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Up to a sustainability tool: the integration of social criteria into LCA The work of the Task Force under the UNEP Life Cycle Initiative: State of Play. 10th Meeting (Freiburg, 2-5 June 2008). International Life Cycle Partnership to put life cycle approaches into practice.

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10th meeting freiburg 2 5 june 2008

Up to a sustainability tool: the integration of social criteria into LCAThe work of the Task Force under the UNEP Life Cycle Initiative:State of Play

10th Meeting

(Freiburg, 2-5 June 2008)

International Life Cycle Partnership

to put life cycle approaches into practice

tools for a process or product oriented assessment a short overview
Tools for a process or product oriented assessment: a short overview

P r o c e s s O r i e n t e d 

P r o d u c t O r i e n t e d 

slide4

Life Cycle Assessment

Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (ELCA), generally simply called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), is an environmental assessment tool that aims at addressing the environmental aspects and potential environmental impacts throughout a product's life cycle

Short historical overview …

  • During the ’70 : energy balances
  • During the ’80 : packaging materials
  • First half of the ’90 : underpinning of the methodology
  • 1993Publication of the ‘Code of Practice’ for a environmental LCA
  • Second half of the ’90 : further detailing of the methodology and applications
  • Standardization
setac history
SETAC History

Cf. ‘A Conceptual Framework for Impact

Assessment’(Fava et all., 1993)

 Relationship of Social Welfare Impact Category to Environmental Categories

Cf. Several researches, reported at SETAC Meetings, taking into account ‘working conditions’

task force terms of reference
Task Force Terms of Reference

The aims of the Task Force are:

  • to convert the current environmental tool LCA into a triple-bottom-line sustainable development tool,
  • to establish a framework for the inclusion of socio-economic benefits into LCA,
  • to determine the implications for LCI analysis,
  • to determine the implications for LCIA,
  • to provide an international forum for the sharing of experiences with the integration of social aspects into LCA.
task force members
Task Force Members

More than 60 members on the mailing list,

of which approximately 20 core members.

Chair : Bernard Mazijn (Belgium)

Co-Chairs : Andrée-Lise Méthot (Canada) and Bo Weidema (Denmark)

A multidisciplinary team with experts from universities, businesses, consultants, public authorities,

coming mostly from Europe, but also from America, Asia and Africa.

task force meetings
Task Force Meetings
  • 1st Meeting (April 2004, Prague)

 Workshop (November 2004, Ghent)

  • 2nd Meeting (January 2005, Bologna)
  • 3rd Meeting (May 2005, Lille)

 Seminar (November 2005, Brussels)

  • 4th Meeting (June 2006, Lausanne)
  • 5 th Meeting (October 2006, Paris)
  • 6th Meeting (March 2007, Sevilla)
  • 7th Meeting (August 2007, Zurich)
  • 8th Meeting (October 2007, Montréal)

 Seminar (October 2005, Montréal)

  • 9th Meeting (February 2008, Paris)
  • 10th Meeting (June 2008, Freiburg)
  • 11th Meeting (September 2008, Vienna)
task force programme of work
Task ForceProgramme of Work
  • Phase I (2004-2006):
    • Literature study
    • Case Studies
    • Feasibility study
  • Phase II (2006-2008):
    • Indicators (incl. methodological sheets)
    • Case studies
    • Code of practice
slide12

Feasibility Study:Integration of social aspects into LCA

Abstract

  • Status
  • Goal of the feasibility study
  • Background
  • LCA-Methodology as background
  • Social indicators: a new challenge
  • Methodology: key elements
  • Feasibility and future steps
slide13

Feasible? Yes, but …

“… In terms of methodology, there are evidently no

fundamental problems calling the feasibility of SLCA

into question. There are however certainly

considerable hurdles to be overcome in practice,

especially in characterisation modelling, because

social impacts will require an entirely different type of

modelling. Hurdles arise in the categorization of

indicator groups, in the classification of the associated

individual indicators and in their characterization. …”

slide14

LCA-Methodology as background

The basic methodology structure is the same,

but with priorities on:

  • Participation of stakeholders
  • Product utility versus functional equivalence
slide15

Social indicators: a new challenge

  • Midpoints versus endpoints
  • Classification system for social indicators
    • The stakeholder approach for the indicator classification
    • The indicator classification with impact categories
  • Qualitative versus quantitative indicators
  • The complexity behind social indicators and the need for clear definitions
slide16

Methodology: key elements

  • Goal and scope definitions(incl. indicator selection)
  • Inventory analysis(incl. data collection and data availability check)
  • Impact assessment(incl. classification, characterization and normalisation as an optional step)
  • Interpretation of results and evaluation(incl. evaluation process and weighting models)
life cycle assessment framework iso 1404x

Goal and Scope

Definition

(ISO 14040)

Interpretation

(ISO 14043)

Inventory

Analysis

(ISO 14041)

Impact

Assessment

(ISO 14042)

Life Cycle AssessmentFramework ISO 1404x
slide18

… future steps?

“… to establish a generally accepted list of social indicators

(inventory indicators, midpoint indicators, endpoint indicators),

structured after stakeholder groups and after generally

accepted impact categories. The connection with indicators in

the field of CSR (…) should be emphasized

and

to define and characterize the single indicators and typical

measurement units …”

slide19

Indicators:the methodological sheet

  • Indicator(name, brief definition, unit of measurement, monitoring)
  • Policy relevance(purpose, relevance to (un)sustainable development, international conventions and agreements, international targets/recommended standards, linkages to other indicators)
  • Methodological description(underlying definitions and concepts, measurement methods, limitations of the indicator, status of the methodology, alternative definitions/indicators)
  • Assessment of data(data needed to compile the indicator, national and international data availability and sources, data references)
  • References(readings, internet site)
slide20

The list of key indicatorsrelated to the stakeholder ‘employee’

  • Child Labour
  • Wages
  • Corruption
  • Freedom of Association
  • Working Hours
  • Forced Labour
  • Equal opportunities/Discrimination
  • Health and Safety
  • Social Benefits/Social Security
slide21

The draft list of key indicatorsrelated to other stakeholders (1)

… linked to the stakeholder ‘consumers’

  • Protection of the users
  • Enhancing the consumers social and economic position
  • [Usability/Satisfaction]
  • Product Utility
  • Product benefits and Social acceptability
slide22

The draft list of key indicatorsrelated to other stakeholders (2)

… linked to the stakeholder ‘local community’

  • Safe & healthy living conditions
  • Respect of human rights
  • Respect of indigenous rights
  • Community engagement
  • Improving social and economic opportunities
  • Local community impacts
  • Changing the community composition
  • Changing the community
slide23

The draft list of key indicatorsrelated to other stakeholders (3)

… linked to the stakeholder ‘society’

  • Public commitments to sustainable issues
  • [Prevention of unjustifiable risks]
  • Employment creation
  • Vocational training
  • Contribution to the national economy and stable economic development
  • Contribution to the national budget
  • Prevention & mitigation of armed conflicts
csr themes
CSR themes
  • GRI
  • Economic:
    • Direct economic impacts (customers, suppliers, employees, providers of capital, public sector)
  • Social:
    • Labour practices and decent work
    • Human rights
    • Society
    • Product responsability
  • Global Compact principles
  • Human Rights
  • Labour
    • Freedom of association and collective bargaining
    • Forced and compulsory labour
    • Child labour
    • Discrimination
  • Environment
  • Anti-Corruption

SA 8000 criteria

  • Child labour
  • Forced labour
  • H&S
  • Freedom of Association / Right to Collective Bargaining
  • Discrimination
  • Disciplinary Practices
  • Working Hours
  • Renumeration
  • Management Systems
purpose of the code of practice
Purpose of the Code of Practice
  • First it promotes dialogue amongst the task force members on methodological issues, which can facilitate movement towards consensus.
  • Second, it obliges SLCA developers to communicate the work on Social LCA to stakeholders and to collect their comments, hence enabling a positive feedback loop during the process of writing.
  • Third, it will create the necessary basis and consensus on core issues to build databases and software.

The code of practice will be the first international reference

document on the subject of social LCA. It will present the

methodologies broadly -- leaving place for innovation --but

explicitly, representing its current state of development.

slca code of practice timeline
February-April 2008

April-May 2008

May 2008

June 2nd-5th

June

July-August

September 25-26th

October

October

November or December

Drafting of the different chapters

Review of the first draft

Stakeholder consultation

10th Task Force meeting

Review of the second draft

ILCP review process

11th Task Force meeting

UNEP review process

Editing process

Publication of the CoP

SLCA code of practice timeline
state of play28

State of Play

Stakeholder Consultation

meetings with stakeholders business trade unions consumer ngo s labelling igo s
Meetings with stakeholders(business, trade unions, consumer ngo’s, labelling, IGO’s)
  • UNEP LCI Capacity development programme meeting
  • UNEP/SETAC ILCP Meeting
  • Fair trade advocacy office
  • ITUC - International Trade Union Confederation
  • ICRT – Euroconsumers – Test-Achats
  • Consumers International
  • ISEAL Alliance
  • ILO
  • International Organisation of Employers
  • WBCSD
  • IOE
  • SOVAMAT – 2nd Int. Seminar on Society and Materials
  • GRI
  • Metal Workers Associations
meetings with stakeholders to do
Meetings with stakeholders:to do ?
  • NGO’s: WWF , FoE, Oxfam (London)
  • SustainLabour Organisation
  • Global Compact, New York
  • CERES
  • Permanent Indigenous Issues, NY
  • Public Authorities: EC, …
  • IGO’s: ILO, UNDESA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNEP, UNCTAD
lessons learned
Lessons learned
  • CoP at the right time …
  • … for a sustainability tool !
  • Stakeholder consultation is a bidirectional process:
    • Communication and outreach from our side
    • Update on interesting information from their side
  • LC Thinking is not yet a common practice
  • Indicators related to the stakeholder ‘employee’ are for all stakeholders crucial
  • Don’t complicate things for the other sets of indicators: KISS !
knowledge and experience of the stakeholders
Knowledge and experience of the stakeholders
  • sLCA methodology and indicators:

UNEP LCI Capacity building, SOVOMAT, ICRT, ISEAL Alliance, ILO (2), WBCSD

  • Indicators:

Fair Trade Advocacy Office, ITUC, Consumers International, ILO (1)

  • … ?

IOE

comments in relation to indicators
Comments in relation to … indicators
  • Corruption is an important !
  • Socio-economic indicators are a central focus for fair trade, so integrate economic aspects for producers in the south
  • Empowerment and education of producers
  • Benefit distribution / Distribution of profits through the chain. Consumers wants to know if they do a “fair deal’ and contribute to poverty alleviation.
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining should be mentioned together
  • Industrial relations
  • Skills, capacity building
  • Participation (and conflict resolution).
  • Productivity
comments in relation to methodology
Comments in relation to …methodology
  • How do you tackle allocation?
  • Difference between end-users consumers and consumers of inputs in the product life cycle.
  • What are the suggested monitoring methodologies proposed?
  • It might be interesting to differentiate between sectors (e.g. accidents are important in forestry and homework in textile).
  • One could observe that environmental and social considerations are linked in the first place at the cradle (= extraction of natural resources) and at the grave (= end of live).
  • What about the viability of sectors (cf. climate change and the most important sectors).
  • How do you monitor?
comments in relation to
Comments in relation to …

Links

  • Reflect about further integration of sLCA with eLCA considering that many developing countries are only starting now with eLCA
  • Plurality of certification scheme, a problem for suppliers/producers. What about streamlining with other CSR tools?

Pitfalls

  • Anticipate trade to barriers issues
  • Reflect on the possible negative impacts of such a code
  • Beware of the risk of comparing countries (especially developing countries)
  • Reflect on power relations: cf. North versus South

Future work

  • Communication, outreach efforts,
  • How can you interest enterprises in this tool?