EH 285: Industrial Ecology and LCA
Policy-makers, communities, civil society, academics and business leaders around the world are increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impacts of production and consumption.Part of the response is the increasing use by industry and governments of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), a growing and diversifying set of methods for systems analysis of environmental, economic, and social impacts of products systems. This course will enable participants to develop a hands-on, in-depth understanding of the frameworks, principles, tools, and applications of life cycle assessment. The course is designed to enable participants to become capable and self-reflective practitioners of LCA. Thus, we will delve into the methods of life cycle assessment, working practical problems of real-world significance using state-of-the-art software and data. Once we have developed a practical and in-depth understanding of these methods, we will go further, to consider the strengths, weaknesses, barriers and opportunities associated with current application of the methods in industry and policymaking. Finally, we will look at emerging US and global trends in life cycle methods and application, as this field is increasingly called upon, since the Johannesburg 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, to address the full spectrum of social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability.