Past September, Ecomatters attended the LCM conference for the third time. This year, the LCM2017 conference was held in Luxembourg City, with the thread “Designing sustainable technologies, products and policies: from science to innovation”. It was great opportunity to meet all our colleagues and friends there. We were very impressed with the organization and enthusiasm around LCM this year, and hope to shed light on some of the aspects we were involved in.
Highlights and noteworthy sessions
We thoroughly enjoyed the opening session, with keynote speakers to start off the conference with an inspiring and positive outlook. Most notably, the special keynote speech by Bertrand Piccard shared his experience about perspective and how to look beyond the limits of what is possible now, and aim for what will be possible in the future. We think that this set a good optimism for the development of possibilities for LCM, for the other sessions in the conference. There was an interesting discussion panel about how LCM approaches are used to support circular economy objectives. Due to the optimistic approach of circular economy in addressing environmental issues, we think this session was particularly noteworthy.
Ecomatters’ presentations and experience
Ecomatters was proud to have presented or contributed to these sessions. There was one session that was dedicated to Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), a novel assessment method, aims to increase harmonisation of LCA, and this gained significant attention. In this session, one of our colleagues, Pau Huguet Ferran, presented our work we did with PRé Consultants B.V. on supporting study reviews on PEF. The objective was to provide input about the implications for PEF and OEF category rules, and draw key lessons for decision-making on cross-cutting technical issues. Interestingly, the Economic Footprint team from the European Commission explained that these issues are being dealt with, and they expect these will be solved/addressed by the end of the pilot phase. Other sessions, we also contributed to the work of other presentations. These included the Customer Benefit Model and Case Study on Tires of Teijin Aramid presented by Heidi Beers, in which business value and sustainable advantage is created through value chain cooperation. Another presentation by Olympia Dolla from CEPE, elaborated on how coatings established strong bonds with sustainability and LCA, included several actions and projects with Ecomatters on databases, tools, studies, etc. The last session of the conference that was held in the main conference hall, was a discussion panel on the assessing externalities through monetisation and social LCAs. Our managing director, Max Sonnen presented the work with AkzoNobel on the integration of LCM in decision-making, using a monetisation approach. This sparked an interesting discussion, including the controversy of defining externalities (such as human/environmental health) in one common monetary value, yet, still wanting to have these concerns addressed in an LCA, which are often disregarded. This was an interesting thought for the audience to take home and contemplate further, and hopefully be inspired to address this issue.
General atmosphere and enthusiasm around LCM
This LCM conference was very informative and inspiring, leaving attendees with new inspiration, potential partnerships and collaborations, and enthusiasm to work on LCM in industry, research and policymaking. We sincerely enjoyed this excellent conference, and we are looking forward to seeing all of you again at the LCM2019 in Warsaw.