Managing the LCIA (impact assessment) phase of LCA (2018)

This course gives the LCA practitioner the basic skills for navigating the LCIA (impact assessment) phase of LCA. The general framework, definitions and concepts are presented from those of the ISO standards to the present state-of-the art. Practical exercises focus on how to make appropriate choices when performing the LCIA phase in a study (choice of impact categories, characterisation models, when to apply normalization and/or weighting, relating to stakeholders) and on the differences between current LCIA methods.

The course


  • Description of the different mandatory and optional LCIA elements according to ISO 14040/14044 and other impact assessment frameworks.
  • Definitions and concepts of LCIA, such as stressors, actual versus potential impacts, impact categories and pathways, environmental mechanisms, classification, fate, exposure, incidence, duration, linearity, steady-state vs. dynamic, marginal cause-effect modelling, thresholds, tipping points, severity, category indicators, midpoint and endpoint characterisation, areas of protection, normalisation, ranking, weighting.
  • Selection of impact categories. Stakeholder views on environmental impact categories.
  • Example of the impact pathway modelling of a common impact category: Describing the problem and the target, the borderline to inventory, how to handle incomplete inventory data. Correct application of characterisation factors.
  • Simplifying LCIA: What characterises an adequate level of modelling?
  • The role of normalisation in LCA studies. Methods for weighting: Distance-to-target versus preference-based methods. Advantages and limitations.
  • Combinations of impact categories and ready-made LCIA methods: An overview of the most commonly used and most recent LCIA method packages: CML, EcoIndicator, Impact2002+/ImpactWorld+, Stepwise, ReCiPe, LIME, TRACI. Consistency in and between methods, illustrated with case examples.
  • Interpretation and presentation of LCIA results, transparency, dealing with stakeholder interests.
  • Exercise: Choosing and justifying the choice of an impact assessment method (impact categories, characterisation models, need for normalization and weighting) for a specific application context, applying it to an LCI result, calculating the LCIA result, interpretation and presentation of the result to a group of stakeholders.

Form and academic recognition:

Form: 12 hours interactive lectures. 4 hours exercises.
Academic recognition: 1 ECTS point (including pre-course reading).

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge of frameworks, definitions and contexts for LCIA. Understanding of impact assessment models, including normalisation and weighting and their limitations. Ability to choose and justifying the choice of an impact assessment method in a specific application context, simplifying it as appropriately, calculating an LCIA result and presenting it to a group of stakeholders.

The practicalities

When and where?:

15-16 January 2018, ESCI-UPF, Passeig Pujades 1, Barcelona.

Participant prerequisites:

Basic understanding of life cycle assessment. Basic environmental or social science/engineering foundation. Must bring own laptop computer.

Teaching staff:

  • Ralph Rosenbaum, Industrial Chair ELSA-PACT Montpellier, France
  • Bo Weidema, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Manuele Margni, CIRAIG, Canada
  • Michael Hauschild, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark

Price and course conditions:

Professionals: 2000 euro
Students: 400 euro
University personnel: 800 euro
Second registrations from the same institution offered at 50% discount. Does not include travel, accommodation and meals. Please ask for our list of accommodation recommendations.

Downloadable course description:


Contact person:

Inger Weidema, E-mail: