Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society

Update from the President

2016 has kicked off with a rush of activity in the LCA world. In mid-January the UNEP/Setac life cycle initiative Task Force B held a 5 day Pellston workshop on life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). (link to article below) What was inspiring to me was see the international community working to bring people together to achieve consensus approaches based on good science and not letting perfect be the enemy of the good. In Australia we have also taken moves in this direction such as:

  • The adoption of EN15804- the building standard developed in Europe and used around the world to standardise the way building LCA's are undertaken.
  • The publication of our recommended best practice guidance on impact assessment in Australia.  
  • Cooperation with New Zealand on EPD and practitioner certification schemes. These efforts show a maturing of the LCA sector and are helping to mainstream the method for both private (e.g. Green Building Council of Australia, Infrastructure Sustainability Council, Carpet Institute of Australia) and public sector applications (e.g. Australian Renewable Energy Authority -ARENA).

The flow on effects to the LCA sector will be higher quality and more consistent studies undertaken, ensuring better science and evidence goes into our decision making.

Tim Grant

Best Practice Impact Assessment, 18 April

Given the range of life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods available, LCA practitioners can be unsure about which ones to apply. This webinar, held 18 April, will help practitioners make more informed choices.

DesignBUILD to Highlight Innovators and New Talent

The DesignBUILD expo is returning to Melbourne in May 2016 and the show floor layout is being adapted to provide deciated zones for different aspects of architecture and design.  Two of those zones will be DesignBUILD Incubator and DesignBUILD Raw.  MORE>>

Infrastructure Sustainability Materials Calculator Update Bolsters AusLCI

Former ALCAS President Rob Rouwette, founder of start2see, is working with Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) to update and refresh its IS Materials Calculator. MORE>>


Materials Added to AusLCI

AusLCI’s position as Australia’s central LCI data repository has been confirmed by its selection as the main data source for both the updated ISCA’s Materials Calculator and the CERT tool developed for Transport for NSW.  MORE>>

New Board for Australiasian EPD Programme

Australasian EPD Programme welcomes a new Board of Directors recently nominated by ALCAS and LCANZ.  MORE>>

LCA Developments

Innovation Award for "Green" Concrete

Emesh, a recycled plastic fibre concrete,  has been awarded the Manufacturing, Construction and Innovation category in this year’s Australian Innovation Challenge.

Life Cycle Assessment of Rare Earth Elements

CSIRO recently completed the environmental life cycle impacts study of conceptual rare earth production processes and presented it at the Minerals, Metals and Materials (TMS 2016) conference held in the United States. 

Symposium on Sustainable Development Research

The Symposium on Sustainable Development to be held at RMIT in Melbourne in August offers a rare opportunity to gain a multidisciplinary overview of matters related to sustainable development.  

Perth Stadium - Kicking Goals for LCA

As part of an overall environmental strategy stipulated by the State Government, LCA has been integrated into the design and construction of Perth Stadium.  ALCAS member, eTool, produced life cycle assessment analysis in three stages forming part of the overall design strategy

Quantitative Risk Assessment Methods Added to LCA Toolbox

Ever mourned the fact that decision-makers can justify climate-busting infrastructure developments on the basis of a health risk assessment?  Or that one of your LCA reports delivers a solid carbon footprint but goes a bit vague on health impacts?  

Mapping Supply Chains for Identifying Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Methods

An assessment of the supply chains of Australian grain cropping systems was undertaken as a part of the GRDC (GRDC – Grains Research Development Corporation) funded project for identifying national opportunities for greenhouse gas reduction in the Australian agricultural systems.

eToolLCD gets IMPACT Certification

Developed by BRE, a world leading building science centre based in the UK, IMPACT is a specification and database for software developers to incorporate into their tools to enable consistent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC).

International LCA News

New Paradigm in LCA for Development of Footprint Metrics

As a class of environmental metrics, footprints have been poorly defined, have shared an unclear relationship to life cycle assessment (LCA), and the variety of approaches to quantification have sometimes resulted in confusing and contradictory messages in the marketplace.

Carbon and Water Footprint Training Available Online Globally

The UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative has launched a series of online training materials, which are available to the worldwide life cycle community.

Record Number of EPDs Published in 2015

Year on year, the number of verified EPD to EN 15804 appears to be doubling, with over 1000 registered globally over the past 12 months, and over 2000 now available from various programmes.

UNEP/SETAC Pellston Workshop - Seeking Concensus on Characterisation Factors

Two ALCAS members, Brad Ridout and Tim Grant, attended the UNEP/SETAC Pellston workshop in Michigan as part of a group of 40-odd scientists.  The group worked to achieve consensus approaches on life cycle impact assessment.  Tim Grant sent this report.

Brasilia Meeting to Tackle Database Interoperability

UNEP are co-organising a 3-day event jointly with the Brazilian Institute for Information in Science and Technology (IBICT) in March 2016, with the first two days to focus on furthering the work on the Global Network of Interoperable LCA databases.


Conferences Courses & Webinars

AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND                            

Best Practice Impact Assessment, Webinar, 18 April, 2016.

Design Build, Perth, Melbourne, Victoria, 4-6 May, 2016.

Symposium on Sustainable Development Research in Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne, Vic, 1-2 August, 2016.


World Resources Forum Latin America & the Caribbean, San Jose, Costa Rica, 17-20 May, 2016.

SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting, Nantes, France, 22-26 May, 2016.

LCA and Other Assessment Tools for Waste Management and Resource Optimisation, Cetraro, Italy, 5-10 June, 2016.

LCA XVI, Charleston, SC, USA, 27-29 September, 2016

LCAFood 2016, Dublin, Ireland, 19-21 October, 2016

5th International Symposium on Life Cycle Civil Engineering, Delft, Netherlands, 16-19 October, 2016.

5th avniR Conference, Lille, France, 8-9 November, 2016.

7th SETAC World Congress, Orlando, Florida, USA, 6-10 November, 2016.

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