Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a worldwide used methodology for the compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts associated with products, processes or services. Thanks to its holistic perspective – taking into account all the stages from a cradle to grave approach – LCA evaluates the potential impacts related to any economic activity including raw material extraction and processing, distribution, use or consumption, re-use, recycling, and final disposal. People (from R&D at SMEs to policy officials) use LCA for many applications (from designing car bumpers to formulating a national waste policy).
Many education programs propose LCA courses but they are currently restricted to few hours and correspond more to an initiation or an introduction to LCA than to an actual competence. However, with current and upcoming new regulations, the professional world requires more and more competences in LCA.
The course is mainly oriented to MSc / PhD students and professionals who want to achieve a first degree of specialization in this field, but also to other people with a specific interest in these topics and a limited amount of time. For beginners, no basic knowledge of Life Cycle Assessment is needed.
This course presents the main concepts of LCA in a format accessible to a broad audience.
This course aims at bringing fundamentals knowledge on LCA method to students from various educational backgrounds, as well as at ability to conduct an LCA study with SimaPro software.
This course presents the main concepts of LCA in a format accessible to a broad audience. Each class is 3 hours.
Class 1: General introduction to Life Cycle Thinking
- Presentation of the ESS program (objective, organization) (CS)
- Teaching staff presentation + learners presentation (CS, CV, LH)
- Life Cycle Perception with Business game by Quantis (CS, CV, LH)
- Overview of LCA (LH)
Class 2. Stage 1 of LCA – Scope definition
- Goal & Scope definition,
- Definition of primary services, Functional unit and reference flow,
- Secondary services
- Classroom exercises (hand-drier)
Class 3. Stage 1 of LCA – Scope definition and introduction to multi-functionality
- Drawing process flow diagrams: attributional and consequential modeling
- Marginal versus average processes
- Introduction to multi-functionality
- Societal infrastructure (Electricity’s Technologies, Energy system analysis)
- Classroom exercises (pork oil for biodiesel)
Class 4. Stage 2 of LCA – Inventory analysis + Stage 3 of LCA – Impact assessment
- Foreground & background data
- Introduction to the Ecoinvent database. S versus U data. / Alloc Rec – Alloc Def – Conseq data
- Data quality
- Classroom exercise on inventory calculation
- Impact Assessment game
- Description of mid-point indicators
- Presentation of PEF
- Classroom exercise on classification and characterization calculation
Class 5. SimaPro modelling
- Global view on SimaPro software
- Introduction to SimaPro software (transport exemple)
- Aerosol bomb case study on SimaPro : Life cycle modeling, Interpretation of the results
Class 6. SimaPro modelling
- Coffee cup case study on SimaPro without (much) guidance
- Consequential modeling
Class 7. SimaPro modelling + Stage 4 of LCA – Results & discussion
- Coffee cup case study on SimaPro
- Sensitivity analysis, uncertainty analysis, contribution analysis
Class 8. Research case study with iLUC modeling
- Presentation of the land constraints
- What is land use change and why it matters?
- Modelling the impact of land use changes within LCA
Class 9. Excel exercise and final remarks
- Hand-drier exercise with Excel
- Take home messages. Focus on important points
- What has not been shown?
Class 10. Exam and feedback
- Multi-choice questions
- Self & peer reviewing correction
- Learner’s feedback via google form questionnaire
French, European and International master students (M2) and PhD students