Community Forum – Life Cycle Analyses

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Can you help with Life Cycle Analyses?

We are interested in gaining expertise on Life Cycle Analyses and methodologies. Do you have any information or recommendations for training, courses, conferences and/or consulting businesses that you can share with us to allow us to get up to speed more quickly with LCA studies? – Sustainability Department, Plastics Industry

Community Responses

Gary Yezbick, VP, Innovation & Sustainability, Masco Corp.​
We reviewed GaBi, SimaPro and Sustainable Minds LCA solutions.  We settled on Sustainable Minds as it is the easiest to use and meets our requirements.  It is offered as Software as a Service.  Their database can be augmented by providing application specific data.  We also use Granta Design for material decision support as may be needed to conduct the LCA.

Rich Chapas, PhD, IRI Emeritus, Chapas, Chinai, and Associates​
I teach a course at the U. of Delaware in the Lerner Business School, where we cover life cycle analysis.  My consulting business centers around sustainability and innovation, and LCA serves an important tool in achieving these goals.  I’m well connected to firms who specialize in LCA which turns out to be market specific.  So essential for success is to integrate LCA into your overall strategy and then determine which product lines and markets to address.

Dr. Bhima  Vijayendran, Senior Research Leader / Vice President Business Development, Battelle​
Please contact Dr. Joseph Fiksell at Center for Sustainable Studies at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Dr. Fiksell is a thought leader and world renowned expert and practioner in the field.

Sue Burek, Center for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability, Ingersoll Rand​
We at Ingersoll Rand have been working on this for a little over a year. Consultants – PE International is very knowledgeable and have helped us tremendously.  Conferences – Planning is underway for LCA XII, to be held in Tacoma, WA, September 25-27, 2012.  The theme for this year’s conference is “Life Cycle Thinking… Life Cycle Living” with a focus on applications that move life cycle thinking into action through policy, education, and business education.   This seems to be “the” LCA conference.

Market Development Manager, Polymer Manufacturing and Marketing Co.
In Europe, the Chemicals industry has carried out Ecoprofiles (Cradle to factory gate part of the Life Cycle Analysis) jointly and these, including many intermediates, can be downloaded on:

These have been made by Boustead Consultants, in my view the leading ‘supplier’ of this service in this industry.

While LCAs are typically made by the downstream industry for their specific application, as obtaining the relevant data for a supplier is difficult. There are many consultants in that field (incl Boustead) but also for instance

With the present focus on CO2, various industries tend to produce their own Life Cycle  models specific to CO2

Director, Energy Company
Consider Quantis (  They have a diverse client list, tool kits, offices in US, Canada, Europe.  Might be a place to start. –

Spencer Pugh, VP and Manager, Business Development and Open Innovation, Battelle​
Many companies hire Battelle to assist them with life-cycle-analysis and other sustainability challenges.  It’s great to get some “outside eyes” looking at your situation.  Give us a call.

Bruce Merrifield, IRI Emeritus​
You can roughly calculate life cycles from the S-Curve formula (See page 2: Management of Continuous Corporate Renewal). But technology is moving extremely fast (95% of all scientific knowledge has been generated over the last 25 years and likely will double again in the next ten according to NSF patent data). Perhaps a more important point is that capital and information now flow with the speed of light anywhere in the world. As a result, a useful patent life may now realistically be about 5 years before hundreds of fast followers in developing countries,  have reverse engineered the disclosures and are selling in the black market. (Innovate, automate or evaporate)

Fortunately we spend about $50 billion a year for basic research…more than all the rest of the world combined. So we get about 70% of the Nobel prizes and make almost all of the seminal discoveries…our competitive advantage.

John Cirucci, Senior Process Technologist, Air Products
EPA has a good “LCA 101” primer on Life Cycle Assessment

Earthshift ( is a sustainability training and consulting company.  They have various online and onsite training classes on Life Cycle Assessment.  I have attended and do recommend the 2-day onsite course “Introduction to LCA and Simapro” for beginning users who will be applying the Simapro LCA tool.  Earthshift is also the US distributor of Simapro, a very popular, professional LCA software system which includes several very useful life cycle inventory databases. –

Peter Finamore, Manager, Product Sustainability and Energy Technology, John Deere
I can reply from the perspective of an equipment manufacturer evaluating  the use and impact of LCA as a means to quantify product improvements that lead toward a reduced environment footprint. –

Santokh Badesha, Research Fellow, Manager Open Innovation, Xerox Corp.​
Here is some information which could be helpful


C. Jason Pierce, P.E., Eastman Chemical Company​
Over the past 3 years Eastman Chemical Company has developed in-house LCA expertise from “scratch”.  LCA is a very useful tool yet has many nuances.  The methodology and standards are continuously evolving.  We recommend identifying at least one interested & capable person in your organization to be tasked with LCA as one of their focus areas.  The necessary skill set of this individual will depend on the nature of your business. For a manufacturing based company like ours we have found that individuals with a chemical engineering background are well suited for this work.  Expect that it will take at least one year to gain significant experience & judgment.    Our first few LCA studies were conducted by consultants who also acted as mentors to train Eastman LCA practitioners through the course of each study.  We had good experiences working with consulting firms.

Attending LCA conferences has been extremely beneficial in moving up the learning curve and developing a network of contacts.  We recommend the upcoming ACLCA LCA XII conference (in the US) and LCM 2013 (in Sweden).  The ACLCA conference usually includes an optional series of classes- from introductory to expert level.  PE International and EarthShift are LCA software providers & consultants who also offer custom training.

ISO standards 14040 and 14044 provide the framework for current LCA methodology.  It is crucial to be familiar with the ISO standards.  It is also helpful to monitor the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment for published examples of LCA studies and current awareness of the methodology development. –

Dr. Ruud A. Overbeek, VP, Global Health, Environmental and Regulatory Services, Intertek Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals​
Intertek provides LCA s/w training courses and can also deliver bespoke training tailored to meet your needs. Our quarterly training, Life Cycle Assessment made easy, is a two day course. This course will allow those who are relatively new to LCA gain an understanding of its principles and requirements. It will also give delegates an opportunity to gain insight in the implementation of LCA. Tutorials will provide hands on experience with LCA s/w in areas such as inventory analysis and impact assessments. Our teams have a strong track record in the plastics industry and can tailor the  training to your specific needs and industry.

Also our LCA Expert Group has developed an online life cycle analysis platform called Instant LCA that allows non-expert users to measure and compare environmental impacts of different products from the same category.  I finally wish to inform you that there is an IRI Sustainability Working Group, in which we and various other companies participate. I would be pleased to bring you into contact.

Roger Zellner, Global Director – RDQ Sustainability, Kraft Foods
Regarding your request for gaining expertise with LCA methodologies, we use GaBi modeling software and I  recommend two consulting companies to contact for support, PE International and Quantis. I also suggest reading the Global Protocol on Packaging Sustainability  sponsored by the Consumer Goods Forum as a good source of information with using life cycle thinking for packaging and sustainability. Here is the link to the website which includes key documents and a recorded webinar.

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