About the Summer School
“Life cycle tool box for bio-economy initiatives” was the theme of the seventh International Summer School on ‘Life cycle approaches for sustainable regional development’. The summer school was held in Leipzig, Germany, on 25-28 August 2018, organized jointly by the FSLCI and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, UFZ.
This Summer School is an opportunity for professionals and regional managers to learn how to extend evolving life cycle management tools into new application areas in sustainable development – in this instance in the fast-changing field of circular bio-economies. The objective is to encourage use of promising LCM tools by social partners who have not so far employed these techniques extensively. This includes regional institutions, research teams and industrial associations that wish to enhance the effectiveness of their sustainability initiatives. It is also aimed at life cycle professionals and academics interested in broadening their client base by offering new applications.
This Summer School – the 7th in the current series – addressed the growing interest in bio-economy policies as a means of promoting circular economies at regional level. In particular, it examined the influential role of life cycle methodologies in promoting a bio-economy in a holistic fashion, without producing unwanted side-effects on other societal goals such as social fabric, environment, biodiversity, industry and energy, for example. The summer school drew inspiration from a recent book “Life cycle approaches to sustainable regional development (Routledge, 2017)”. A number of the summer school faculty are authors of important chapters in this publication.
The 2018 edition of the summer school explored topics such as materials flow analysis (MFA) and other LCA proedures that improve the planning and implementation of regional bio-economy initiatives. These include eco-footprinting, life cycle costing, social LCA, technology assessment, use of LCA in procurement of bio-matrials, and building a life cycle management toolbox for SMEs. These instruments were examined in the context of the current vision of circular economy and the building of a bio-based industry, using appropriate mixes of innovative policy instruments, R&D, and financial incentives. The summer school used an interactive programme of lectures, workshops, cases studies and role-plays to explore these key issues. Key experts provided keynote lectures. A preliminary 1-day refresher course in Webinar format on life cycle assessment and bio-economy was offered as well.
Please find below the report on the Summer School.