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Principles of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for Sustainability

Adopt Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to drive sustainability in production and learn how to use LCA for informed decision-making.

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Principles of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for Sustainability

  • 4 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Unlimited subscription

    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Develop your knowledge of sustainable production and life cycle assessment

On this course, facilitated by the Institute of Biological, Environmental, and Rural Sciences (IBERS), you’ll gain a comprehensive introduction to Life Cycle Thinking and its significance in achieving environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

You’ll also explore the importance of zero-carbon initiatives in the journey toward global sustainability.

The curriculum dedicates the first weeks to understanding the inter-connectedness of value chains, circular economies, and the robust evaluation frameworks provided by life cycle approaches.

You’ll engage with concepts that support sustainable production, learning how to apply LCA methodologies to assess and improve the sustainability credentials of products and practices in the agrifood sector effectively.

Work with diverse tools for comprehensive evaluations

Throughout the course, you will explore the spectrum of LCA tools, focusing on their uses and the specific aspects of value chains they are designed to evaluate.

This course is aimed at providing you with the knowledge and skills to choose and utilise the most relevant LCA tools for assessing environmental, social, and economic impact, ensuring a tactical approach to sustainability in your projects or organisation.

Critically apply life cycle thinking to your professional and personal projects

This final segment consolidates your understanding, equipping you with the capability to critically engage with LCA frameworks, interpret results, and identify limitations, thereby enhancing your approach to sustainability.

By the end of this course, you’ll have the tools to apply life cycle thinking to various contexts, enabling informed decision-making in creating and interpreting LCA reports.

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Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Introduction to LCA

    • Introduction to LCA

      Introduction

  • Week 2

    Environmental Life Cycle Assessment E-LCA

    • Environmental Life Cycle Assessment E-LCA

      Environmental Life Cycle Assessment E-LCA

  • Week 3

    Scope and Inventory

    • Scope and Inventory

      week 3

  • Week 4

    Choosing LCA Functional Units

    • Choosing LCA Functional Units

      Choosing LCA Functional Units

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the main reasons for using life cycle approaches, and the challenges associated with the evaluation of value chains.
  • Solve which are the appropriate evaluation tools to the value chains they could be used to assess.
  • Demonstrate the main reasons for taking a life cycle approach to evaluating a value chain.
  • Compare the roles and strengths and weaknesses of different life cycle assessment tools.

Who is the course for?

This course is ideal for environmental scientists, sustainability professionals, and anyone looking to deepen their understanding of zero carbon initiatives and LCA methodologies to drive sustainable change.

Who will you learn with?

I currently work in the field of agricultural research dissemination with a focus on technological innovations and a keen interest in environmental sustainability.

Who developed the course?

Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University has a proud reputation for leading edge research, teaching excellence and an exceptional student experience. It’s a place for the adventurous, the curious and the creative.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access

Free

Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 26 Jun 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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