ESW-U Short Course: Lifecycle Assessment

September 19, 10:00pm to October 17, 11:00pm
Digital via Zoom


Canola fields with wind turbines in Alberta

Lifecycle assessment (LCA) is a well-established method for quantifying the impacts of a product, process, or service. LCA is the technique behind carbon footprinting, environmental product declarations, and a key part of the sustainability professional's toolkit. This short course will be a robust introduction to the practical uses of LCA, led by ESW Board Member Dr. Alexander Dale. The 5-week course is designed to provide both students and professionals with a useful introduction to LCA, focusing more on study design and interpreting/applying results than on practitioner-level software usage. 
The course will run from Sep. 19th to Oct. 17th with weekly web meetings Mondays at 7:00PM ET. These meetings are designed to provide a mix of active learning and instructor-led material. The anticiptated workload is roughly 10 hours total (2 per class). We will intentionally be flexible with the material covered based off student interests. 

Weekly Topics

  • Introductions and LCA Overview
  • Problem Scoping and Software Usage
  • Interpreting and Applying Results
  • Critique and Applications: Policy vs. Products
  • Presentations and Long-term Usage

Sign-up Information

Course Fee: $50 for nonmembers
                     $35 for professional members
                     $20 for student members.

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Registration is online, and all class sessions will be digital (via Zoom), with files and discussions available through a Canvas instance. Participants will be awarded a certificate (from ESW-HQ) upon completion of at least 80% of the associated course activities. Completions are also tracked for long-term credit from ESW's educational programming, and potentially as pre-requisites for more advanced courses in the same topic area. The course is capped at 40 registrants to allow for individual attention and richer discussion.