nova-Session "Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in Science and Policy"

13 December 2022, online event  ++ list of participants ++


Our online workshop offers the opportunity to learn about and discuss Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) – its scientific and methodological principles as well as practical implementation in political decision-making.
In order to transform our economic system towards sustainability and to mitigate climate change, it is crucial to assess and compare products’ environmental performances. How else to make decisions as to which technologies, feedstocks or production systems are preferable?

LCA according to ISO 14040 has become the most widely accepted and applied method to provide information on products’ and companies’ environmental performance. As a standardised tool it offers many advantages such as credibility and comparability.

However, it also offers flexibility to cover a multitude of products, companies and processes. This has the advantage that it can be adapted to all kinds of circumstances, but it also reduces comparability and there is a certain danger of greenwashing. Therefore, higher comparability has been a goal of LCA method development for quite some time. Recently, policy also has been referring more and more to LCA to provide guidelines, support, incentives or permits. These need fixed values and comparable results – so the longer intended method development is imperative now. Accordingly, there have been increased efforts to build on the LCA method for political purposes and develop common assumptions, comparators and default values for product groups. Prominent examples are the calculation rules for biofuels, the discussions about the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), LCA calculations for bio-based plastics, GHG emissions of recycled plastics and for fuels made from CCU, discussions in the framework of the Taxonomy and more.

This nova Session will discuss and answer questions such as:

  • What is LCA and which rules are there for calculating it based on ISO 14040?
  • How is it possible that two LCAs made according to ISO 14040 about the same product come to different conclusions?
  • What is needed to integrate LCA in policy?
  • How is LCA influencing current policy making? Who is working on what?
  • Which rules are discussed for recycled, bio-based, and CCU-based materials?
  • Which rules are discussed in the Taxonomy?