A Review on the Use of Life Cycle Methodologies and Tools in Sustainable Regional Development
- Regional administration including contracting and purchasing, travel & office works,
- Regional services such as schools, hospitals, crèches, geriatric centres,
- Infrastructure management, including energy, water, transport, health services,
- Resource development activities in agriculture, minerals, forestry, energy, etc.
- Industrial development, including service sectors such as tourism
- Environment protection and waste management, land conservation
- Education, employment and social improvement programs
2. Overview of Life Cycle Methodologies
2.1. Life Cycle Assessment—Its Development and Applications
2.2. Life Cycle Management to Improve Resource Efficiency
3. The Life Cycle Toolbox and a First Glimpse of Current Practice
- According to the Commission:
4. Methods and Materials
- Extent and trends in the overall use of tools in Table 1
- Extent of the use of assessment versus other tools
- Extent to which non-mainstream assessment tools were employed
- Extent and type of LCM tools employed
- Adequacy of full life-chain consideration in application
- Extent to which LCA led to management action
- Extent to which life cycle system frameworks were used effectively
- Extent to which tools were difficult to apply
- Extent to which SDGs and other sustainability issues were addressed
- Concentration and diversity of activity sectors involved
- Extent to which regional functions were implicated
- Concentration and diversity of regions surveyed
5. Results and Discussion
5.1. General Observations
5.2. Synthesis and Discussion
- Standard assessment tools are already extensively used in various regions.
- Use of life cycle management tools is not systematic, as many LCM procedures are not standardised.
- Full life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) is not yet much used.
- Most LCA and LCM exercises are based on truncated life cycles and supply chains.
- LCA often does not lead to LCM because management was disconnected from assessment.
- Effective use of life cycle system frameworks is still limited, despite much talk.
- Most life cycle applications take only a limited number of SDG criteria into account.
- Several SDGs require complex specialised assessments.
- Some tools are not getting traction.
- Data gaps and lack of suitable metrics hamper the use of territorial life cycle approaches.
- Many regionally significant sectors are susceptible to application of life cycle methods.
- Most regional development issues (SDGs) can be addressed through life cycle methods.
- Similar tools may be used in different ways by different actors.
- Life cycle tools need to be understood in the context of regions’ multiple roles.
- Life cycle tools for regional service providers
- Life cycle management by regional regulators
- Life cycle assessment to support regional policy
- Life cycle tools for governance of regional corporations
Conflicts of Interest
List of Acronyms
|ACR+||Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management|
|AOP||Appellation d’origine protégée|
|APELL||awareness and preparedness for emergencies at local level|
|CPP||circular public purchasing|
|CSR||corporate social responsibility|
|EEIO||environmentally extended input–output tables|
|EIA||environmental impact assessment|
|E-LCC||extended or environmental LCC|
|EMAS||eco-management and audit scheme|
|EMS||environmental management system|
|EPD||environmental product declaration|
|EPR||extended producer responsibility|
|FSLCI||Forum for Sustainability through Life Cycle Innovation|
|GPP/SPP||green or sustainable public purchasing|
|GRI||global reporting Initiative|
|IGP||indication géographique protegée|
|ILCD||International Reference Life Cycle Data System|
|IOMC||Inter-organisational Management of Chemicals|
|ISCC||International Sustainability and Carbon Certification|
|ISO||International Organisation for Standardisation|
|LCA||life cycle assessment|
|LCC||life cycle costing|
|LCM||life cycle management|
|LCSA||life cycle sustainability assessment|
|MSDS||material safety data sheet|
|OECD||Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development|
|O-LCA||organisational life cycle assessment|
|PEF||Product Environmental Footprint|
|PSS||product service system|
|REACH||regulation, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals|
|SDG||sustainable development goals|
|SLCA||social life cycle assessment|
|SSCM||sustainable supply chain management|
|TCO||total cost of ownership|
Appendix A.1. The Exchange of Life Cycle Management Experience of European Regions
|LCA||life cycle assessment of different types of graveyard candles|
|LCA||comparative life cycle assessment of alternative packaging materials for beverage|
|GPP||green public procurement in Slovenia|
|GPP, LCC||green public procurement and LCC in practice (green vehicles)|
|LCA||LCA in reducing CO2 emissions in the production of building components|
|EPD||environmental product declaration as an example of LCA application in construction|
|GPP||manuals of the Public Procurement Office on the use of green procurement and the life cycle.|
|GPP, LCC||Active support of the contracting authority by the Public Procurement Office through LCC calculators.|
|CF, ISCC, RE||Agralco S. Coop.’s transformation and valorization of winemaking by-products|
|LCA, CF||Biosasun; an LCA from the production of organic extra virgin olive oil|
|GPP, CF, LCA||environmental clauses in the contract for Pamplona’s street-cleaning services|
Appendix A.2. EU Support to LCA Tools for Regional Development
- analysis of existing environmental impact assessment methodologies for use in life cycle assessment (LCA)
- framework and requirements for life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) models and indicators
- recommendations for LCIA in the European context describes the indicators and models
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- LCA and regulation: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/better-regulation-toolbox-64_en_0.pdf (accessed on 14 September 2021)
- LCC methods for policy evaluation: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/better-regulation-toolbox-59_en_0.pdf (accessed on 14 September 2021)
- resource efficiency and public policy: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/better-regulation-toolbox-35_en_0.pdf (accessed on 14 September 2021)
- mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/knowledge/ecosystem_assessment/index_en. htm (accessed on 14 September 2021)
- natural capital accounting: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/capital_accounting/index_en.htm (accessed on 14 September 2021)
- food system flows: https://eplca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/FoodSystem.html (accessed on 14 September 2021)
- food losses and waste platform: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/flwp/ (accessed on 14 September 2021)
- Sustainable consumption. The potential environmental impacts due to EU consumption are assessed for the entire product life cycle and include stated environmental impact categories (see graphic). A composite indicator supports policies on sustainable consumption and the SDGs: https://eplca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/sustainableConsumption.html (accessed on 14 September 2021)
Appendix B. Some Examples of LCA and LCM for Regions
Appendix B.1. Life Cycle Basis of Industrial Ecology and Business Parks
Appendix B.2. LCA of Resource Use for Regional Agriculture (Australian Regions (States))
Appendix B.3. LCA for Identifying and Prioritizing Regional Waste Streams (Scotland)
Appendix B.4. LCA of Regional Waste Disposal Technologies (Chile, Italy)
Appendix B.5. LCA, LCC and Footprinting to Identify Sustainable Municipal School Lunch Menus (UK and Spain)
Appendix B.6. Use of LCA and EPD in the Approval Process of Renewable Energy Projects (Examples from Australia and Mauritius)
Appendix B.7. Use of LCA and EPD to Protect and Promote Export of Regional Produce and Products. (Examples from Australia and from Europe)
Appendix B.8. Social LCA to Guide Bioeconomy Policy and Programmes (Germany)
Appendix B.9. Life Cycle Evaluation of Regional Forest Sustainability and Multi-Functionality (Europe and Canada)
Appendix B.10. Footprinting for Water Resource Management (Leshan, China)
Appendix B.11. O-LCA–Organisational LCA to Address Public Sector Organisations (Norway)
Appendix B.12. Extended Life Cycle Costing (E-LCC) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for Public Procurement (Denmark, Summary for Europe)
Appendix B.13. Biodiversity LCA for Sustainable Regional Agriculture (Switzerland)
Appendix B.14. LCSA–Sustainability Assessment in Regional Perspective (Generic Discussion, Regional Relevance)
Appendix B.15. LCA to Assess Local Impact and Suitability of EVs (Examples from Lithuania, British Columbia and SE Brazil)
Appendix B.16. Territorial LCA (Examples from Brazil, France)
Appendix B.17. Territorial LCA (Example of the Lille Metropole Region, France)
Appendix B.18. Life Cycle Approach to Landscape and Land-Use Assessment (Examples from Italy and Brazil)
Appendix B.19. MFA to Inform Resource Management in Regional Economies (Examples from Iceland and from Trinidad and Tobago)
Appendix B.20. LCM to Ensure Sustainability in Resource Exploitation (Global Sector; Examples from USA and Romania)
Appendix B.21. LCA and LCM Tools to Improve Sustainability in Buildings at Regional and Local Levels (Examples from France, Lithuania, Nepal and Spain)
Appendix B.22. Use of Eco-Design and Eco-Labels in Regional Purchasing (Spain)
Appendix B.23. Eco-Labels, EPD and PEF (Examples of Nine Agri-Food Product Chains in Six European Countries)
Appendix B.24. PSS-Product–Service Systems as a Life Cycle Management Tool (Example of Brussels-Capital Region)
Appendix B.25. EPR–Extended Producer Responsibility in LCM (Example of Mumbai)
Appendix B.26. GRI as a Component of Integrated Territorial LCM (Examples from Atlanta, Singapore, Jönköping (Sweden and Ajman Regions)
|* Examples of public sector GRI [40,41,127] include the Austrian Postal Service, Yorkshire Water (UK), Vienna Cityworks (Austria), Western Australia Land Authority (Australia), VGP Parks (Belgium), Vancouver Airport (Canada) Universities in Mexico, Australia, Colombia, Chile, Molina Hospital (Spain), Dubai Electricity (UAE), Ajman Emirate (UAE), Jönköping region (Sweden), HBP Town Council (Singapore), Municipalities in Greece and Turkey, City of Atlanta (USA),|
Appendix B.27. EEIO for Regional Assessment (Examples from Denmark, Finland, Region of Walloon (Belgium))
Appendix B.28. LCA and MFA for Regional Circular Economy (Examples from Canton of Geneva and the Region of Burgundy)
Appendix B.29. Life Cycle Assessment and the Management of Chemicals (Generic International Programme of IOMC: Example of Lithuania)
Appendix B.30. Disaster Life Cycle Assessment and Preparedness for Major Accidents at Local Level (Generic International Guidance–Regional Case Studies from UN Handbooks)
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|Life cycle systems and concepts||life cycle thinking|
|Life cycle assessment and system-analysis tools incorporating life cycle elements||life cycle assessment (LCA *) (materials, energy)|
|environmental, ecological, carbon, water footprints|
|materials flow analysis (MFA)|
|environmentally extended input–output tables (EEIO)|
|social LCA (SLCA)|
|life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA)|
|organisational LCA (O-LCA)|
|life cycle Costing (LCC and E-LCC), total cost of ownership (TCO)|
|chemicals assessment *|
|Evolving assessment tools for biodiversity, land-use, landscape etc.|
|Life cycle management tools||eco-design|
|environmental product declarations (EPD) *|
|product environmental footprint (PEF) *|
|sustainable supply-chain management (SSCM)|
|circular materials management|
|product-service system (PSS)|
|sustainable and/or circular public procurement (SSP, CPP)|
|green purchasing (GP)|
|extended producer responsibility (EPR)|
|Organisational assessment and management tools incorporating life cycle elements **||environment management systems (EMS, EMAS)|
|(organisational LCA (O-LCA) (see also above)|
|environment impact assessment (EIA)|
|corporate social responsibility (CSR)|
|sector-specific management codes|
|sustainability reporting (e.g., GRI)|
|emergency and disaster planning and preparedness (e.g., APELL)|
|Life Cycle Assessment Tools||Life Cycle Management Tools|
|Calculation of Carbon emissions in services of the Commonwealth of the Region of Pamplona: analysis of services and facilities to calculate greenhouse gas emissions (water cycle, urban waste, urban transport). Registry of carbon offset and CO2 absorption projects. Fifteen organizations in Navarra have registered their carbon footprint.||Eco-design ISO 14006|
Designing healthy and sustainable food menus in municipal schools
|Carbon footprint of|
Navarra asparagus and the cured sheep cheese in Latxa de Lezaun
Oil production—oleohealth 2013—calculation of GHG emissions
Register of Navarra Products with European Ecological label:
tissue paper napkins of SCA Hygiene Spain S. Com. P.A
quilt and mattress protector from Textiles Inducam SL
Hotel Rural Aribe
lubricating greases from Verkol, S.A.U
|MFA (Materials Flow Analysis)-Inventory of GHG emissions in Navarra: evaluation of GHG emissions taking into account both the sectors that originate them and the type of GHG||EPD (Environmental Product Declarations)-use of LCA to support certification|
EGGNOVO, has three EPD for different products derived from eggshells
ACCIONA and SIEMENS GAMESA have registered EPDs for installed wind farms.
|LCA for organic extra virgin olive oil 2008–2010: LCA, SLCA, and LCC to assess environmental, economic and social impacts.||Ecological footprint—regional environmental footprint considering material resources and waste generated for the maintenance of the production and consumption model of the community.|
|Footprint calculation models|
UMBERTO; SIMAPRO; SIMUR; EURENERS; ENECO
|carbon footprint reductions|
carbon offset scheme for municipal energy consumption
purchase of green energy by municipality
energy-efficient public transport (buses)
|management systems ISO 14001 (427 certified organizations) and ISO 50001 (9)|
|circular and sustainable materials management:|
reusing drinking glasses at parties and events for public services
“Nights without plastics” in the Informal Room of Tafalla to reduce footprint of events
The Olite ecological municipality; to eliminate plastic material, and decrease footprint.
ECOCIRPLAS Project-life cycle analysis approach to waste management in the Foral Community, promoting waste reduction and its reuse and recycling as key management principles.
LCA and calculation of carbon footprint for road cleaning tenders of Pamplona
(see Table 2)
(see Appendix B for More Details)
|LCA||for identifying and prioritizing regional waste streams for circular economy||Scotland|
|LCA||of regional waste disposal technologies||Asen region, Chile; Lombardy Italy|
|LCA||to assess local impact and suitability of EVs||Lithuania; Brazil|
|LCA and MFA||regional circular economy||South Australia; Geneva; Burgundy|
|LCA and LCM||of chemicals||generic international programme of IOMC. and REACH Lithuania|
|LCA and EPD||in the approval process of renewable energy projects||Spain and Mauritius|
|LCA and EPD||to protect and promote regional agriproducts||Australia|
|LCA and LCM tools||to improve sustainability in buildings||France; Lithuania; Nepal; Spain|
|LCA, LCC and Footprinting||to identify sustainable city school lunch menus||UK; Spain|
|Territorial LCA||urban materials-flow optimisation||Lille; France; Tunisia|
|Footprinting||for water resource management||Leshan, China|
|MFA||to inform resource management in regional economies||Iceland; Trinidad and Tobago|
|EEIO||for regional assessment||Denmark, Finland, Wallonia Belgium|
|Social LCA||to guide bioeconomy policy and programmes–forest sector||Germany|
|LCSA||sustainability assessment from a regional perspective||generic discussion|
|O-LCA||to address GHG reduction in public sector organisations||Norway|
|E-LCC & TCO||for public procurement||Denmark; EU|
|LCM||to ensure sustainability in resource exploitation||global sector; USA|
|Life cycle evaluation||regional forest sustainability and multi-functionality||Canada BC; Europe|
|Eco-design and eco-labels||in regional purchasing of office equipment||Spain|
|Eco-labels, EPD and PEF||for agri-products||Slovenia; Italy; Spain, and others|
|PSS||product–service systems as a life cycle management tool||Brussels-Capital region|
|EPR in LCM||product life||Mumbai|
|GRI||of integrated territorial LCM||Atlanta; Singapore; Jönköping (SE); UAE regions|
|Life cycle organisation||Industrial Ecology and Business Parks||Europe|
|Life cycle approach||landscape and LULUC||Italy and Brazil|
|Biodiversity LCA||for sustainable regional agriculture||Switzerland|
|Disaster Life cycle Assessment and Preparedness||for major accidents at local level||generic, APELL|
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Balkau, F.; Bezama, A.; Leroy-Parmentier, N.; Sonnemann, G. A Review on the Use of Life Cycle Methodologies and Tools in Sustainable Regional Development. Sustainability 2021, 13, 10881. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910881
Balkau F, Bezama A, Leroy-Parmentier N, Sonnemann G. A Review on the Use of Life Cycle Methodologies and Tools in Sustainable Regional Development. Sustainability. 2021; 13(19):10881. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910881Chicago/Turabian Style
Balkau, Fritz, Alberto Bezama, Noemie Leroy-Parmentier, and Guido Sonnemann. 2021. "A Review on the Use of Life Cycle Methodologies and Tools in Sustainable Regional Development" Sustainability 13, no. 19: 10881. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910881