LCA Short course

Addressing the most critical issues in LCA: from theory to practice

Date: 29 April 2018
Instructors: Mikolaj Owsianiak (Technical University of Denmark)
Alexis Laurent (Technical University of Denmark)
Course level: The course is designed for those who are familiar with LCA to some extent and have carried out or participated in carrying out an LCA before.
Course length: Full day (9.00 am – 5.00 pm)
Location: Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center

LCA course registration fees:
Regular: 1400 DKK (Approx. 185 €)
Student: 750 DKK (Approx. 100 €)
The fee covers attendance to the course, course materials, coffee break and lunch from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm.

To register, please click on Online Registration. The option to select "LCA short course"  will be available during your registration to the conference. There will be a maximum number of participants for the LCA course, first come-first served.

A life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioner is faced with several challenges when carrying out and documenting an LCA, occurring virtually in all phases of the LCA and potentially jeopardizing the overall quality of the study. Some of the most critical issues to address by the LCA practitioner, are: (i) existence of often conflicting recommendations about the choice of life cycle inventory (LCI) modeling framework (attributional vs. consequential), handling of multifunctional processes (allocational vs. system expansion), and modelling of background system as determined by the decision context of the LCA; (ii) some mismatch between these recommendations and the overall structure of unit process databases attached to dominant LCA modeling software; (iii) inability of the practitioner to compensate for limited data needed for inventory analysis; (iv) lack of guidance about which life cycle impact assessment methods to choose and difficulties in carrying out regionalized life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) using LCA modelling software employed; (v) omission of sensitivity and uncertainty analyses due to e.g. missing standard deviations of parameters and/or flows in the unit processes, and overall identification of inventory data that really matters for the LCA; and(vi) lack of clear LCA reporting guidelines.

Course objectives:

The objective of this course is to give guidance on how to address the aforementioned, most critical issues that an average LCA practitioner is faced with when carrying out and documenting an LCA. Proposed solution to the critical issues will be illustrated using examples. Course participants are also welcome to propose other critical issues that they wish to have addressed, and slot will be given during the course to address them. Completing the course will allow participants for an educated and more confident modeling and reporting of LCA studies in the future. 

About instructors:
Mikolaj Owsianiak, Senior Researcher, PhD in Life Cycle Impact Assessment
LCA practitioner. Coordinator of LCA activities within several European (FP7, H2020, Klimaforsk, Climate KIC) research, demonstration and innovation projects. Has worked closely with small and medium size enterprises (SME) in assessing sustainability of products and technologies offered by the SMEs. Involved in an EU FP7 project LC-IMPACT on development of life cycle impact assessment methods for dealing with terrestrial toxicity of metal emissions. Contributor to methodology chapters providing a comprehensive and pedagogic introduction to LCA methodology in an LCA textbook (Life Cycle Assessment. Theory and Practice).

Alexis Laurent, Associate Professor, PhD in Life Cycle Assessment
Through his 8 years working in the field of life cycle assessment and environmental sustainability assessment, Assoc. Prof. Alexis Laurent has provided evidence that environmental policy-making has been insufficient and needs a paradigm shift. To be effective, policy-making needs to move away from the use of emission-based indicators and/or narrowly-scoped indicators such as carbon footprint and systematically adopts the use of broadly-encompassing impact-based assessment of environmental sustainability. Through his research, Alexis Laurent has thus worked on developing approaches and methods enabling global, national, regional and sectoral environmental footprinting (cf. below selected publications). In particular, he has become internationally-recognized in the development of national and global inventories of pollutant emissions and resource consumptions, which can serve for setting nation-wide or sector-wide environmental indicators, and, through many expert contracts, has supported the EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre’s strategy to develop European life cycle indicators for a resource-efficient Europe (i.e. EU global footprinting).


Mikolaj Owsianiak
Senior Researcher
DTU Management Engineering
+45 45 25 48 05


Alexis Laurent
Associate Professor
DTU Management Engineering
+45 45 25 44 23