n.MA.ENR.ALCA.23FS (Advanced Life Cycle Assessment) 
Modul: Advanced Life Cycle Assessment
Diese Information wurde generiert am: 20.06.2024
Advanced Life Cycle Assessment


Version: 2.0 gültig ab 01.02.2024
Degree Program
MSc in Environment and Natural Resources
90 hours (35 h contact lessons, 55 h self-study)
Module Coordinator
René Itten
René Itten, Matthias Stucki, Regula Keller,  internal and external guest lecturers
Entry Requirements
Students are able to...
  • explain the drivers, mechanisms and impacts of major environmental issues such as climate change, eutrophication, resource depletion, deforestation etc.
  • elaborate on the sustainable development goals of the United Nations
  • read, process and critically discuss scientific publications from peer-reviewed journals in English language
  • understand the basics of systems theory, life cycle assessment, as well as chemistry
Learning Outcome and Competences
Students will learn to
  • understand systemic life cycle thinking as well as to analyse processes in complex value chains,
  • quantify and assess sustainability impacts using advanced life cycle based approaches such as consequential Life Cycle Assessment (LCA),
  • justify methodological choices and assumptions, e.g. the choice of consequential LCA instead of attributional LCA or the use of regionalised inventory models and impact assessment methods,
  • interpret and rate their results based on the underlying data and assumptions,
  • conduct an advanced LCA project using LCA software,
  • design innovative sustainability solutions from cradle to grave.
  • transfer insights from applied science to industry and society through life cycle management and eco-innovation.
  • identify and develop effective sustainability measures that contribute to the global Sustainable Development Goals.
Module Content
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 pursues the goal of "responsible consumption and production" by reducing the ecological footprint of products, services and consumption patterns. Scientifically valid life cycle based information is crucial in order to successfully implement sustainability strategies.
Specific topics covered in the course are Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Sustainable Life Cycle Management, consequential LCA, Life Cycle Impact Assessment, Green Procurement and Supply Chain Management as well as Ecodesign and Eco-Innovation. Furthermore, the course will introduce and explain the concepts of regionalisation, multi-regional input-output analysis, footprints of nations and planetary boundaries in the context of life cycle based data.
Within a group work, the students will apply methods of advanced LCA and eco-design to a specific problem.
Within a group work, the students will apply methods of advanced LCA and eco-design to a specific problem.
Teaching / Learning Methods
Lectures, exercises, workshops, group work, discussions, self-study
Assessment of Learning
The assessment of learning outcome is composed as follows
  • a group project work (pass/fail) and
  • a graded final exam (100% of module grade)
  • Andrews, E. S., Barthel, L.-P., Beck, T., Benoît, C., Ciroth, A., Cucuzzella, C., … Weidema, B. (2009). Guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment of Products. Social and socio-economic LCA guidelines complementing environmental LCA and Life Cycle Costing, contributing to the full assessment of goods and services within the context of sustainable development. UNEP.
  • Frischknecht, R., Nathani, C., Alig, M., Stolz, P., Tschümperlin, L., & Hellmüller, P. (2018). Umweltfussabdrücke des Schweizer Konsums (Technischer Bericht). Uster / Rüschlikon.: treeze Ltd / Rütter Soceco AG, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN),.
  • ISO. (2006). Environmental Management - Life Cycle Assessment - Principles and Framework. ISO 14040:2006; Geneva: International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
  • Jungbluth, N., Nathani, C., Stucki, M., & Leuenberger, M. (2011). Environmental impacts of Swiss consumption and production: a combination of input-output analysis with life cycle assessment (S. 171). Bern, CH: ESU-services Ltd. & Rütter+Partner, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).
  • Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, Å., Chapin, F. S., Lambin, E. F., … Foley, J. A. (2009). Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity. Ecology and Society, 14(2), 32.
  • Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S. E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E. M., Biggs, R., Carpenter, S. R., de Vries, W., de Wit, C. A., Folke, C., Gerten, D., Heinke, J., Mace, G. M., Persson, L. M., Ramanathan, V., Reyers, B., & Sörlin, S. (2015). Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347(6223).
  • Tukker, A., Bulavskaya, T., Giljum, S., de Koning, A., Lutter, F. S., Simas, M., Stadler, K., & Wood, R. (2014). The Global Resource Footprint of Nations: Carbon, water, land and materials embodied in trade and final consumption calculated with EXIOBASE 2.1.