The Chair participates in the 23rd SETAC Europe LCA Case Studies Symposium

ESCI-UPF hosts the 23rd edition of the Symposium on Life Cycle Analysis case studies of SETAC.

The director of the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change, Pere Fullana, is a member of the Scientific Committee and the Local Organising Committee of the symposium.

On November 27-28, the 23rd SETAC Europe LCA Case Studies Symposium , entitled “Consequential LCA for Decision Support”, has brought together nearly one hundred participants at ESCI-UPF in Barcelona. It is the second time that a SETAC congress is held at ESCI-UPF educational center (the first one was 15 years ago, in 2002). The Symposium, organised by SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) in cooperation with the International Life Cycle Academy, has involved the participation of the UNESCO Chair of Life Cycle and Climate Change. Pere Fullana, director of the Chair and member of both Scientific and Local Organising Committees, conducted the second inaugural session with a brief presentation of the Chair and its different research lines.

Pere Fullana, director of the Chair, Henrik Wenzel, of the Univesity of Southern Denmark, and Guy Castelan, of the association of Plastics Europe; during the inaugural session of the 23rd edition of the Symposium on Life Cycle Analysis case studies of SETAC.

SETAC is a non-profit, worldwide professional organisation devotedto support the development of principles and practices for protection, enhancement and management of sustainable environmental quality and ecosystems integrity. On the other hand, ILCA is an association of academics and academic institutions recognised internationally as LCA specialists aimed at promoting educational activities to build up a sustainable vision of the world. The Chair and ILCA signed an agreement in 2012 to work together to guarantee training of LCA professionals.

The application of consequential LCA

The 23rd edition of the Symposium has covered all aspects of the application of LCA to decision making in business practice, environmental product declarations, due diligence, social responsibility, environmental management, and policy development. In particular, during these two days, examples of the application of consequential LCA have been presented and compared in various products, projects and strategies; methodology that emphasizes the effects from a prospective point of view and tries to predict the environmental consequences of a concrete decision. An example could be to favor one product rather than another or apply a certain public policy.

The various sessions have addressed different methodological aspects that may influence the results of case studies and that, on many occasions, still do not have expert consensus. Ivan Muñoz, an ACV expert engineer and ILCA member staff, explains the importance of the symposium: "I believe it has been useful to make clear the need for this prospective approach in ACV studies." In addition, it also highlights the presence, in one of the sessions, of academic experts in ACV, as they have shared experiences and discussed ways to improve teaching in this field.

The Symposium has also been attended by many PhD students, including Didem Civancik, member of the new materials research line at the Chair and Gonzalo Blanca, from the waste management research line, and Dr. Alba Bala, responsible for the waste management line.

Civancik values the experience positively: "It has been really interesting to share ideas and knowledge, as well as discuss about consequential LCA and its applications." The members of the Chair use the methodology of attributional LCA, which describes the environmental behavior of a product throughout its life cycle, which is why the symposium represents an opportunity to learn more about consequential LCA. "In addition, we have had the opportunity to meet experienced professionals in this area," explains the researcher. Then, she adds: "We are looking forward to the next edition!”.

 

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