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Life Cycle Assessment and Beyond

Life Cycle Assessment and Beyond

Release Date: June 2021

Professional Accreditation: IEMA (as part of MSc)

Lead Organisation: IBERS, Aberystwyth University

Evaluating environmental impacts: do your assessments measure up?

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is widely used to measure and verify the environmental impacts associated with food and biobased products. Limitations relating to approach, scope and data mean that LCAs may not always fully reflect impacts across the whole life-cycle of a product. Regulations and evaluation of findings are therefore important aspects in the application of LCAs, while new methodologies such as Complex Value Optimisation for Resource Recovery (CVORR) are being developed with a wider scope than traditional LCAs. This module is designed to provide a detailed knowledge and understanding of LCA and an insight into CVORR and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for professionals concerned with assessing the sustainability credentials of a food, biobased product, or waste material.


The course will consist of a series of lectures and guided learning focused on:

List of Units


to the breadth and scope of LCA

Components of LCA

The importance of feedstock choice, conversion process, transport and energy consumption, and end of life disposal options, with a focus on fluxes of CH4 and N2O as well as CO2 along with economic, social and technical metrics.

LCA Protocols

The range of international protocols for performing LCA and the challenge of determining appropriate emissions factors will also be reviewed.

Driving Policy

How LCA can steer policy

The Global Carbon Cycle Farming and GHGs

Modelling the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of food production

Other Key Ecosystem Services

The assessment of other eco-service impacts e.g. regulation of water and air pollutants; impacts of land use change

Environmental Product Declarations

A look at the use and development of EPDs

Complex Value Optimisation for Resource Recovery

CVORR theory and framework

Case Studies

A range of product case studies including biofuels and bioplastics.


Tutors Name
Dr Stephen Chapman
Dr Richard Kipling