Advanced LCA – Consequential and IO‑based Life Cycle Assessment

This course aims at strengthening skills in life cycle inventory analysis. The course introduces advanced inventory modelling using the techniques of consequential LCA and input-output (IO) LCA.

The course

Subject and programme:

The course aims at strengthening skills in life cycle inventory analysis. The course targets the development of advanced competences in LCA by applying the problem based-learning (PBL) teaching model that focuses on learning by doing and reflection. We also apply a hybrid (online + physical) and flipped classroom approach where materials (readings, videos) are provided to the students in advance and the time spent in classroom/videomeeting is used for Q&A, hands-on exercises, discussions. The course activities will include intensive group work, problem defining and solving applied to real-word cases, practical exercises, and discussion sessions or workshops. The target audience of the course is academics (PhDs, postdoc, other) or professionals who already have basic experience with LCA and intend to bring their LCA competences to an advanced level. Basic experience means for example having carried out simple LCAs before or having elementary knowledge of LCA theory. The course content is organized in three modules.

Module 1. Consequential LCA
Students will learn the fundamentals of Consequential LCA. Topics covered: Introduction to attributional and consequential models. Algorithms for performing consequential LCA in the definition of functional unit, consumption mix, and identification of determining and dependent coproducts. Communicating consequential models. The module includes exercises.

Module 2. Stochastic LCA
In this hands-on module students will learn how to use the software Brightway2 for stochastic and other LCA simulations. Topics covered: Computational structure of LCA. Computer simulation and statistical approaches for uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in LCA. LCA reproducibility and data sharing. The module includes exercises.

Module 3. Input output LCA
Students will learn the fundamentals of Input-Output modelling. Topics covered: supply-use tables, multi-regional models and trade linking. Integrating process LCA and IO-analysis via hybrid LCA, tiered and embedded. The module includes exercises.

Form and academic recognition:

When including readings and group work assignments, the total course workload corresponds to 5 ECTS (One ECTS credit is equivalent to 28 hours of work).

The five ECTS credits of the course are divided roughly in this way:

Lectures and group work in class501.8
Group work prior to course200.7
Group work after course351.3

This course is organised yearly by The Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design, Aalborg University and Danish Centre for Environmental Assessment (DCEA), in collaboration with the International Life Cycle Academy (ILCA) and takes place at Aalborg University.

Teaching methods:

Activities: Includes attending to the lectures and performing exercises in class.

Readings: Approx. 100 pages of scientific articles and reports, that are provided to the students, plus python tutorials and videos.

Group work: students work in groups (max 5 people). Each group will work on a case study and apply the knowledge of the course on the case study.

EXAMPLE, a group works on an LCA of a product and does:

  • prior to the course: choice of product and data mining, getting base knowledge and data to describe the product system.
  • during the course (exercises in class): consequential inventory with matrix format, IO LCA inventory, inclusion of iLUC, inclusion of social impacts, etc.
  • after the course: organise the material and prepare a portfolio/article where all the techniques are presented for the case study.

Eventually, all portfolios are made available. Each student will thus get the information on five different cases. Students should be able to organize themselves using online tools (skype, dropbox etc) to collaborate in group remotely prior and after the course.

Learning objective:

Theoretical elements cover: computational structure of LCA, computer simulation, uncertainty, and sensitivity analysis in LCA context, system models in LCA, algorithms for consequential LCA, monetary supply and use tables and different models for creating IO-model and hybrid LCA.


Practical modelling skills with software Brightway2, including uncertainty and sensitivity analysis (local and global). Practical skills in consequential LCA modelling including identification of functional unit, consumption mix, and solving multifunctionality via substitution. Communicating consequential LCA models. Modelling indirect land use changes in LCA. Practical skills in using IO and hybrid LCA.


Apply advanced software, modelling approaches, and databases to address, solve, and communicate complex prospective questions on the life-cycle impact of products, within a research context and beyond. 

The practicalities

When and where?:

All dates in 2023

Online lectures: via Zoom platform
Physical lectures: Aalborg University, Rendsburggade 14, 9000 Aalborg (DK)

Participant prerequisites:

The course requires basic knowledge of Life Cycle Assessment, i.e. the knowledge of the tool that one might get at bachelor or master level. This means that the students need to have either a strong theoretical understanding of LCA or practical experience (having done some LCA studies before, even if simple). Since teaching the basics of LCA is not part of the course, students are selected based on their prior experience to make an homogeneous group and ensure a high starting level. This allows to teach more advanced topics that are fit for a PhD level course.

Teaching staff:

Jannick Schmidt, Professor
Massimo Pizzol, Professor
Søren Løkke, Assoc. Prof.
Agneta Ghose, Assoc. Prof.

Price and course conditions:

2400 EUR (18000 DKK)- for professionals (consultancy, industry)
1200 EUR (9000 DKK) – for university personnel (postdocs, professors)
600 EUR (4500 DKK) – for PhD students not affiliated to a Danish University
free for PhD students affiliated to a Danish University
Does not include travel, accommodation and meals.


The course is full, if you are interested joining the waiting list to the the 2024 edition you please fill the Google form: or write to )

Registration deadline:

15 February 2023