Life cycle initiative: a joint UNEP/SETAC partnership to advance the life-cycle economy

  • James A. Fava
UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative


Building awareness of life-cycle thinking and its value will be an important first step towards creating more sustainable forms of consumption and production. We have come a long way—even though the public may not have heard of it as ‘life-cycle thinking’. Articles in the popular press, which elude to life-cycle implications, are beginning to surface. For example, George F. Will (Newsweek, May 6, 2002) describes the ‘most politically correct product’ as being Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. But he also goes on to mention that their ice cream is “made in a factory that depends on electricity-guzzling refrigeration, and the a gallon of ice cream requires eight gallons of milk. While making that much milk, a cow consumes a lot of water plus three pounds of grain and hay, which is produced with tractor fuel, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides, and is transported with truck or train fuel.”


Life Cycle Assessment United Nations Environmental Programme Life Cycle Initiative Building Awareness Product Development Team 
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Copyright information

© Ecomed Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Five Winds InternationalSETAC RepresentativeUSA

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