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Anders Bjørn Montreal, Canada
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Workshop Info

Workshop Title:

From science-based target setting to comprehensive absolute environmental sustainability assessment

Date: 28.08.2020

Time: 4:15 – 5:15pm

Workshop Abstract

Since 2015, an increasing number of companies have been setting “science-based targets” for greenhouse gas emissions that are meant to be aligned with the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, a small, but rapidly growing body of literature is proposing to measure the life-cycle performance of companies, products, etc., against planetary boundaries and regional environmental carrying capacities for a comprehensive set of impact categories. These methods for “absolute environmental sustainability assessment” can be used to evaluate whether an impact is low enough to be considered environmentally sustainable, and if not, how much lower it should be. The goal of the workshop is to identify current drivers and barriers to using absolute environmental sustainability assessment for decision-support in order to develop action points in research and practice

The workshop will begin by providing a brief overview of the main findings from a new and comprehensive literature review on absolute environmental sustainability assessment methods and their applications. Participants will then engage in a dialogue on the drivers and barriers for adopting the approach and key research needs. At the end of the workshop an online platform will be demonstrated, allowing participants to engage in the discussion after the conference.

Draft Agenda:

  • 15 minute introduction by Anders Bjørn: Main findings of review paper.
  • 30 minute break-out groups (one workshop organizer per group, if possible): Discussions of drivers and barriers for using AESA for different types of decision support within companies and other organizations (municipalities, regulatory bodies, etc.).
  • 15 minute wrap-up of group discussions and next steps, including demonstration of online platform.

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