes for better production and better (and less) consumption
– changes for sustainable practices throughout the supply chain
– changes in consumer behaviour
– systemic changes related to economic models and value creation.
Life cycle management in healthcare sector
Assessing the sustainability of the healthcare sector is a complicated topic due to the high number of components to be evaluated, such as hospitals, healthcare equipment, clinical laboratories, medications, vaccines, medical waste, etc. Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacture and delivery requires an extensive amount of energy and material resources. Medical waste has become a considerable pollutant source worldwide, where residual medical waste from Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) have been identified as a factor in the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), along with affecting the quality of water, and soil in the surrounding areas (e.g. through Pharmaceuticals in the Environment, (PIE).
Besides manufacturing and waste, increasingly national and local health systems are wanting to reduce their environmental footprints, especially greenhouse gas emissions. There is a paucity of data, however, to guide clinicians (the final decision makers in health systems) in choosing environmentally preferable treatment options without adversely affecting patient outcomes.
Hence comes the need for life cycle management of the healthcare sector by evaluating the impacts of the whole life cycle of its various components. This will require measurement and impact assessment, implemention of sustainability innovations such as management of waste disposal and air pollution, efficient use of resources and manufacturing, along with working with clinicians and health economists to guide sustainable healthcare interventions.
There is a long way to go. Currently there is a lack of standardization when it comes to Product Environmental Footprinting through LCA within the sector. Furthermore, the lack of accessible data has been identified to be a bottleneck in performing studies.
Both technological use cases and methodological developments related to environmental sustainability assessments in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector are welcome in this session. Methodological developments can bring solutions to (not limitative): the Life Cycle Inventory generation (data strategies, standardization), as well as Life Cycle Impact Assessment (inclusion of AMR, PIE, etc.).
Advances in life cycle management through artificial intelligence, data science and machine learning
LCA heavily relies on the availability and quality of sustainability data. Thus, data generation and analysis have become increasingly relevant for the LCA community. While the availability of data increases, new possibilities arise for LCA and sustainability assessments to be integrated with advanced computer science methods. Potential methods include process surrogate models, impact estimation using machine learning (ML), data visualization, and knowledge representation. By integrating these methods, the LCA community can greatly benefit. Potential applications include information extraction from literature, prediction of various LCA or process data, ontologies for meaningful knowledge representation, identification of outliers, or data visualization. In this session, we invite contributions that discuss the intersection of data science, ML, and LCA.
Setting environmental sustainability targets in LCM
While life cycle assessment is nowadays widely used to assess technologies in a comparative manner (to justify the superiority of a product or a service over another or its improvement over time), there is a growing need to set absolute sustainability targets. For example, companies have relatively widely committed to science-based targets regarding their greenhouse gas emissions, and work is undergoing to extend this sort of commitments to other environmental impacts such as the initiative by science-based targets network (SBTN). With this aim, several authors have worked on the operationalization of the planetary boundaries concept for assessing the sustainability of industry activities in relation to absolute environmental targets. In this session, we look for examples of application of absolute environmental sustainability assessments in any sector and at any level (product, service, company, sector, country).
Evaluating the sustainable use of resources
Resources are used for their instrumental value, i.e. for their utility in the anthroposphere. Given the volume of resources consumed each year in various industrial sectors in a globalized market as well as the non-renewable nature of abiotic resources, their sustainable use might be compromised. Many approaches have been developed and applied to evaluate the sustainable use of resources. Among them, resource criticality aims at assessing the risks associated with resource supply for a given market. Methodological developments have been proposed for the last 10 years to evaluate the criticality of resources and integrate it into broader sustainability tools. In parallel, LCA captures the intrinsic environmental impacts of resource use from their extraction to their multiple life cycles, however, discussion on how to quantify resource use and efficiency on the safeguard subject for resources and its consideration in LCA are still ongoing. These discussions include concepts such as resource ‘value’, ‘accessibility’, ‘quality’ or ‘functionality’ without consensual definition of these concepts and the way to assess/quantify them. These concepts are moreover relevant both in the LCA framework and in the measure of resource efficiency towards a circular economy. At the crossroads between sustainability and circular economy, this session welcomes new developments and approaches exploring how to assess the sustainable use of resources. Industrial perspectives on how to evaluate and ensure the sustainable supply and use of resources are also welcomed.
Challenges and methods for quantifying the benefits of recycling in LCM
Assessing waste management processes by holistic methods is complex. For instance, many LCAs assume a one-to-one substitution with primary resources. However, the quality of a product or application can be lower (or higher?) when made from recycled material , which suggests that a correction should be made in this perspective. To address the challenge of incorporating quality in decision making related to waste management, this session focuses on following sub-topics:
• Conceptual presentations on quality of recycling or broader: quality aspects in the circular economy
• Case studies on the implementation of quality factors in sustainability assessments of products or applications made from primary and secondary resources.
• Sustainability assessments of emerging recycling technologies (e.g., chemical and solvent-based recycling of plastics), including quality aspects.
• Quality increase/decrease of the material flow through a recycling/production chain
Methodological advancements in Social Life Cycle Management
Social Life Cycle Assessment methodology aims to assess the social impact generated by a product along its life cycle. The UNEP 2020 Guidelines, its reviewed Methodological Sheets (2021) and the first related nine pilot projects (2022) have re-kindled interest from industries to measure their social Footprint as well as Handprint. This is further supported by the launch of the EU Taxonomy Regulation 852/2020 (June 2020) and the report on the Social Taxonomy (2022) introducing minimum Safeguards and reporting requirements on social aspects for economic activities. Furthermore, we have the development of the ISO 14075 and other national initiatives such as the introduction of the Supply Chain Law in Germany. All these initiatives drive industries towards implementing S-LCA and developing the methodology as well as addressing communication issues with a possible Social Product Declaration. The session will focus on future developments as well as related challenges.
Monetization of environmental and social impacts
In (S-)LCA the impact of product lifecycles is measured across a range of impact categories, expressed in different units often little intuitive for industry and the general public. However, there is a need for easy-to-grasp and standardized information on the environmental and social value chain and product performance. A potential solution lies in the harmonization and monetization of often externalized environmental and social impacts across product lifecycles. This approach allows for increasing transparency, realizing informed decision-making, and providing a basis for remediation and improvement across value chains. It makes sustainability tangible for consumers and allows for external communication on impacts. To enable knowledge-transfer across sectors, the aim of this session is to share and discuss the added value, experiences, and key-learnings of impact monetization and its implementation in specific industries and value chains, alongside the identified challenges and barriers.
New methodological developments for LCM
As LCM is an emerging field of research, development and application, there is a continuous innovation with respect to underlying and employed methodologies. This session puts emphasis on the advancements in method developments. Contributions can be of various nature as long as they are bringing forward methodological advancements that are relevant for LCM for academia and industry. Some potential new advancements can be within the environmental pillar, e.g. integration of ecosystems services and/or risk assessment in LCA; advancements with respect to economic impact and social life cycle assessment are welcome; progress with respect to monetization of externalities is envisaged; integration of LCA, LCC and sLCA into LCSA can be addressed; integration of circular economy and/or criticality aspects in LCSA is welcomed; all among other relevant topics.
Time and Space: Acknowledging and integrating the variability of sustainability impacts into LCM
This conventional session focuses on advances towards an improved representativeness of production and consumption systems in terms of integrating the variability of sustainability impacts over time and space. In fact, in the currently globalised value chains, products and organisations have an evolution and influence over time and space. This highlights the need for applicable and harmonised life-cycle approaches that tackle the variability of sustainability impacts depending on the local and temporal characteristics of production and consumption systems and surrounding environment. Conference contributions providing life-cycle methodological and practical applications that incorporate temporal and/or spatial variations into the Life Cycle (Sustainability) Assessment are welcome in this session. Additionally to the development and/or use of Life Cycle (Sustainability) Assessment, other methodologies of interest include: Scenario Modelling, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, etc.