The ORIENTING project moves forward with the first draft of the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment methodology

The ORIENTING project has achieved an important milestone with the development of the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) draft methodology. This accomplishment is a huge step towards one of ORIENTING’s main goals: to create an operational methodology for products LCSA.

During the month of May, the draft was object of study, analysis and review by the project’s stakeholders through an open consultation process to contribute to the progress of the methodology. All the inputs and suggestions received by the project´s stakeholders were processed at the end of the consultation period. This feedback will be taken into consideration in the drafting of the final version of the methodology.

The results of the consultation process were discussed in a workshop with stakeholders at the end of June. In the first part of the workshop, the ORIENTING team presented the LCSA draft methodology in more detail and explained the key points that emerged from the consultation. In the second one, ORIENTING partners led a brainstorming session on the main themes of the consultation and invited the stakeholders to express their opinions and interact with the team working on the methodology.

The predominant topics discussed during the brainstorming session were the general multi-level approach to LCSA, the environmental assessment, circularity and criticality in LCSA, Life Cycle Costing, Social Life Cycle assessment and the integration in the LCSA methodology.

These aspects will be integrated in the future work that the ORIENTING partners will carry out in the following months to improve and finalise the LCSA methodology. The methodology is currently being tested in the project case studies: BASF, Leiblein, Solana, Stora Enso and Ternua. According to the project´s work programme, the final methodology will be published by August 2023.

Further tasks in the ORIENTING project

Besides the presentation and further evolution of the LCSA draft methodology, ORIENTING partners have been working in other important tasks to the development of the project, including the dissemination of the findings on the integrated assessment and interpretation of LCSA results.

As a result of the work done in this regard, the first scientific paper has been published after the conference contribution presented at 29th CIRP Life Cycle Engineering Conference. This paper explores the different criticality methods and how they can be integrated into life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA).

Other actions during this period have included specific engagement activities with the project´s stakeholders to take into consideration their needs in the development of the LCSA methodology. In this regard, different workshops took place during the last months, mainly focused on insights from the industry in product circularity and product social issues.

Additionally, ORIENTING has provided and coordinated input to different European initiatives, like the Safe and Sustainable-by-Design, the Sustainable Product Initiative and the social Taxonomy. ORIENTING project has also been presented to the UN Life Cycle Initiative Steering Committee and discussions have also started with the Joint Research Centre to exploit synergies with the Raw Material Information System.

Finally, the creation a business case around the methodology has progressed too with the commitment of some companies to apply it for decision-making. The main goal of this task is the exploitation, commercialisation and replication of the LCSA methodology.

About ORIENTING project

ORIENTING is a research project working to develop an operational methodology for product Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA). Its main purpose is to integrate a life cycle approach that includes the analysis of environmental, social and economic impacts.

The methodology of this project will be demonstrated in 5 case studies to ensure its applicability in business practice. It will be applied to different products and will be validated by a broad community of stakeholders.

ORIENTING participants cover the entire value chain of life cycle evaluations and provide a critical mass of expertise and excellence in key areas. The partners are Aclima, Anthesis Lavola, BASF, Ecoinnovazione, Ecoinvent, Ecopreneur, Eifer, Fraunhofer, Leiblein, PRé, Solana, Stora Enso, Tecnalia, Ternua Group, Universiteit Gent, University for the Creative Arts and VTT Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus.

ORIENTING is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, one of the biggest EU Research and Innovation programmes ever. The project started on the 1st of November 2020 and will run for 36 months with an overall budget of 5,997,339 euros.

Contact: news@eifer.org

For more information: https://orienting.eu/

Bachmann, T. and van der Kamp, J. _Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) - Assessing the triple bottom line in the EU’s ORIENTING project