41st LCA Discussion Forum


Discussion forum on Life Cycle Assessment
June 22nd, 2010, Ittigen, Verwaltungszentrum des UVEK

We kindly invite you to the 41st discussion forum on Life Cycle Assessment

«This event will be held in English »

In the recent past, several initiatives were launched to show the carbon footprint or other life cycle based environmental information for consumer products. While the provision of environmental product information (EPI) may contribute to more informed purchase decisions and would help to increase the attention of companies towards environmentally more efficient products and production processes, several key aspects still need clarification. During this forum we discuss the strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities and the limits of environmental information for products in detail.

In a first part expectations of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment are outlined. Therefore, key issues like transparency, international collaboration or comprehensiveness of the indicator are mentioned. Results of a Swiss feasibility study investigating a possible concept for EPI are presented in a second presentation. This shows the main challenges for meaningful information that should direct consumer decisions. A special issue of EPI is the consideration of the use and end-of-life phase. These phases may be very important, depending on the type of product. However, the use phase often shows a high variability and different end-of-life options exist. Furthermore, the use and the waste management of a product can only partly be influenced by the producer. One has to decide also about the level of decision making addressed by the approach and thus about the functional unit for which information can be shown. The presentations evaluates also which environmental indicators are sufficiently comprehensive and accepted internationally. The reaction of consumers on such information and the best ways of providing complicated interrelations in a simplified way will be presented in the next presenta-tion from a psychological perspective.

Than different approaches developed in neighbouring countries are presented for providing environmental information on products based on life cycle thinking. These presentations should highlight the differences as well as similarities in the development of concepts for EPI.

Within the third part we present practical examples of EPI or environmental product declarations for single products or product groups. From these problems we can learn more about the challenges while providing such information. It is evaluated how far such examples can be generalized in order to establish one type of environmental information for all types of products.

Some participants of the forum will present their experiences on EPI in short presentations.

We look forward to meeting you in Berne!
Niels Jungbluth (ESU-services) and Anna Wälty (FOEN)

Final Program

Download:    Program DF41.pdf 

Time Title Speaker Affiliation
8:30  Registration    
9:15  Welcome Swiss Federal Office for the Environment  FOEN 
  Swiss perspectives on EPI    
9:20  Expectations of the FOEN regarding environmental product information
Anna Wälty  FOEN 
9:40  Feasibility and challenges for providing environmental product information based on LCA
Niels Jungbluth  ESU-services  
10:10  Environmental product information from the psychological point of view
Christina Tobler  ETH Zurich 
10:35  Discussion    
10:45  Coffee break    
  Concepts developed in other countries    
  Product Carbon Footprinting – A suitable way for fostering the consumption of products with low CO2-emissions? (cancelled, slides should be available on the DF homepage)
DF41-04-Teufel-product carbon footprinting-DUMMY.pdf
Jenny Teufel und Ran Liu  Öko-Institut, Germany 
11.15  Environmental Product Declaration in France: Legal context and technical challenges - illustration for the food sector
Gérard Gaillard  Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART 
11.40  Austrian Initiatives on Environmental Product Information
Eva Burger  SERI, Austria 
12.05  Development of PCR and EPD: experiences in Italy on furniture and other products
Leo Breedveld  2B, Italy 
12.40  Lunch Break
DF41-04-Teufel-product carbon footprinting-DUMMY.pdf
13.40  Short presentations of experiences with LCA based environmental information on products.    
  The importance to consider functional unit and use phase instead of mass at gate in declaration: The example of coffee
Sébastien Humbert  Quantis 
  Eco-Footprint to talk Life Cycle Thinking to Public
Guy Castelan  PlasticsEurope France  
  Using EPDs and generic LCI databases to assess the environmental impacts of buildings in a French context: current practices and perspectives
Sébastien Lasvaux  Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment, FR

  Environmental Product Declaration: industry perspective
Zhang Qi  Nestle 
  Key factors for a successful EPD scheme: experiences of the IBU-scheme for construction products
Roland Hischier  ecoinvent Centre

  Industry implementation and case studies    
14.20  Environmental information for consumers about energy products sold in the City of Zurich
DF41-09-Emch_Environmental Product Declaration.pdf
Gerhard Emch  ewz Zurich 
14.40  Criteria for energy efficient and low emission vehicles (KEEF, Umweltettikette)
DF41-10-Cretegny-KeeF and Umweltetikette.pdf
Norbert Egli, Lionel Cretegny  FOEN  
  Coffee break    
15.00  Panel discussion Moderation: Kathrin Schlup  FOEN 
15.30  - Environmental indicators to be used
- System boundaries of EPI
- System boundaries of EPI
All Presenters,
(except these of short presentations)  
16.20  Feedback, wrap-up and farewell Niels Jungbluth and Carole Dubois   
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