ENVR E-151: Life Cycle and Supply Chain Sustainability Assessment

The field of industrial ecology includes advanced tools and methods to assist practitioners seeking to redesign and realign industrial systems and activities to be more ecologically and socially sound. Central within the field of industrial ecology is life cycle assessment (LCA), which involves systems analysis of the full range of environmental impacts, product life cycles, and supply chains. More recently, social impacts are also being addressed in life cycles and supply chains, leading to the definition of life cycle sustainability assessment. This course enables participants to develop a hands-on, in-depth understanding of the frameworks, principles, tools, and applications of life cycle assessment. As part of the course, students learn to use and apply professional software tools and databases that address both social and environmental impacts in global supply chains. We also review the state of life cycle practice and current initiatives involving companies, governments, and NGOs. We ground the entire course on the goal of making human activities, from the personal to the global, truly sustainable.

Note: Students can attend in person on campus, participate live online at the time the class meets via web conference, or watch the recorded video on demand. Videos are available within 24 hours of the lecture.

Prerequisite: College math, and/or chemistry are helpful, but students have thrived in this class without that background.


Gregory Norris







Course ID: 

  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2020-2021 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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