Life cycle management: UNEP-workshop
On August 30, 2001, the first in a series of planned global workshops on Life Cycle Management was organized in Copenhagen by UNEP in cooperation with dk-TEKNIK. The workshop provided an international forum to share experiences on LCM. The specific purpose of the workshop was to define the focus of a possible UNEP programme on Life Cycle Management under the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. Life Cycle Management has been defined by the SETAC Europe Working Group on LCM as an integrated framework of concepts, techniques and procedures to address environmental, economic, technological and social aspects of products and organizations to achieve continuous environmental improvement from a life cycle perspective. Life Cycle Management has been requested as an additional component for the Life Cycle Initiative by business organizations as well as governments in order to provide practical approaches for management systems in this area. The breakout groups of the workshop focussed on the role of integrating environmental management practices, concepts and tools in a life cycle perspective, on the integration of socio-economic aspects of sustainability in life cycle approaches, including the definition of adequate indicators for these aspects, on the communication strategies to promote life cycle thinking, and on the demand side of LCA. The workshop closed with a consensus that the UNEP/ SETAC Life Cycle Initiative should really include a programme on Life Cycle Management with the proposed areas of work. UNEP in cooperation with SETAC should function as a global catalyser of knowledge transfer and cooperation on life cycle approaches. The key issue behind all activities would be the promotion of Life Cycle Thinking since all break-out groups mentioned the importance of well-prepared communication strategies. Another interesting outcome of the workshop is the clear interest of different stakeholders in the consideration of social and institutional effects of products, in addition to environmental and economic impacts, i.e. a sustainable development perspective.
KeywordsLife cycle thinking LCM life cycle management LCA life cycle assessment ISO 14040-series DfE design for environment toolbox sustainability communications strategies
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