Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society

Message from the President

This edition I want to use this space to highlight the importance of undertaking LCA to appropriate standards and with sufficient quality control mechanisms in place.

International standards have played an important role in guiding LCA practitioners across the world to an ever higher level of transparency and quality. This is one of the reasons why ALCAS tries to align its various programmes and developments with these widely accepted standards. Our collaboration with LCANZ and the International EPD System is a good example, where ALCAS ensures that Australian EPDs are built on ISO14025 and EN15804 standards.

If LCA is to continue to establish itself as the foremost methodology for measuring and understanding sustainability in Australia, we cannot disregard the importance of having a solid foundation sitting underneath. More and more organisations are making significant decisions based on our LCA work, and they should be able to expect that ALCAS members provide them with solid outcomes and recommendations that reflect the quality and uncertainty of the underlying information.

To facilitate this ALCAS has been working hard to establish a practitioner certification scheme, which is getting close to becoming a reality. By testing a practitioner’s knowledge of the application of relevant international standards we can reduce the potential of poor services doing real damage to the entire LCA sector.

Part of the purpose of this newsletter is to keep our members abreast of developments in LCA standards and principles.  This month we report that ALCAS is undertaking an update of our Best Practice Impact Assessment Guidelines. As well, the Australasian EPD Scheme continues apace and I encourage all members to regularly check for PCR’s that are open for feedback. It is gratifying to see LCA becoming so widely accepted in Australia. It is up to all of us to ensure LCA remains a trusted approach.

Best regards
Rob Rouwette


Australasian EPD Scheme

David Baggs, Australian Chair and Director Australasian EPD Program Ltd, provides an update on advances being made by this joint venture between LCANZ and ALCAS, allied with Sweden's International EDP System.

PCR's Require Feedback

ALCAS members are strongly encouraged to provide feedback on PCR's for the EPD Scheme.  This month consultation will close for Detergents and Lifts.

Roundtable connects LCA with soil scientists

A recent ALCAS Roundtable brought together around 50 soil scientists and LCA researchers to review the latest soil science and consider how best to characterise soil-related impacts in LCA in the Australian context.

ALCAS updating Best Practice Impact Assessment Guidelines

Members of the ALCAS Impact Assessment Committee are currently working to update the ‘Best Practice Guide to Impact Assessment in Australia’. The aim of the document is to provide comment, critique and guidance on life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods in the context of Australia.

LCA Developments

GBCA introduces two LCA-based draft credits

Based on stakeholder feedback on a series of discussion papers the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has developed two LCA-based draft credits.  This is the first use of life cycle assessment in Green Star rating tools!

CSIRO co-organises LCA awareness workshop in India

Dr. Nawshad Haque reports on a life cycle awareness workshop conducted in India and attended by 65 participants including TATA Steel, Singareni Collieries, Bharat Coking Coal, NMDC Ltd and the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research.

Survey finds key success factors for national database projects

A German LCA consultancy recently conducted a global survey of national LCI databases, including our very own AusLCI.  Tim Grant provided feedback on behalf of ALCAS, as did representatives from 14 other National LCA database projects. 

eTool LCA Software Updates Announced

eTool recently announced software updates that dramatically increase the flexibility of the eTool LCA.


Overseas Developments

Impact Estimator supports green building programs

The Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings makes it easier for architects and engineers to use LCA to minimize the environmental footprint of new construction and to capitalise on program incentives.

Inventory of Carbon & Energy (ICE) database back online

We were happy to be advised that the new official download page for the ICE database is now available and it can still be downloaded for free.

CTBUH conducts LCA analysis of skyscrapers

The US based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has launched a comprehensive LCA analysis project on the structural systems of tall buildings.

ANR Industrial Chair to assess environmental impacts

The ANR (French National Research Agency) Industrial Chair ELSA-PACT has been launched with a focus on the environmental and social impacts of natural resource management.


LEAP release draft guidelines for public review

The Livestock Environmental Assessment Performance (LEAP) Partnerships has submitted three draft guidelines for public review, which is open to 31 July, 2014. 

Calls for Abstracts

SETAC EUROPE 20th LCA Case Study Symposium

Submissions are being invited for the SETAC EUROPE 20th LCA Case Study Symposium "LCA in promoting eco-innovation and sustainability: education, research and application", set to take place in Novi Sad, Servia on November 24-26, 2014.

Indian Conference of Life Cycle Management (ILCM 2014)

There is a call for abstracts for the Indian Conference on Life Cycle Management (ILCM 2014) which will be held in New Delhi from  29-30 September 2014.

LCA Publications

Streamlining life cycle inventory data generation in agriculture

A new publication by Bellon-Maurel, Short, Roux, Schulz and Peters challenges the reader to make more use of mobile phone apps in collecting data for agricultural LCA, and points out the large amount of data being collected already for other purposes which can be borrowed to make LCA easier.


Life cycle assessment of construction materials

A new publication by Sandin, Peters and Svanström, compares steel beams with wood and also examines the idea of consequential and attributional modelling to see if it impacts on wood's superior performance in the LCA.

LCA Conferences

AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND                                

New Zealand Life Cycle Assessment Conference, Wellington, NZ, 2-3 September, 2014.

Building a Better New Zealand Conference, Auckland, NZ, 3-5 September, 2014.

SETAC  AP/AU 2014 Conference, Adelaide, Australia, 14-17 September, 2014.



VIII Convegno della Rete Italiana di LCA (Italian LCA Network), Florence, Italy, 19-20 June, 2014.

LCM 2015 - 7th International Conference on Life Cycle Management, Bordeaux, France, 30 Aug - 2 Sep, 2015.

Indian Conference on Life Cycle Management (ILCM 2014), New Delhi, India, 29-30 September, 2014.

5th International Conference on Harmonisation between Architecture and Nature, Siena, Italy, 24-26 September, 2014.

LCA XIV, American Centre for Life Cycle Assessment, San Francisco, USA, 6-8 October, 2014.

LCA Foods 2014, San Francisco, US, 8-10 October, 2014.

World Resources Forum, Arequipa, Peru, 19-22 October, 2014.

EcoBalance 2014 Conference, Tsukuba, Japan, 27-30 October, 2014.

4th International (avnir) Conference, Lille, France, 4-5 November, 2014

4th International Seminar on Social LCA, Montpellier France, 20-21 November

SETAC 20th LCA Case Study Symposium, Novi Sad, Serbia, 24-26 November



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