Advanced LCA – Consequential and IO‑based life cycle assessment

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

The course

Subject and programme:

The course targets the development of advanced competences in LCA by applying the problem based-learning (PBL) teaching method. Following the PBL model that focuses on learning by doing and reflection, 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 course content is organized in three modules (main teacher in parenthesis).

9 – 10 May 2019 (08:00-16:00) Module 1. Intro to advanced LCA (Massimo Pizzol) In this hands-on module participants will learn how to use the software Brightway2 that is specific for LCA research. Topics covered: Computational structure of LCA. Uncertainty analysis with stochastic error propagation (Monte Carlo) and statistical testing of LCA results. LCA reproducibility and data sharing. The module includes exercises.

11 – 12 May 2019
Enjoy the weekend break

13 – 14 May 2019 (08:00-16:00)
Module 2. Consequential LCA (Bo Weidema) Participants 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 co-products. Modelling of indirect Land Use Changes (iLUC). Communicating consequential models. The module includes

15 – 16 May 2019 (08:00-16:00) Module 3. Input output LCA (Jannick Schmidt). Participants 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. Expanding the IO-matrix to include the natural, social and economic environment. The module includes exercises.

Form and academic recognition:

When including readings and group work assignments, the total course workload corresponds to 5 ECTS (1 ETCS = 27,5 hours of work for the student). The 5 ECTS credits of the course (138 hours) are divided approximately in this way:

  • Lectures and group work in class: 48 hours, 1,7 ECTS
  • Readings: 35 hours, 1,3 ECTS
  • Group work prior to course: 20 hours, 0,7 ECTS
  • Group work after course: 35 hours, 1,3 ECTS

Learning outcomes:

Activities include attending to the lectures and performing exercises in class. Readings include approx. 100 pages of scientific articles and reports, that are provided to the students. Participants 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.

As an example a group might:

  • 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: organize the material and prepare a portfolio/article where all the techniques are presented for the case study.

Eventually, all portfolios are made available. Each participant will thus get the info on five different cases.

The practicalities

When and where?:

The course takes place 9 – 16 May 2019 at Aalborg University*, Rendsburggade 14, 9000 Aalborg (DK)

*This course is organized 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)

Participant prerequisites

The target audience of this 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. Participants should be able to organize themselves using online tools (skype, dropbox etc) to collaborate in group remotely prior and after the course.

Teaching staff

Bo Weidema, Professor; Jannick Schmidt, Associate Professor; Massimo Pizzol, Associate Professor; Søren Løkke Associate Professor; Agneta Ghose, Postdoc

Price and course conditions

– PhD students affiliated to a Danish University  – Free
– PhD students not affiliated to a Danish University – 3.000DKK (400EUR)
– Academics (e.g. postdoc and professors) – 6.000DKK (800EUR)
– Professionals (consultancy, industry, etc.) –  15.000DKK (2000EUR)

Above prices does not include travel, meals, social dinner and accommodation. Accommodation recommendations will be sent once course is confirmed.

Downloadable course description

Advanced LCA flyer_2019

Contact person and registration:

Registration deadline 1 April 2019. Max. 25 participants.

Apply via email to the course coordinator Massimo Pizzol ( and provide the following information: Full name / Profession (PhD student, postdoc, consultant…) / Institution name / Address / Phone / your research field or PhD topic / your experience with LCA.