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The Essentials of Life Cycle Assessment

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Developed by The Sustainable Packaging Coalition®

Part of the full Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Training Program

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The Essentials of Life Cycle Assessment introduces learners to the fundamental knowledge needed to work with life cycle assessments (LCA) for packaging, as well as understanding and interpreting results. It will begin with a review of the broader context for LCAs, including today’s trends towards increased transparency of packaging life cycles and environmental impacts. It will then review the basic inputs and outputs of life cycle assessments, as well as commonly used methods, tools, and datasets. Next, the course explores the important details of LCA work, including drawing boundaries and assumptions. Finally, The Essentials of Life Cycle Assessment examines best practices for using LCA results to guide decision-making, set priorities, and accurately communicate product attributes to customers and consumers.


Course Curriculum: 

  • Why Life Cycle Assessments?
    Why companies use LCAs and how LCAs can complement today’s sustainability initiatives for packaging
  • Understanding Life Cycle Assessments
    A review of LCA methodology, impact categories, software tools, and important considerations when working with an LCA, such as understanding boundaries, functional units, and end-of-life assumptions
  • Using Life Cycle Assessments
    How to interpret LCA results and use them to identify priority areas for action, as well as in marketing and communication


Course length
: 1 hour


Learning Objectives

After taking this course, the Learner will be able to:

  • Outline the trends driving the use of life cycle assessments to better understand the environmental impacts of packaging
  • Identify the ways that different functional units and system boundaries can affect LCA results 
  • Explain the best practices for communicating LCA results to stakeholders


The Essentials of Life Cycle Assessment is included in the online subscription to
The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging.

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From the course:

 

Courses in The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging:

Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Core Content
Project 1 of 8

Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Core Content

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Essentials of Bioplastics
Project 2 of 8

Essentials of Bioplastics

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Essentials of Sourcing Fiber
Project 3 of 8

Essentials of Sourcing Fiber

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Essentials of Compostable Packaging
Project 4 of 8

Essentials of Compostable Packaging

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Essentials of Material Health
Project 5 of 8

Essentials of Material Health

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Essentials of Goal Setting
Project 6 of 8

Essentials of Goal Setting

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Essentials of Chemical Recycling
Project 7 of 8

Essentials of Chemical Recycling

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Essentials of Reusable Packaging
Project 8 of 8

Essentials of Reusable Packaging

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