Hands‑on Consequential Life Cycle Inventory

This 2-day course is for the practitioner who wants to gain practical skills in consequential life cycle inventory modelling. We will work exclusively hands-on with exercises, software, databases, and the participants’ own cases.

The course


The course requires a theoretical understanding of the basic concepts of consequential modelling as can be obtained in the 1-day course “From attributional to consequential LCA”.

The main topics of the course are systematic identification and empirical verification of market delimitations and trends, niche markets, functional units, first-order rebound effects, determining products, marginal suppliers and consumers, and the use of substitution (system expansion) in different situations, including those with several determining products and where the investigated product is a waste or by-product.

Your skills in explaining and justifying results, models, assumptions, data and model uncertainties will be trained by work in small groups and presenting for the other participants and invited critical opponents.

This course does NOT deal with the differences to attributional modelling, equilibrium modelling and scenario modelling, but is exclusively dedicated to gain experience and routine in practical consequential modelling for small-scale, long-term decisions, such as those relevant for hotspot identification, labelling and policy decision support.

Course outline:

  • Group work: The relationship between the functional unit, the market and the product properties.
  • Exercises: Identification of geographical and temporal market boundaries.
  • Exercises: Identification of obligatory and positioning properties and their relation to the definition of the market where the product is sold.
  • Exercises: Identification of customer segments and niche markets.
  • Exercise: Re-defining markets to include all product alternatives.
  • Presentations from group work and discussion of the (ir-)relevance of product classifications to determine the functional unit.
  • Exercises: Identification of the determining product using production costs, revenues, and normalised market trends.
  • Exercises: Identification of the affected technologies in relation to market trends.
  • Exercises: Identification and justification of long-term resource constraints and political constraints.
  • Exercises: Identification of constrained markets and marginal consumers.
  • Group work: Marginal electricity supply.
  • Exercises: Calculating the first-order rebound effects of changes in price, size and temporal availability by the use of cross-elasticities.
  • Exercises: Modelling the physical causalities in combined productions.
  • Exercises: Modelling the substitution of co-products in situations with and without alternative production routes.
  • Exercises: Identification of materials for treatment.
  • Exercises: Modelling the effect of changes in demand for recycled products under different market conditions.
  • Exercises: Modelling the effect of changes in demand for a by-product that is not fully utilized (near-waste).
  • Exercises: Modelling unit processes that are dependent on the availability of by-products (speciality productions).
  • Exercises and demonstration: Investigating the consequential modelling in ecoinvent 3
  • Demonstration: Consequential modelling in an input-output database and in different LCA software.
  • Group discussion: Default modelling choices, assumptions, data and model uncertainties in consequential modelling
  • Preparation and presentation of group work on consequential models, assumptions, and results for invited critical opponents.

All mentioned exercises use both pre-prepared, quantitative real-life examples and the participants’ own cases.

Learning outcomes:

  • Practical skills in identification of market delimitations and trends as required for consequential modelling.
  • Ability to identify obligatory and positioning properties of products in different markets and to derive functional units from this information.
  • Ability to identify determining products, especially in situations where several co-products have alternative production routes.
  • Ability to identify long-term constraints on production and consumption and to identify marginal suppliers and consumers based on current market trends and production costs.
  • Ability to model the effect of changes in demand for a recycled product under different market conditions.
  • Ability to model co-products by substitution in any situation, and in particular in complex situations, as for example when there are more than one co-product without alternative production routes.
  • Understanding the data sources for consequential modelling.
  • Understanding how consequential modelling is implemented in ecoinvent version 3, input-output databases, and in LCA software.
  • Practical skills in modelling first-order rebound effects using cross-elasticities.
  • Practical skills in applying empirically based, default modelling choices.
  • Ability to assess data and model uncertainties.
  • Practical skills in explaining and justifying consequential models, assumptions, and results to laypersons and decision makers.

Form and academic recognition:

Form: Two full days, 16 hours workshops/exercises + 11 hours pre-course preparation.
Academic recognition: 2 ECTS points. This includes reading a mandatory list of literature.

The practicalities

When and where?:

5-6th September, 2024 
Thursday 9:00-13.00 & 15:00-19:00 and Friday: 9:00-13.00 & 15:00-19:00
Course venue: Barcelona (precise location will be sent to participants after the registration deadline).

Participant prerequisites:

Masters degree or equivalent. Participants must bring own laptop computer. The course requires a theoretical understanding of the basic concepts of consequential modelling as can be obtained in the 1-day course held on the 4th September 2024: “From attributional to consequential LCA” [link to details].

Teaching staff: 

Professor Bo Weidema, Aalborg University
Associate Professor Miguel Brandão, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

Price and conditions:

2400 EUR – for professionals (consultancy, government bodies, industry, NGO’s, and private)
1200 EUR – for university personnel (postdocs, professors)
600 EUR – for PhD students
Second registration from the same institution offered at 50% discount, if enrolling at the same time (enquire before you register). Does not include travel, accommodation and meals. A map will be sent once course is confirmed to guide you as you look for accommodation.


Please apply via mail to the course secretary: Peter Zacho Søgaard: peter@ilca.es
Registration deadline: July 4th 2024 – but notice the course is capped so we recommend to apply at your earliest convenience.