Track: A

Date: 30.08.2018

Time: 2:00 – 3:00pm

Room: Brandenburg Gate

Session 7: Enhancing Decision-Making through Life Cycle Information

Presenter: Peter Saling, BASF SE

Co-Authors: Peter Koelsch, Ana Alba Perez, Thomas Gruenenwald

The SEEbalance® contains two different modules for social Impact assessments. One element is the Social LCA which refers to a scale based approach along the whole life cycle of products. A set of indicators is applied to identify social risks for different stakeholder groups. The new developed method replaces the SEEbalance which was firstly developed 2005. Results of different indicators can be linked to SDG and can be used for the definition of improvement potentials.

The second module is a social Hotspot Analysis which utilizes the SDG as basic and structure element for a detailed search and assessment of social Hotspots. The deep dive assessment identifies specific risks of key elements of a supply chain and links them to effects harming SDG. For the assessment not only the goals but as well the targets are used to generate information of improvement potentials. After identification of the improvement potentials, specific measures can be defined and applied for improvements along the whole supply chain.

The presentation shows, in which way the different modules can be applied, how the SDG can be used as structure element and how they can support a deep dive assessment within the SEEbalance® to come to final conclusions. It will be shown, how in an easy to understandable way a good overview of a supply chain can be generated and how with specific methodological approaches the overview can be transferred to final results. These results can be interpreted and discussed on a higher level but can be supported with deep dive background information as well. Most of the data are based on independent data providers, on open available information or by utilizing data system as Ecovio or Maplecroft.

It will be outlined, how this type of results can be summarized and used in strategic decisions and marketing as well.

Kölsch, D., Saling P., Kicherer, A., Grosse-Sommer, A. How to Measure social Impacts? What is the SEEbalance® about? – Socio-Eco-Efficiency Analysis: The Method. In: International Journal of Sustainable Development. Int. J. Sustainable Development, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2008, 1-23.

Saling P, Kicherer, A.; Dittrich-Kraemer B, Wittlinger R, Zombik W, Schmidt I, Schrott W, Schmidt S, Eco-efficiency analysis by BASF – The method, Int J. LCA 7 (4), 2002, 203-218.

Schmidt I., Meurer M., Saling P. Kicherer A, Reuter W, Gensch, CO, SEEbalance – Managing Sustainability of Products and Processes with the Socio-Eco-Efficiency Analysis by BASF, Greener Management International, Greenleaf publishing Sheffield, S. Seuring (guest editor), Issue 45, Spring 2004, 79 – 94.

Saling P, Krueger C; Chemistry powers sustainability, LCM conference 2017, Luxembourg

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Presenter: Anna Petit-Boix, Chair of Societal Transition and Circular Economy, University of Freiburg

Co-Authors: Hanna Helander, Robert Gundlach, Anran Luo, Sina Leipold

The circular economy is a hot topic in current political and industrial agendas with the promise of creating economic prosperity at lower environmental costs. Yet, what does it mean to become more circular and what does this transformation entail in terms of sustainability? The Circulus project ( attempts to provide an answer to this question by combining knowledge and methods from political science, sociology, economics and industrial ecology. We build on a systems perspective to understand the paradigms, goals and rules that stakeholders identify in the transformation towards a circular economy and the changes in environmental flows that this new system generates. Hence, our research consists of two work packages. On the one hand, work package A assesses how circular economy discourses are constructed at the international and national scale. The visions of policymakers, industries and civil society of this transformation process will be analyzed in the European Union, Germany, France, and China to provide an overview of current international discourses. Here, the discursive agency approach will be applied, with data collection and analysis relying on qualitative interview and document analysis as well as quantitative corpus linguistic. On the other hand, work package B evaluates potential changes in resource flows and environmental impacts that result from circular economy strategies. This analysis is conducted at the city and product scales to illustrate the effects of industrial and political decisions on sustainability. The empirical methods revolve around the industrial ecology field, which includes life cycle assessment, material flow analysis and multi-regional input-output analysis. Based on these parallel work packages, we will identify potential interactions between discourses and flows to inform policymakers.

Presenter: Karin Treyer, Paul Scherrer Institute

Many countries intend to move towards more sustainable energy provision and mobility services in the coming decades. While the main drivers are adaptation to climate change goals or nuclear phase out, it should be ensured that decisions on energy strategies are based on a full portfolio of facts reflecting costs, risks, environmental and social impacts of these systems. Together with the colleagues in my research group, I provide such information related to electricity and heat production, energy storage and mobility considering a life-cycle perspective.

We now face the need to adapt our LCA studies to model such future energy systems properly, and we need to find ways to present the increasingly complex results to politicians. For instance, while we presented benchmarking LCA results for an individual wind turbine on a yearly average in the beginnings of LCA, we now need to integrate the storage items coupled to intermittent renewables, and might even use battery electric vehicles as potential storage items on an hourly or daily level. Such LCA models thus further need to be coupled to energy system projection models.

We aim to quantify the environmental burdens of potential future energy systems, facing large uncertainties regarding the LCA method as such, and future technology and energy systems developments. Nevertheless, political decision makers want to use these results for taking decisions today. I will present our constantly being improved approach to face these challenges and adopt the LCA method accordingly. This includes handling of novel types of technologies, technology learning aspects of foreground data, adaptation of background databases to potential future conditions, coupling of the LCA with energy systems models and existing data collections, increased regionalization of Life Cycle Inventory data to identify geographical shifts in environmental impacts, and coupling of the LCA with other sustainability assessment tools.

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Presenter: Eleonora Vannuzzi, Life Cycle Engineering srl

Co-Authors: Riccardo Novelli, Gian Luca Baldo

Life Cycle Assessment is commonly recognized as a key factor in many research projects sponsored by European Commission. This paper analyses the benefits and opportunities brought by LCA methodology to the development of complex, multi-partner innovation and research projects, both during the proposal preparation phase, as well as the practical tasks implementation.
Starting from direct experience, the case studies of different H2020 and LIFE projects are introduced, providing key aspects about the role of LCA when a new technology is proposed to be funded by European grants.
The first part of the paper focuses on the added value brought by LCA application in complex, multi-partners innovation and research projects, where LCA-based solutions (e.g. software for Sophisticated Environmental Analysis) may bring some distinguishing marks to ensure the reliability of the project’s contents, including technical solutions for the eco-efficiency control of any proposed innovations.
Different LCA applications to R&D activities (such as eco-design support, scenario analysis, performance benchmarking) and industrial implementation are then discussed through the presentation of different case studies, including the circular economy-based RESLAG project [H2020, WASTE, N.642067] where two different LCA approaches are used to assess the sustainability and feasibility of four outstanding solutions for steel slag recycling.

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