SETAC Europe is pleased to announce the 19th SETAC LCA Case Study Symposium, which will be held 11-13 November 2013 in Rome, Italy.
The theme of the symposium, jointly organised by SETAC and ISIE, is:

LCA in market research and policy: Harmonisation beyond standardisation

Mirroring the SETAC tripartite structure, the purpose of the symposium is to discuss how LCA can support the decision making process at all levels, i.e. industry and policy contexts, and how LCA results can be efficiently communicated and be used for supporting market strategies . After its conception in the ’90s, the standardization process that followed and that has recently given rise to several spin off (e.g. carbon footprint, water footprint, eco-efficiency and others already on the agenda), there is a urgent need to harmonise several methodological developments and conventions that have occurred. At the industrial level, many initiatives are presently under development, aimed at developing sector-specific guidance. Small and medium-sized enterprises could largely benefit from these initiatives, which could provide an answer to their need of tailoring life cycle-based methods and tools to specific applications. At the policy level, it has been recognized that with the growing popularity of LCA in policy directives, a guidelines for policy LCAs may become necessary too.

However, we should also consider that adverse effects might arise by oversimplification and contradicting guidance as outcome of harmonization process. In which contexts do we need harmonization and when instead do we need orchestration, i.e. coordination of the initiatives, so to maintain diversity and specificity in the different contexts?

The results of the decision process needs then to be communicated and used also in the market and LCA is proven to be a useful support. However practitioners still struggle when communicating the results to the users and further efforts are necessary.

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