Initial Programme

THEME 1 (T1): SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS

Session T1-1: Complex Product Systems and Services - Design, Improvement and Innovation

Sustainable design of products and systems (including production systems) is of high interest at present and has to face the circular economy and industrial ecology new paradigm. Customer’s expectations, regulations and market pressure are the drivers that move the decision maker to consider sustainable dimensions over the life cycle of an industrial system. Such an issue requires the integration of additional parameters into decision-making processes. Sustainable design of industrial systems now requests to solve methodological issues related to economic, social and environmental evaluations (system boundaries, functional analysis, impacts categories) and their integration into the design process. New approaches, methods, and tools dealing with such issues with an industrial connection are welcome in to this session.

Session T1-2: LCM for Electric and Electronic Products

As product concepts are increasingly discussed in a Circular Economy context, also related Life Cycle Assessments need to consider new circular designs, innovative reuse and remanufacturing technologies, which keep parts and materials potentially in the loop, and circular business models, which intend to (re)use products much longer. These changes in an anyway extremely innovative sector result in huge challenges for Life Cycle Assessments to model – partly speculative – Circular Economy effects properly and to take latest technologies into account. The various shades of obsolescence currently discussed in particular in the context of electronic products add another layer of complexity to Life Cycle Assessments. This session will feature case studies from industry, address methodological approaches for a fair allocation of Circular Economy effects, and will provide an overview of the state-of-the-art  LCA in the electronics sector.

Session T1-3: Towards Sustainable Chemicals and Materials by Mainstreaming LCM

The presentations will provide a good overview of how life cycle assessment is used to assess chemical products and materials and what challenges exist with regard to improvements along the value chain. The session will show how companies and experts use LCA results to improve the chemical products in their journey towards resource productivity and sustainability, in which they use life cycle management. Some presentations will give an insight into the progress made in the quality and the possibilities of preparing life cycle information to do so.

Overall, it can be said that the chemical industry has achieved an important degree of maturity in implementing life cycle management since the beginning of this century. In the future it can be expected that steps will be undertaken to move towards new topics like bio-economy, including biodegradability, and circular economy, including critical raw materials, as new subjects that will be addressed more strongly in addition to the issue of low carbon economy that will continue to be relevant.

Session T1-4: Sustainable Health Management – Performance of Health Services

There are few detailed studies on the environmental impact of health services: Studies either have a top-down approach (LCA of the Health care of England) or only focus on one detailed aspect (i.e. LCA of single-use vs. multi-use surgical scrub suit). This makes it difficult for health providers to effectively reduce their impact on the environment. This session aims at giving answers to the main question: How can health providers best use LCA to manage the environmental impact of their services without exceeding their tight budget? This session will address this general question by providing answers to the following aspects: Which methods are best suited for the analysis of health services ? Which functional unit is adequate to compare health services? How can the gap between information on the sector level and on a detailed level be bridged in order to help health providers decide on effective measures? Are there any synergies between the reduction of costs and environmental impacts ? This session calls for practical and concrete suggestions that are realisable for health providers.

Session T1-5: Towards Cradle to Cradle - Plastic Product Circularity

Plastics, which consist of different groups of materials, are  one of the most versatile and widely used materials in the world, but the amount of plastic waste has been increasing worldwide.In 2018 the EC European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy and some countries announced their plan to eliminate unnecessary plastics by 2025. The European industry also presented in ‘Plastic 2030 – Voluntary Commitment” a set of ambitious targets and initiatives which will contribute to achieving a fully circular and resource efficient Europe. The role of plastic and its impact on the environment in life cycle is also under deep discussion in the other part of the World therefore this session is dedicated to present good practice both in methodological assessment and industrial application to assess and minimize its impact on the environment during life cycle.

Session T1-6: Circular Economy and Design - Approaches, Challenges and Case Studies

Design of products is of crucial importance in the circular economy.  Majority of product’s life cycle impacts – environmental, economic or social – are influenced through an early stage of a product’s development process. The main goal of this session is to look for answers to the following questions: What are the most significant challenges for the product’s design in the circular economy era?  Are conventional Design for the Environment (DfE) tools ready for the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) modelling? How to transform the eco-efficiency-oriented design into an eco-effectiveness-oriented design? How to incorporate the durability-oriented features of products into the life cycle design and assessment? And finally: How to design sustainable products making them attractive for consumers? Authors of research related to the sustainable and C2C product’s design are welcome to submit their abstracts to this session. Specific case studies are welcome.

Session T1-7: Sustainable Mobility

Mobility is one of the most important industry sectors with regard to sustainability issues such as climate change and local air quality.  This session covers a new business model such as mobility as a service as well as new technology developments in the field of mobility for persons and goods. The agenda encompasses strategies and measures to improve the sustainability performance of transport and mobility of products and services over the entire life cycle (“from cradle to cradle”). The aim of the session is to bring together different actors along the mobility value chain and to foster collaborations between the different sectors.

Session T1-8: Sustainability of Agri-Food Products

The goal of sustainable agriculture is to meet society’s food needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In the next fifty years, the global food demand is expected to double. New actions for ensuring the sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services will be crucial if we are to meet the demands of improving yields without compromising environmental integrity or human health. This session provides a discussion on how the life cycle approach and life cycle management is possible to support the integration of the environment, economic profitability, and social and economic equity to provide sustainable agriculture and food.

THEME 2 (T2): SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES

Session T2-1: Emerging Technologies - Sustainable Future or Rising Risks?

Emerging technologies are defined as technical innovations fulfilling five criteria: radical novelty, relatively fast growth, coherence, prominent impact, and uncertainty and ambiguity. They find application in technology (e.g. artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D-printing, nanotechnology), medicine (e.g. gene therapy, cancer vaccines), food (e.g. in-vitro meat) and urbanism (e.g. smart communities), having potential to yield benefits to society and contribute to sustainability. Nevertheless, due to their novelty, holistic assessment is needed to understand benefits and risks from a life cycle perspective. This session aims to gather contributions showing how Life Cycle Thinking can feed into assessment and, potentially, future regulation of emerging technologies.

Session T2-2: Roadmapping Sustainable Energy Technologies and Systems

This session focuses on current challenges and prospects regarding energy systems, from the scale of technology to the scale of the overall sector. In this sense, assessing the performance of energy systems is a critical need to check their suitability in the path towards sustainability. In particular, conference contributions involving prospective studies for technology roadmapping, energy planning and policy-making are welcome in this session. In addition to the development and/or use of Life Cycle (Sustainability) Assessment, other relevant methodologies to this session include Energy Systems Modelling, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, etc.

Session T2-3: Maintaining the Value of Resources - Transitions to Sustainability and Their Challenges

Raw materials play a transformational role in the economy. The way resources are used can generate economic, environmental and social costs  as well as much-needed benefits, e.g. the race to slow climate change. Therefore, sustainable stewardship of materials will be criticalto achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This sessionfocuses on the latest theoretical and methodological approaches tocapturing the implications of resource use in LCA, and on case studiesfrom different branches of industry in their attempts to extract valuefrom resources whilst leaving them accessible to future generations.

Session T2-4: LCA and LCM on Carbon Utilization Processes in Chemical Industry and Others

We face the challenge to introduce new processes in industry, especially the chemical industry in order to reuse carbon dioxide instead of emitting it to the atmosphere. The application of the TEA/LCA guidelines of 2018 in case studies will surface interesting results to be discussed in a session of LCM 2019. Furthermore, the guidelines themselves could be discussed for revision on the first experiences.

Session T2-5: Ferrous Metals Industry in a Sustainable World - Chances and Challenges

This session is dedicated to environmental, social and economic aspects of ferrous metals’ life cycle; in particular to the field of iron ore extraction and application of different types of iron, steel and their alloys in the engineering industries. As a steel recycling rate is one the highest among any other materials available, this session covers also issues on a scrap utilisation and recycling, and its market. In addition, contributions regarding the impact of policy and environmental regulations on the life cycle management of steel companies are also welcome to be presented during  this session. 

Session T2-6: Eco-Innovations and Circularity in Non-Ferrous and Precious Metals Industry

Minerals and metals are the basis for the majority of industrial production processes nowadays including most modern-day products such as windmills or batteries. Implementation of various innovative solutions during mineral and metallurgical extraction and processing of non-ferrous and precious metals allows to reduce the environmental footprint and improve the quality of workplace. The aim of the session is to share the best practices on both theoretical and practical eco-innovative solutions concerning production and processing of metal from primary and secondary sources.  In addition to the production processes, also issues related to the structure and operation of the secondary raw materials markets (demand, supply, quality correction between primary and secondary materials) are welcome to be presented and discussed during this session.

Session T2-7: LCA of Biomass- and Non-Fossil Conversion-Technologies for Liquid Fuels

This session targets novel technologies for alternatives to liquid fossil fuels. There is and will be, even though the future is electric, a considerable space and need for liquid fuels. The European Commission is funding research projects on the state-of-the-art biomass and related conversion technologies. This workshop will discuss the LCA-approaches applied in a number of these projects, aiming at mutual learning. We welcome methodological discussions hereunder iLUC (indirect land-use-change), integration of process and input-output based modelling, identification of marginal technologies and supplies, scenario development for supply situations, and challenges for upscaling.

Session T2-8: Negative Emission Technologies (Net)

Limiting global warming at levels of 2°C or even 1.5°C requires stringent reductions of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Global emission pathways show that net CO2 emissions must go down to zero by around 2050. And almost all 1.5°C scenarios rely on negative emissions technologies (NET), removing CO2 from the atmosphere: afforestation, bioenergy with CCS, biochar, enhanced weathering, direct air capture, or ocean fertilization. However, these technologies are not yet well understood and potential side-effects apart from CO2 removal (e.g. N2O emissions due to biomass cultivation or pollutant emissions directly causing human health damages) have hardly been quantified, especially at NET scales required to be effective in terms of global warming mitigation. This session provides a platform for LCA of NETs in order to better understand and quantify potential trade-offs coming along with technologies for CO2 removal from the atmosphere. Contributions addressing single NET as well as their integration in global scenarios are welcome.

Session T2-9: Sustainability in the Construction Sector

The achievement of sustainable development in both developed and developing countries in the building sector requires close cooperation of stakeholders such as researchers, architects, engineers, landscape architects, product manufacturers, energy consultants, project managers, building users, and local administrators. Sustainable  and smart buildings are the result of implementation of policies in the construction sector which is widely responsible for the consumption of natural resources and for environmental pollution. This session is a discussion forum  for different stakeholders operating in  the construction industry.

THEME 3 (T3): SUSTAINABLE ORGANISATIONS

Session T3-1: Life Cycle Thinking from the Purchasing Organization’s Point of View

Life cycle thinking and associated strategies, such as circular economy, are often discussed from the producers’ point of view; e.g. the design of products and the business model for offering a new kind of product or service. This session goes the other way: What are the logics, opportunities and barriers for life cycle thinking from the purchasing organizations’ point of view? How should, for example, sourcing be organized and incentives designed to enable and encourage  demand for circular economy solutions? The session is open to contributions ranging from formulation of purchasing requirements to strategic and organizational considerations.

Session T3-2: LCM as a Part of Environmental Management Systems

In theory eco-design and life cycle thinking (LCT) are integral parts of environmental management systems (ISO 14000, EMAS).  While the LCT and Life Cycle tools are widely used in design and improvement of products (product oriented applications) ,they are almost unknown in organisation-oriented environmental management systems (e.g. as tools to identify and assess environmental aspects and to define an environmental policy and objectives). The Life Cycle tools offer a whole range of features (a quantification, an inclusion of indirect environmental aspects, a normalised approach for life cycle impact assessment, an easy access to sophisticated software tools), which may improve a toolbox usually used by"traditional" environmental managers. The session is devoted to the theoretical and practical possibilities of using the Life Cycle tools in the environmental management systems oriented towards continual improvement of the organization.

Session T3-3: New Types of Organizational LCA

Life cycle thinking is increasingly relevant for assessment at the organizational or corporate level. After the successful pilot phase of the Flagship Activity “LCA of Organizations” within the framework of the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, organizational life cycle based methods are being extended to other sustainability dimensions, like social organizational LCA, or single-indicator methods, i.e. corporate footprints reaching beyond GHG accounting (e.g. water footprints for organizations). Given the novelty of these methods and their potential for widening the scope of LCA, we invite researchers and practitioners to illustrate their application of “New Types of Organizational LCA”.

Session T3-4: Success Factors for Embedding Life Cycle Management into Existing Business Practices

Significant progress has been made in driving a broader use of life cycle thinking/information/management in decision and policy making.  Even with these efforts, sustainable products are still a niche application – for example, 15% of products sold fall within the greener product category. Clearly there is still a way to go to fully embed sustainability criteria into core business practices to create more sustainable organizations/products/materials/packaging.This session will address what we have learned (e.g. key success factors) that can be transferred to other business practice leaders to improve their business practices by embedding sustainability criteria to create value and improve sustainability of an organization.

Session T3-5: Life Cycle Manager on the Labour Market - from Sustainability Oriented Education to Professional Career

LCM and life cycle thinking are global concepts, not only in terms of methodological improvement, practical application, but also in terms of education. More and more universities start teaching life cycle management. They vary in their profile (environmental science, technology, design, materials science and engineering, marketing) and the level of education (bachelor, MSc, PhD). Which skills would be most expected by employees? What issues should be included in the educational programmes? How does it look in practice?  This session is devoted to discussing the best skills of LCM manager and to identifying a potential gap between the existing educational programmes and expectations of organisations operating on the labour market.

Session T3-6: Sustainable Product Portfolio - Best Practice and Tools for PP Management

A starting point for organisational LCAs and environmental footprints of organisations is a product portfolio (PP).  Striving for a sustainable Product Portfolio can be assumed as a strategic goal for many organisations. It means that attention shouldn’t be focused on a single product, but it needs to be oriented on improving the life cycle environmental performance of all products included in PP. It also means a need for managing the upstream and downstream processes in a way able to cover all products. This session is focused on discussing the approaches recognised as suitable to manage the Product Portfolios and make them sustainable.

Session T3-7: Sustainability as a Part of Supply Chain Management in Organisations

Sustainability of supply chains is a complex problem, involving not only environmental, but also economic and social aspects. In the global economy,  raw materials and products circulate fast and smoothly between all continents. On a par with transport sustainability (means of transport, distance), also technology and sustainability of production play a crucial role from the supply chains’ perspective.  This session is devoted to presenting and discussing life cycle-based approaches possible to use for supporting and ensuring sustainability in the complex supply chains.     

THEME 4 (T4): SUSTAINABLE MARKETS AND POLICY

Session T4-1: Circular Economy and Challenges for Life Cycle Management

The aim of a circular economy is to transform waste into resources. This transformation from linear systems to circular systems can substantially reduce total resource consumption as well as emissions of the whole value chain and therefore contribute to a greener economy. However, the environmental benefits of the reuse of resources is limited by the life cycle stage of the transformation as well as additional transportation or beneficiation that may be required. The completeness of the scope will be crucial for the assessment and generalisations overarching different types of waste remain challenging. This session will address methodological developments as well as challenges for the life cycle assessment of a circular economy as well as general limitations and constraints for the transformation to a circular economy like information on waste composition, availability in time and space, the quantity of waste as well as limited knowledge of the usability of waste.

Session T4-2: Integration of Sustainable Development Goals assessment and bottom-up LCA

The SDGs are part of Resolution 70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly „Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. 17 goals have been established and they cover a wide spectrum of environmental and social aspects, including problems of poverty, hunger, education, gender equality, urbanization, climate changes and aquatic ecosystems’ quality. In addition to these goals, also 169 targets have been defined. Each target has some indicators defined to be used for measuring progress toward reaching the targets. In total, there are 304 indicators that will measure compliance. The central questions this session addresses are: to what extent are bottom-up LCA and other LCM tools relevant for the implementation of the SDGs? Are any of the life cycle-based measures included in the list of indicators?   How to integrate the bottom-up LCM tools with theassessment of SDGs?

Session T4-3: LCA in EU Policy

Life cycle thinking and life cycle based techniques have become mature, moving from their academic origins and limited uses primarily in-house in large companies to more powerful approaches, ready to use in various applications, among others in policies.  This session is intended to be a forum for discussing a potential for using the life cycle management and the life cycle approaches in EU and international policies.  

Session T4-4: LCM - standards, certification and labelling schemes

The session will create a forum for discussing ideas and case studies related to standardisation, certification and labelling systems. Environmental certification and labelling are indispensable tools for giving assurance that a product or service is complaint with certain standards. They allow communication of environmental information along the supply chains or directly to consumers. They also aim to stimulate the development of the market for greener products. Existence of standards and credible assessment schemes is of key importance in this context. Abstracts regarding the ISO and other standards, environmental footprinting, sustainable certification schemes and ecolabelling are welcome to be submitted to this session.

Session T4-5: Life Cycle Approaches to Sustainable Regional Development

The session on Life Cycle Management Approaches to Sustainable Regional Development provides a space to present and discuss ways in which life cycle tools can be used to strengthen regional socio-economic planning and development in a more sustainable manner. Sustainable regional development depends on the adoption of systematic and long-term criteria for decision-making at different levels, taking into account the full life cycle of raw materials and products, as well as infrastructure projects. The session invites the presentation of life cycle management applications from both a scientific and a practical point of view, highlighting examples and case studies at the regional level. The applications are relevant to private actors from different economic sectors as well as to public representatives responsible for regional planning and administrative procedures. The session will finish with a discussion to distil key messages from the presenters into practical guidance points on how best to use life cycle approaches to enhance sustainability in regional development.

Session T4-6: Indicators and Communication in LCM

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) provide summary measures of an organization’s performance in the communications often facing top managements, investors, and clients. Therefore, the outcomes of an LCM activity are heavily influenced by the design and implementation of KPIs. The challenge is to develop a robust and defensible indicator that measures what really matters in a transparent and cost effective manner while ensuring effective communication. Organizations can align their KPIs with external reporting outlets such as the Science-based Target initiative, CDP scores, Integrated Reporting initiative, Global Reporting Initiative, and Sustainability Accounting Standard Board. These initiatives may in part overlap, complement, and sometimes compete with each other. An important question to LCM community is how these KPI can be implemented without creating a compliance burden. Organizations  can and do elect their own indicators and use them for external communication. Key issues to be considered are comparability, accountability, and transparency, among others. In this session, the experiences in the development and use of KPIs and reporting/communicating them through existing and new outlets will be discussed.    

Session T4-7: Designing sustainable lifestyles - from societal structure to personal choices

In order to reach the sustainable development goals in society, both the choices of individuals and the social structures to allow green and social living must be considered. The design of infrastructure, city management and public organizations set the frame for sustainable lifestyles, including compact living/housing, shared mobility, food and tourism. The design of sustainable lifestyles implies a range of actions such as behaviour change and nudging, business modelling and service design. This session will exemplify and discuss  these actions at different levels, including their environmental and social effects in a life cycle perspective.

THEME 5 (T5): SUSTAINABLE METHODOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS

Session T5-1: Strengthen LCM by Blending Approaches

Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Thinking are powerful tools to assess the environmental and social impact. However, they cannot answer all questions. What methods and approaches could be successfully integrated with LCA?  How to make this integration?What kind of value added could be gained thanks to this blending act? This session is a room to present and discuss possibilities of using different tools and methods in combination with LCA. Abstracts presenting methodological solutionsas well as practical case studies are welcome to be submitted to this session.

Session T5-2: Positive Environmental Impacts

Environmental impacts are traditionally measured using quantities, such as emissions and resource consumption, which companies try to minimise. However, our activities can also have a positive impact on the environment. Methodologies to calculate and communicate the positive environmental impacts are under development. All abstracts related to the positive environmental impacts are welcome to be submitted to this session. 

Session T5-3: Addressing Marine Litter within Life Cycle Assessment and Management

The Medellin Declaration published by the Forum for Sustainability through Life Cycle Innovation e.V. (FSLCI) in collaboration with the Red Iberoamericana de Ciclo de Vida (RICV) last year highlighted that currently life cycle assessment (LCA), as one of the most widely used sustainability assessment tools for greening the economy, is not adequately addressing the impacts on the environment generated by marine debris, such as plastics and microplastics. It was also noted that there does not seem to be any life cycle assessments on products that include plastics and which adequately address the challenge of marine litter. Indeed, there is still an overall need to assess marine ecological impacts in life cycle assessment in a meaningful way. Given the magnitude of the impacts caused by marine debris, plastics and microplastics in the oceans, and as response to the public concern about these impacts echoed at the UN Ocean Conference, we propose a session with the objective to allow for presentations and an exchange on recent work that started on the issue of marine litter within life cycle assessment and management.

Session T5-4: Social impact assessment methodologies and applications in LCM

The issue of social impacts in product and organization life cycles is an important element of sustainable development and LCM. Reporting in the areas of social responsibility, including social and human rights impacts, has increased and is now a common feature of business practice. From this viewpoint, it is of utmost importance to situate at what development stage LCM is and what it can offer businesses and policy makers in terms of methodologies and tools to measure social life cycle impact.  Environmental and cost-related aspects have a longer history and a well know record track. Experiences with Social Life Cycle assessment have been gained since the publication of the S-LCA Guidelines in 2009 and the method is reaching a new level of maturity. It is anticipated that in this session, presentations on social LCM will be included with particular emphasis on social impact assessment methodologies, practical applications and new guidelines (e.g. new S-LCA Guidelines).

Session T5-5: Creating the Data Infrastructure for Circular Economy and LCM based strategies

Widespread and effective use of life-cycle techniques requires availability of professional databases. In the age of circular economy new challenges related to the development of databases appear. On the one hand, there is a need to encourage the global LCA community (industries, governments, researchers and consultants)  to share specific inventory data and to improve existing databases in terms of data amount, representativeness and quality. On the other hand, there are methodological challenges related to the constant stream of new, relevant topics, like the intensification of recovery and recycling processes in the circular economy. The modern databases should be able to cover not only different goals, but also more and more common and complex multi-functionality of the inventoried processes. Contributions from both a social perspective (“how should we organize this?”) as well as an technical angle are welcomed to give a balanced view on what’s needed to create the data infrastructure required.

Session T5-6: Modelling the Impacts of E-Commerce

An increasing number of products are being bought and sold online via e-commerce as opposed to through traditional retail stores. There are a number of different e-commerce channels (e.g. click and collect, postal services and e-retailers) each with their unique distribution chains, transport modes and in some cases product design requirements. To understand the life cycle impacts of e-commerce provides an opportunity to leverageinformation such as unstructured digital information, satellite data and sensors/tags  from a range of different sources. This session invites contributions on studies to understand the impacts of products sold through e-commerce and approaches to model the uncertainty and variability of impacts of the different e-commerce channels.

Session T5-7: LCM and Central Eastern European Countries – the Past, the Present and the Future

For many years LCM has become more and more popular and is flourishing on almost all continents, including Central Eastern European countries. However, there is a significant difference between “being interested” and “being involved”. It is a long journey for all countries to gain experience in LCM and to be truly penetrated by Life Cycle Thinking and Life Cycle Tools in daily decisions made by business and public administration.  This session is dedicated to present and discuss the experience of CE countries in LCM and prospects for future. All abstracts focused on both theoretical and practical (case studies) aspects of using LCM in CEEC are invited for submission to this session.