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LCA Metrics/ Column

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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Emerging International Consensus On A Truly Global Network of LCA Databases
An intergovernmental process has been initiated to solve the problems around the lack of availability of life cycle data once and for all.
The New Calculation Engine In SimaPro 8
SimaPro 8 has been equipped with a completely new calculation engine. The reason for this is simple. The old calculation engine worked well with life cycle assessment (LCA) models of a few thousand processes. But with the introduction of ecoinvent 3 - resulting in much larger models - SimaPro needed a software update to continue supporting the available data sources.
The Footprint of Food: Consolidating Data
The first LCAs were done on rather irrelevant subjects like baby nappies, milk packaging, and looking at whether you should use paper or washable cups for your coffee. Over the years, we came to realize that there are much more relevant areas.
On Developing Globally Relevant LCA Databases
As LCA becomes a more globally important and accepted way of measuring our environmental impacts and quantify sustainability in business, we will have to face our many problems.
Updated Carbon Footprint Calculation Factors
Scientific insight is continuously improving, providing us with information that helps our impact assessment calculations be more accurate and better able to predict environmental impacts and how much our products contribute to climate change.
Understanding the landscape for sustainability metrics
A sustainable future for your organization starts by understanding your business’s sustainability landscape. In this article Simon Evitts explains how to start with an integration roadmap and a sustainability metrics SWOT analysis.
What does an LCA do, anyway? A 20 Year perspective
What do carbon footprints, water footprints, environmental product declarations, the GHG protocol, and PAS 2050 all have in common? These metrics, B2B communication platforms, and standards all adopt a life-cycle perspective.
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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