The objective of the course is to introduce to the use of environmental sustainability metrics as tools that measure the benefits achieved through a sustainability strategy, leading to informed environmental decisions.
The course will explain in detail the LCA methodology, with examples and exercises.
Various ways of measuring environmental sustainability have been developed, attempting to quantify beyond the generic concept and to evaluate the efficacy of green design principles and policies (i.e. toward “A resource-efficient Europe”, “Europe 2020”). Different metrics are used for different application areas (e.g. impacts related to a person, to a country, to a product).
For the European Commission and internationally, Life Cycle Assessments provide the best framework for assessing the potential environmental impacts of products and services currently available.
LCA is a method to evaluate the environmental performance of products and services through all phases of their life cycle (raw materials extraction; transport; production; use and maintenance; end of life, recycling or final disposal) by identifying and quantifying energy and materials used and emissions and wastes released to the environment. Carbon footprint, water footprint, environmental footprint are all LCA based. The final objective of this evaluation is to identify and evaluate opportunities to affect environmental improvements.
LCA methodology can be applied to different sectors and is used in business and policymaking.
No preliminary knowledge is necessary. The course is open to any disciplinary area.
Monica Lavagna, Polimi, ABC
Architect, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Architectural Technology. Her field of studies is the LCA applied to buildings, buildings materials and construction sector.
Giovanni Dotelli, Polimi, CMIC
Chemical Engineer, Ph.D., Full Professor in Science and Technology of Materials. His field of studies is the LCA applied to materials, in different sectors of application.
Lucia Rigamonti, Polimi, DICA
Environmental engineer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Environmental and Sanitary Engineering. The main topic of her research is LCA applied to waste technologies and waste management systems.
Paco Melià, Polimi, DEIB
Environmental engineer, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Ecology. His field of studies is the ecological systems and the environmental indicators to assess sustainability.
Paolo Masoni, Ecoinnovazione spin-off ENEA
President of Board of Directors of Ecoinnovazione srl, spinoff ENEA. Past President SETAC Europe, Head of the LCA & Ecodesign R&D laboratory ENEA, Past President Rete Italiana LCA, Italian representative in the Environmental Footprint Technical Advisory Board, of the European Commission, Member of the Italian Government Committee for Sustainable Consumption and Production and Green Public Procurement, Project Manager of several international projects.
Serenella Sala, EC JRC IES
scientific officer of European Commission - Joint Research Centre - Directorate D – Sustainable Resources - Land Resources Unit, European Platform on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), develops methodologies and models for sustainable development, integrated environmental assessment, life cycle assessment for supporting eco-innovation of process and products as well as resource efficiency.
Gregor Wernet, Ecoinvent
involved with Ecoinvent (Zurich, CH) since 2005, first as a member of the Expert Group, later as an International Project Coordinator, and as the Executive Manager since 2012. He is also the editor for chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Originally hailing from Germany, he has a PhD in Chemistry from ETH Zurich. Ecoinvent is the Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories, founded by institutes of the ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Offices, and is the most world widely used LCA database.
Alessandra Zamagni, Ecoinnovazione srl, spin-off ENEA
Researcher at ENEA (Italian National Agency on new Technology, Energy and Sustainable economic development). President of Ecoinnovazione srl, an ENEA spin-off that offers consultancy services on the topic of eco-innovation and sustainability assessment. PhD on Life Cycle Sustainability Analysis. She is an international expert in Life cycle sustainability analysis; Social LCA; consequential LCA; hybrid approaches (input output and LCA); Product Environmental Footprint; Organisation Environmental Footprint (pilot on retailer).
Primary references will be slides of the lectures, papers and documents (free available on internet) given during the course.
ISO 14040:2006, Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Principles and framework
ISO 14044:2006, Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Requirements and guidelines