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Using the Environmental Footprint database in SimaPro
What the revised EN 15804 EPD standard means for you
In the European construction sector, the EN 15804 standard defines how companies should go about creating Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). On 21 June 2019, a substantial revision of this standard has been accepted after a formal vote by the European committee for standardization (CEN). Under the revised EN 15804 standard, EPDs are more aligned with the European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). In this article, we will take you through what this revision means for you.
Addressing the next challenge: metrics for biodiversity
Calculate the costs of pollution in SimaPro with Environmental Prices
A new method is available in the SimaPro 9.0 release: Environmental Prices. This method expresses the external costs of one additional unit of pollution in money and results in midpoint characterisation factors that can be used for single-score exercises in life cycle assessment (LCA). Read on to learn the basics of Environmental Prices, or check out the full Environmental Prices Handbook by CE Delft.
Latest news: Linking the UN SDGs to LCA
Last year, PRé Sustainability and 2.-0 LCA Consultants started a UNEP Life Cycle Initiative project to link the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to life cycle assessment (LCA). Ever since the SDGs were introduced, companies have been wanting to contribute to achieving them. Unfortunately, the SDG targets and indicators were not developed with businesses in mind, so it is difficult to effectively measure and monitor the results of your effort. Together with 2.-0 LCA consultants, we have now developed two complementary approaches to help businesses measure their performance on the SDGs they care about.
Protecting the value of financial investments with sustainability assessments
Now even the Dutch central bank clearly reports* that climate change, water stress, raw material scarcity, biodiversity loss and human rights controversies present risks to the financial sector, institutional investors worldwide are looking for ways to safeguard the value of their investments through sustainability analyses. But how can you do that?
What’s new in SimaPro 9.0?
We are happy to introduce SimaPro 9.0! The latest version of SimaPro comes with an updated database system for increased speed and stability. We also included ecoinvent 3.5 plus the latest methods.
PRé at the ALCAS Conference 2019
Join PRé and Lifecycles at the ALCAS Conference 2019 on March 4 for a SimaPro workshop, a morning session about new developments in the LCA world in general and in the SimaPro world in particular. This is an opportunity to network with fellow SimaPro users, get answers from our experts, and learn about the exciting new SimaPro options.
Harness the power of the LCA community
Measuring sustainable impact has become increasingly important, which means the same is true for quantitative metrics. Without metrics to measure progress and impact, it is hard to manage sustainability. In many cases, sustainability targets are set top-down. That seems logical, as that is also how it’s done for financial targets, for instance. But that can’t be done without harnessing the power of the LCA community.
Life cycle seeds taking root in Chilean energy policies
Life cycle thinking is becoming more well-known everywhere on the planet, but not everywhere at the same rates. Chilean sustainability firm Regenerativa, one of the official partners in the SimaPro Global Partner Network, has taken the time to explain how life cycle analysis (LCA) is gaining ground in Chile, where government involvement and encouragement is setting the stage for more growth.
Is our SimaPro training something for (people like) you?
I have been one of the PRé LCA and SimaPro trainers since October 2014, a task I particularly enjoy because of the variety of people attending. In this article, I will spend some time discussing who these people are and where they come from, to help paint a picture for anyone interested in following one of our training sessions.
Highlights of developments in impact assessment in 2018
Developers of new impact assessment methodologies are constantly on a quest to improve the reliability of LCA results. As a busy LCA practitioner, you may not have the time to keep track of ongoing research. To make it easier for you to get a sense of what is happening in the field, PRé has decided to start doing a bi-annual overview of the most interesting developments. This article was written by Laura Golsteijn with contributions from Peter Fantke, Francesca Verones, Marisa Vieira, and Rosalie van Zelm.
PRé at the [avniR] conference
EVENT | Join us at the [avniR] conference in Lille, France on November 7-8, where Laura Golsteijn and Tjeerd Raijmakers from PRé will give a presentation on the awareness raising and capacity building regarding the European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) initiative.
The 2018 Handbook for Product Social Metrics is available now!
Product social metrics, also known as social life cycle assessment (social LCA), is the next frontier in life cycle thinking. For products and services to be truly sustainable, it is important that companies minimise both their negative impacts on the environment and on people. The Roundtable of Product Social Metrics, providing guidance for companies wanting to measure their social impacts, is proud to announce the 2018 edition of the Handbook for Product Social Impact Assessment.
Why is it so difficult to become truly circular?
Circularity is everywhere. A growing number of companies is integrating circular thinking in their policies and products. However, becoming truly circular is challenging. Especially when it comes to integrating higher-level circularity strategies such as refuse, rethink and reduce.
97% of collected e-waste recycled for useful applications
The recovery of materials and energy from waste can lead to considerable environmental and economic benefits. In addition, the proper removal and destruction of refrigerants in cooling and freezing appliances can make a large contribution towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In the Netherlands, one organisation is making a difference.
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals with science-based metrics
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 high-level goals for a better planet, ranging from no more poverty and education for all to protection of the climate, the land and the oceans. Established in 2015, the SDGs set ambitious targets for the year 2030 and are top of mind around the world. A new project has recently started, which will support the Sustainable Development Goals with all the knowledge and experience that life cycle thinking has to offer. Eric Mieras, PRé Managing Director, discusses his recent experiences in Chile and how this project will help connect vision and practice.
PRé at the Life Cycle Innovation Conference 2018
Join us at the Life Cycle Innovation Conference in Berlin on August 29-31, where Eric Mieras, Managing Director of PRé, will give a presentation about scaling up the use of life cycle assessment through technology.
New Project: “Linking the UN Sustainable Development Goals to life cycle impact pathway frameworks”
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 high-level goals for a better planet, ranging from no more poverty and education for all to protection of the climate, the land and the oceans. A new project, "Linking the UN Sustainable Development Goals to life cycle impact pathway frameworks", aims to connect the vision-based approach of the SDGs with the feet-on-the-ground approach of life cycle thinking.
The end of the PEF pilot phase and the start of a beautiful friendship
The European Commission’s Environmental Footprinting (EF) pilot phase has successfully ended. Of the 27 pilot projects, 14 have defined their product environmental footprint category rules (PEFCRs) or organisation environmental footprint sector rules (OEFSRs) for the European market and another 9 aim to do so by October. Now, the PEF method is available for use by anyone who is interested. Read on for a brief review and to see what’s next!
PRé at SETAC Europe 28th Annual Meeting
Responsible and Innovative Research for Environmental Quality, is the theme of SETAC Europe 28th Annual Meeting, taking place in Rome between 13th and 17th of May. PRé is joining both as a presenter and active listener, eager to brainstorm about the improvements and future of LCA.
PRé at The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) Summit 2018 in Chicago
Come and join us as the The Sustainability Consortium event in Chicago, where our product owner Caspar Honée will present during the workshop on the 1st of May on Why Brands and Retailers Need Farm-Level Sustainability Data.
PRé at the final conference of the Environmental Footprint pilot phase
Meet PRé at the final conference of the Environmental Footprint pilot phase on April 23-25, where Mark Goedkoop will give a presentation about the challenges of Life Cycle Assessment in policy making.
How can we scale up LCA studies without compromising on quality?
LCA is becoming more popular, with more and more initiatives turning to fact-based approaches to sustainability. This is great! But is there enough LCA expertise in the world to serve these initiatives and ensure the quality of these numerous LCA requests?
Boosting collaboration for supply chain LCA
As a manufacturer, you want to know what your suppliers are doing, and how, so you can fully understand the environmental impacts of your products. But for your suppliers, sharing this information can be very detrimental to their negotiating position. How do you cross that gap in perspective, so you can do reliable, robust supply chain LCA?
LCA and SimaPro training plans for 2018
For LCA and sustainability practitioners it's important to be up-to-date. If you are thinking about upgrading or updating your LCA knowledge, then Laura Golsteijn would like to draw your attention to one of our trainings. Laura is back from her maternity leave, energetic as always, she starts the year with an invitation to check what's new and updated in our LCA trainings of 2018
Recycling e-waste in the Netherlands: New publication on circular economy of e-waste
There is a wide range of strategies for creating a circular economy. Recycling may not be at the top of the list, but it has its part to play. And within recycling, it is important to understand what the recycling of electronic waste, or e-waste, involves, and what benefits it can bring. This short article presents a brief outline, but it also links to a longer research article that fleshes out the picture.
LCM 2017 outcomes – life cycle management is the mindset to embrace circular economy
With speakers ranging from pioneering innovators, to business representatives, to LCA experts, LCM 2017 really succeeded in bringing two worlds together. Many of the sessions of this year had a strong focus on the implementation and assessment of circular economy trough Life Cycle Management, at different levels: From science to innovation. In this piece, Laura Golsteijn talks about innovation and what that has to do with Life Cycle Management to embrace Circular Economy.
Connecting LCA experts and business people at the LCM conference
I always enjoy conferences as a way to see how LCA and sustainability works ‘on the shop floor’ – to see how businesses and LCA experts alike grapple with making sustainability happen. This September, PRé and some of our clients will be speaking at the Life Cycle Management (LCM) conference, where we hope to see as many of you as possible. In this article, I’d like to introduce the focus area I’ve been working with: connecting business users and LCA experts.
PRé is the platinum sponsor of the Life Cycle Management 2017 conference in Luxembourg
The 8th edition of the international Life Cycle Management conference, recognised as one of the most important conferences in the field of sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment, is going to be held this year in Luxembourg. LCM 2017 will take place from 3 to 6 september at the European Congress Center, hosting decision-makers from science, industry, NGOs and public bodies worldwide. PRé Sustainability is proud to be present as Platinum Sponsor.
PRé and BRE develop LINA 2.0 - Tool for compliant EPD with EN15804
LINA is a tool that enables companies and trade associations to assess their products in line with EN 15804, the European Standard for Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for construction products. LINA 2.0 is an enhanced version that makes it even easier to comply with standards for the construction sector.
Mitigating climate change towards disaster risk reduction
Climate change is often linked with long-term effects, such as: polar caps melting, disasters and rising sea level. This week, the Global platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is being hosted in Mexico, where countries will look at the progress made within the Sendai framework agreements. But how can the SDG agreements complement and help prevent disasters? We looked at SDG 13: Climate action, and how sustainability practitioners can help companies take action against climate change; using LCA metrics and indicators.
Calculating the biodiversity footprint for the banking sector
For ASN Bank, PRé and CREM developed a methodology to calculate the biodiversity footprint of the bank's investments from simple spend data, bringing the complexity of biodiversity down to manageable level.
PEF masterclass: Sharing the environmental footprinting initiative with a broader audience
In 2013, the European Commission started the process for development and testing the product and organisation environmental footprinting rules, known as the PEF pilot phase. Since then, a large number of organisations have been actively involved in one of the 24 pilots. Many more, however, have not been involved but are paying attention. After all, it is an initiative started by the European Commission, and it could be game-changing at an industry level. To answer questions from the market, PRé organised a masterclass to share our experience and the value of environmental footprinting.
Bringing two worlds together: sustainability strategy and LCA
More and more, we see companies struggle with the divide between corporate, high-level sustainability strategy and detailed bottom-up analyses on a product level. For financial purposes, those worlds have come together a long time ago. For environmental performance and social metrics, strategy and life cycle assessment (LCA) have not found each other … yet.
The business benefits of including water footprinting in your environmental KPIs
A water footprint is a measure of how much water your business uses and which direct and indirect environmental impacts result from this. It can help you understand and manage your water use and even protect your company from physical, regulatory and reputation risks, adding a valuable and actionable dimension to your environmental KPIs.
Updated method ReCiPe2016 improves accuracy in quantifying impacts on human health and environment
PRé and the Radboud University Nijmegen, among other academic institutes, collaborated on the update of sustainability impact assessment method ReCiPe, the update method is known as ReCiPe2016. ReCiPe2016 enhances accuracy in quantifying life cycle impacts on human health, ecosystem services and natural resources. ReCiPe206 is available on demand. In this piece, Laura Golsteijn explains the potential applications and shares developer’s experiences.
BioScope: visual representation of biodiversity impact in your supply chain
What is good enough in LCA? What is too much? Something is needed for visual representation of ‘flat’ models, like a list of investments, for example. That was the reason to develop BioScope, driven by Platform BEE (Dutch Platform for Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Economy). BioScope, a free access web tool, which provides a simple user interface where companies can enter data that are simple and easy to gather.
EARTHSHIFT changes name to Long Trail Sustainability (LTS)
HUNTINGTON, VT – EARTHSHIFT announced this week that the company will change its name to Long Trail Sustainability (LTS), effective immediately. LTS name reflects company’s roots and its dedication towards sustainability perseverance
Sustainability in 2017- Are We at a Tipping Point to Become Mainstream?
As we are nearing the end of the year, we’d like to reflect on how sustainability initiatives have progressed in 2016. What is the state of the art in sustainability for business? And what can we look forward to in sustainability in 2017?
The cost of fraud: health consequences of fraudulent emissions tests
INTERVIEW | At the end of 2015, it became known that Volkswagen Group has been cheating with emission tests for diesel engines over the last six years, resulting in on-road emissions vastly exceeding the legal standards for nitrogen oxides in Europe and the United States. PRé’s Laura Golsteijn interviewed Rik Oldenkamp, one of the researchers who quantified the public health consequences of this fraud.
State of the debate and outlook for the PEF initiative
At PRé, we’ve been very involved in the European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprinting (PEF) and the Organisational Environmental Footprinting (OEF) initiative, as covered in our series of articles. A big part of the PEF initiative is its pilot phase, planned to last for 3 years and initially scheduled to end soon. However, the pilot phase has recently been extended. In this news article, you will read why and what the status is.
Biodiversity, part 3: biodiversity, climate change and a final question
In our biodiversity series, we look at how to assess the impact of biodiversity changes. We looked at the basic assumptions and metrics in Part 1, and in Part 2 we looked at land use change and how that ties to biodiversity. In this article, we discuss the effect of climate change on biodiversity, and pose our final question.
The EN 15804 building product LCA standard: more challenges than benefits
GUEST POST | In general, the development of standards is a good thing, especially in such a complex environment as building and construction. But not all standards are an unmitigated benefit. This week, we feature a guest post by PhD student Sahar Mirzaie, about her research into the pitfalls and challenges in LCA for the building sector, including the EN 15804 standard.
Biodiversity, part 2: land use and biodiversity
In our biodiversity series, we address biodiversity and its impact assessment. In part 1, we discussed some definitions and units. In this article, we look at land use and how land use and land-use change affect biodiversity. How do we measure the damage, and who pays?
Quantifying your activities’ impact on biodiversity
Biodiversity refers to the variety of organisms present in an ecosystem, or the genetic variation within an area. This diversity is necessary for many ecosystems and human systems services, either directly (for example, agricultural activities) or indirectly (for example local temperature regulation or natural filtering and cleaning of water streams). For that reason, we need to make sure we protect our planet’s biodiversity and to do so we need to know the impacts of our actions on it.
Biodiversity, part 1: our impact on biodiversity
Biodiversity, agriculture and food are very current topics, within the field of sustainability and outside of it. They have a strong effect on GHG emissions, climate change and global warming, which means it is essential for policy makers to give these topics some thought. Unfortunately, these topics require a lot of nuanced thinking. In this series, we address biodiversity impact assessment. Part 1: how do you even define ‘nature’?
PRé and SAC develop tailored tools for sustainable product development
CASE | For the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global alliance of apparel, footwear and home textile companies, PRé developed three tools for sustainable product development. The tools focus on material sustainability, ecodesign and data gathering.
Energy & Transport Data for PEF/OEF Studies: The First Building Block
To ensure comparability within products groups, the PEF initiative is facilitating the use of life cycle inventory data. The Energy and Transport data constitutes the first data lot. This is a short update on the availability of this first building block towards consistent EF-compliant data.
Guidance For Modelling The Use Stage In The PEF Approach
For many product groups, the use stage can contribute much to the overall environmental impact. However, underlying modelling assumptions make it difficult to pinpoint exactly how much. Standardising the modelling approaches can greatly reduce the uncertainties in the calculated use-stage impact. The Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) and Organisation Environmental Footprint Sector Rules (OEFSRs), developed by the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) initiative, are assessment standards for all LCA practitioners. In this edition of the PEF series, we describe the PEF initiative’s guidance on the use stage.
GLAD Is Great: About the Global LCA Access to Data Initiative
Problems around database standards, nomenclature and interoperability have been plaguing the life cycle assessment (LCA) community since its very start. It’s not been easy to come to an alignment. After many initiatives and false starts, there may now be a solution to the confusion around LCA data standards: the Global LCA Access to Data (GLAD) initiative. How did we get there? Strap in and pay attention, because it’s been a bumpy ride.
Global Guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators and Methods - On Track
One of the downsides of LCA is that LCA results are difficult to interpret for those sustainability practitioners who aren’t specialised in LCA, but do rely on it on the battlefield. That’s why the LCA community has been striving so hard to find consensus and decide on standardisation, aiming to make LCA more efficient and easier to interpret. An important initiative is the Flagship 1b project of the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, which aims to build global consensus and guidance. This article shows the exciting progress so far.
3D printing guarantees efficiency. Myth or not?
As a science-based method, LCA is an excellent tool to bust the myths that surround sustainability. In this monthly series, we look at some common sustainability ideas to see if they are myth or true. In today’s episode of Sustainability Mythbusters: Is 3D printing the efficiency miracle solution everyone says it is?
Developments in LCA in the Food Industry
Food and its consumption have a significant impact on our environment. It is estimated that a third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is linked to agriculture and food production. The insights gathered via robust LCA studies can really help consumers, governments and industry to abate the environmental impacts and take more informed decisions. But consistency in data and methods is a must. In this piece, I’d like to share a short overview of the latest developments towards alignment in LCA food data and extend an invitation to meet the SimaPro team at the LCA Food conference.
Measuring The Environmental Footprint Of Organisations In The PEF Initiative
In 2013, the European Commission started testing the environmental footprint rules in what is known as the environmental footprint (PEF) pilot phase. However, this pilot phase contains more than just PEF. Although the focus is predominantly on the product level (24 out of 26 pilots), this 3-year initiative also aims to test the development of environmental footprint rules for organisations. In this article, I will briefly describe the organisational environmental footprint (OEF) in the European Commission’s initiative.
The Importance Of LCA Data Standards And Alignment
LCA has existed for several decades now. But still, there are no clear standards for technical issues, such as substance nomenclature and data quality in LCA, among other. Every now and then, initiatives arise with a new passion to tackle this problem. Right now, several powerful initiatives are doing just that. This article explores the status quo of LCA data standards at this moment, and shows you the latest developments in changing it.
Carbon Modelling In The PEF Initiative
The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) approach aims to standardise and simplify LCA practice while maintaining its high quality. To enable all LCA practitioners to use the same approach, Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs) are being developed. In this edition of the PEF series, we describe the state of the art of carbon modelling.
Electric Cars Guarantee Green Mobility: Myth Or Not?
As a science-based method, LCA is an excellent tool to bust the myths that surround sustainability. In this monthly series, we look at some common sustainability ideas to see if they are myth or true. In today’s episode we discuss electric vehicles. Are they really the best option?
Growing Biofuels Causes Food Shortages: Myth Or Not?
As a science-based method, LCA is an excellent tool to bust the myths that surround sustainability. In this monthly series, we look at some common sustainability ideas to see if they are myth or true. In today’s episode we discuss the concerns about the recent rapid increase in global biomass production.
5 Roads To A Circular Economy - Part V: Circular Supplies
In a circular economy, the intention is to produce no waste or pollution. Instead, products, parts and materials are used, cared for, repaired, reused and recycled as much as possible. This requires new and innovative business models. In our circular economy miniseries, we’ll address five ways to apply the circular economy in your business and how LCA can contribute. Today: circular supplies.
5 Roads To A Circular Economy - Part IV: Sharing
In a circular economy, the intention is to produce no waste or pollution. Instead, products, parts and materials are used, cared for, repaired, reused and recycled as much as possible. This requires new and innovative approaches to business, and assessment methods such as LCA to measure the effect. In our circular economy miniseries, we’ll address five ways to apply the circular economy in your business. Today: sharing in the circular economy.
5 Roads To A Circular Economy - Part III: Reusing Waste
In a circular economy, the intention is to produce no waste or pollution. Instead, products, parts and materials are used, cared for, repaired, reused and recycled as much as possible. This requires new and innovative approaches to business, and assessment methods such as LCA to measure the effect. In our circular economy miniseries, we’ll address five ways to apply the circular economy in your business. Today: reusing waste.
Towards Environmental Footprint Rules - PEF Governance Structure
In the testing of the Environmental Footprint Rules, there are many stakeholders involved. It is a well thought governance structure established for a transparent and collaborative framework. This piece aims at describing the governance structure of the EF rules pilot phase.
5 Roads to Circular Economy Part II: Product as a Service
In a circular economy, the intention is to produce no waste or pollution. Instead, products, parts and materials are used, cared for, repaired, reused and recycled as much as possible. This requires new and innovative approaches to business, and assessment methods such as LCA to measure the effect. In our circular economy miniseries, we’ll address five ways to apply the circular economy and lca in your business. Today: product as a service.
5 Roads to Circular Economy - Part I: Product Life Extension
In a circular economy, the intention is to produce no waste or pollution. Instead, products, parts and materials are used, cared for, repaired, reused and recycled as much as possible. This requires new and innovative business models. In our circular economy miniseries, we’ll address five ways to apply the circular economy and lca in your business. Today: product life extension.
A Plant-based Diet Has A Lower Impact: Myth Or Not?
As a science-based method, LCA is an excellent tool to bust the myths that surround sustainability. In this monthly series, we look at some common sustainability ideas to see if they are myth or true. In today’s episode: reducing impact by going without meat.
Why the Succes of Circular Economy is Owned by Chemicals
Chemical substances are everywhere around us and essential components of our human bodies. Yet, in order to protect biodiversity as well as human health, it is important that we use them in a safe manner. And that might have a circular form…
Reaching Your Ecodesign Goals Through Collaboration
Trying to influence product design as an LCA expert is a well-known challenge. Assessing sustainability at the early design stages is very difficult: the design is still evolving and you don’t have all data yet. Assessing it at the end is much easier, but then your role is limited to ‘environmental book-keeping’ – it is too late to extensively change the design. So, what can you do?
Data Requirements In The PEF Approach
For an LCA study to be compliant with the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards, it needs to include the data quality requirements and a data quality analysis. A lot of LCA practitioners who provide these required elements don’t derive actual value from them, though. They often do it to tick all the boxes. But why is this? And how is the PEF initiative changing this?
Using LCA To Support The Circular Economy
Here at PRé, we’ve had an ongoing discussion about implementing a circular economy approach to product sustainability. We’ve explored the benefits and challenges of blending LCA and circular economy, and we’ve looked broadly at how the two can be complementary.
Favourite Initiative: Windcentrale
Choosing a favourite initiative can be hard. At first I thought “I’ll write about the Repair Café initiative, where you can get electronics, clothes or even bicycles repaired for free”. Then Urgenda won their lawsuit against the Dutch government, forcing the government to follow through on its promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25%. This got me thinking…
Michiel’s Favourite Sustainability Initiative: Kickstarter
Every month, one of PRé’s people talks about his or her personal favourite sustainable initiative. This can be a product or a shop, a local initiative or a new website. This month, Michiel Oele will tell you a little about crowdfunding through Kickstarter.
PEF: a game changer in LCA
The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) approach is a game-changing standard in LCA, with effects and ramifications that we are only just beginning to understand. That’s why PRé is devoting an article series to PEF, discussing it one aspect at a time. Today: how did PEF come about? And what are some of the lessons we have learned so far?
Caspar’s Favourite Sustainability Initiative: Meewind
Every month, one of PRé’s people talks about his or her personal favourite sustainable initiative. This can be a product or a shop, a local initiative or a new website. This month, Caspar Honée will tell you a little about Meewind.
Phase 3 Of The Roundtable For Product Social Metrics
Back in 2013, PRé and seven frontrunner companies developed a vision to create a standardised and trusted methodology to assess the social impacts of products. Creating such a product social impact assessment methodology together would avoid the drawbacks of each company developing its own methodology. Two years later, the Roundtable for Product Social Metrics has reached its third phase.
Packaging Is The Bad Guy: Myth Or Not?
As a science-based method, LCA is an excellent tool to bust the myths that surround sustainability. In this monthly series, we look at some common sustainability ideas to see if they are myth or true. In today’s episode: the impact of packaging.
What Can You Do To Start Working With Your Suppliers?
I am captivated with the momentum that sustainable supply chain initiatives have built up. There is a lot going on in initiatives such as the Sustainability Consortium, the Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH, and the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council.
Stop Showing The Money, Start Sharing The Values
There are so many initiatives to measure natural, social and sustainable capital that you would almost trip over them. At a recent sustainability congress, a researcher stated that they had identified over 60 methods for measuring sustainability. And that’s probably not even all. There seem to be over 130 initiatives worldwide.
The State Of LCA In Business
To accelerate the adoption rate of fact-based LCA, we conducted a study to find out which are the struggles and drivers that are moving LCA practitioners in the business arena. This infographic is based on the most relevant outcomes from our study 'The State of LCA in Business in 2014'.
Life Cycle Assessment And Cradle To Cradle: Friends Or Foes?
There are many different sustainability tools, ranging from simple to complex and covering the various aspects of sustainability: environmental, social and economic sustainability. The popularity of these tools waxes and wanes.
What’s more important than Life Cycle Innovation?
Recently we saw the announcement of a new membership organisation which promises us the be “the voice of the LCA community”. It will be focusing on growing the market for LC based approaches, through advocacy, market expansion and what is called “advancing application”. LCA definitely needs to keep innovating and rethinking, so we agree on that. But, are the priorities set by this initiative right?
How A Life Cycle Driven Business Model Can Accelerate Sustainable Value Creation
Peter Bakker from the WBCSD declared that corporate social responsibility is dead and urged us to create new definitions of success. The change to a more holistic approach is already happening. However, shouldn’t we place the shared value that we create at the heart of what we do?
Margreet’s Favourite Sustainability Initiative: NLdoet
Every month, one of PRé’s people talks about his or her personal favourite sustainable initiative. This can be a product or a shop, a local initiative or a new website. This month, Margreet Riedstra talks about NLdoet, an annual national event at which tens of thousands of Dutch spend a day doing volunteer work.
Why “It Depends…” Is Often The Right Answer
Environmental footprint assessment is a highly detailed technical tool for evaluating the environmental performance of products or organisations. This level of technical detail, however, often makes it difficult for sustainability professionals to give decisive answers to decision makers.
Coming soon: Sustainability Mythbusters
The relevance and popularity of sustainability has increased tremendously over the last decade. Where sustainability was initially a topic for a small group of change makers, now it’s firmly in the mainstream. Unfortunately, that also means a large number of myths have sprung up around it.
Laura’s Favourite Sustainability Initiative: Dress for Success
Every month, one of PRé’s people talks about his or her personal favourite sustainable initiative. This can be a product or a shop, a local initiative or a new website. This month, Laura Golsteijn will tell you a little about her work as a voluntary shop assistant at Dress for Success.
Why Food And Beverage LCAs Are Difficult To Do
Compared to several other sectors, such as the packaging, household and personal care, transport and building sectors, food and beverage LCA are only just catching up. What is it about the food and beverage sector that makes it so difficult to do good LCAs?
Measuring sustainability. Part I: the basics of a sustainability index
This is the first article in a series that will explore in more detail the ins and outs of creating a sound, useful, and robust sustainability index for your organisation.
Bad Labor Footprint | Social Impacts in the Supply Chain
As many products are being exported to other countries, and as the products that we consume are often produced elsewhere, the question arises: “How does consumption relate to bad labor conditions around the globe?”. Laura Golsteijn, Technical Analyst for PRé, contributed to the development of the new study: “Bad Labor Footprint”. In this article, she explains how the study offers a new perspective on how to account for the social impacts of globalization.
Social Sustainability – Integrating Measurements Of The Intangible
Your company is developing systems for gathering and using environmental data. Your insight into your products’ environmental footprints and impacts is growing. Where to look next? This article discusses getting started with product social footprinting.
PRé at NewMetrics ‘14 Panel Dives Into #SocialFootprint Approach for Ensuring Product Sustainability
Thursday September 25th, the second afternoon at Sustainable Brands’ New Metrics ’14 conference, featured a follow-up deep dive session into the topic of one of the morning’s well-received plenary presentations — how to quantify a product’s “social footprint” as a next step in assessing sustainability.
How Understanding Your Products’ Social Footprints Helps Your Business Create Value
Many global standards and guidance documents exist that allow companies to investigate impacts at an organisational level. Although these initiatives have many benefits, they provide limited guidance for companies to assess the social impacts of products in a more comprehensive and harmonised way.
How to Use USEtox® Characterisation Factors in SimaPro
USEtox®, available in SimaPro, is a well-known model for characterising the toxic impacts of chemical emissions in a life cycle assessment (LCA). But what is it exactly and how do you use it? This article gives a short overview.
Business Decision Making | Materiality Assessment vs. Hotspot Analysis
Implementing a sustainability programme or choosing a new, sustainable business model can be somewhat of a conundrum. Without data, it’s impossible to choose. But if you do a sustainability assessment, you get so much data that you still can’t choose. Materiality assessments and hotspot analyses can help you move forward.
How To Make Sustainability Data Work For You | Article Featured by Sustainable Brands
In the business world we are inundated with data on a daily basis, certainly in the sustainability arena. We all recognize there is big data embedded within our business systems, but the real question is, how do we turn all this data into information that feeds into intelligent decision-making?
Normalisation: New Developments in Normalisation Sets
This is the second in a series of articles where PRé's own consultants explain a step in the LCIA process and the way their own expertise fits into that step. Tommie Ponsioen is a technical consultant at PRé, with expertise in LCA methodology and database development. This article explains normalisation, the third step in LCIA, and describes new developments in the field.
Quantifying Sustainability II – Natural Capital and Monetisation
Part I of this article series explained why companies might want to monetise sustainability, expressing impacts in monetary value to make them more tangible. This part shows the steps required to do monetisation, and discusses the drawbacks and advantages.
Characterisation: New Developments for Toxicity
This is the first in a series of articles where PRé's own consultants explain a step in the LCA process and the way their own expertise fits into that step. First up is Laura Golsteijn, who is not just an expert on characterisation in LCIA, but also earned a PhD based on her original characterisation research.
Life Cycle Driven Business Models To Increase Sustainable Impact
Many companies have embarked on the road to sustainability and are looking to adopt sustainable business models. That’s great news. However, there's a big risk in following the latest trends without making sure that that’s the right choice for your business.
Combination of LCA databases solves challenges for measuring environmental impacts satellite mission
The European Space Agency (ESA) is an organisation gathering knowledge about the earth, its immediate space environment, our solar system, and the universe. It also develops satellite-based technologies and services and promotes European industries.
TRAINING
Feb 19-20 | SimaPro and LCA: essentials
Feb 19-21 | SimaPro and LCA: in-depth
Mar 19-20 | Product Environmental Footprint
Apr 22-23 | SimaPro and LCA: essentials
Apr 22-24 | SimaPro and LCA: in-depth
Jun 24-25 | SimaPro and LCA: essentials
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