Life Cycle Assessment Webinar Series hosted by the West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum | Region 10 | US EPA

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Life Cycle Assessment Webinar Series hosted by the West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum

Please join us for an educational webinar series and learn the basics of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). These webinars will help both the novice and the more informed to understand and apply this tool. Find out how a process LCA approach may be helpful in policy making as well as making more sustainable decisions within your organization.

Presentations will be made by EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) and the City of Tacoma which is the first designated Life Cycle City. Presenters will be available for questions and discussion. Please sign up for any or all of the series using the links below.

For information on process LCA, please see the Forum’s wikispace on process LCA Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer. For more information on the Forum’s LCA webinar series, please contact Theresa Blaine at or at (206) 553-0257.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Overview

Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST
Presenter: Dr. David Meyer, EPA’s Office of Research and Development
Please register in advance: Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a standardized tool that can help us better understand the potential environmental impacts of the products we make and sell. LCA as an environmental accounting and management approach that considers all the human health and ecological impacts related to resource use and environmental releases of industrial systems from cradle to grave.
  • A brief description of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology and application, with examples, to provide new users with a working knowledge of what LCA is as well as what it isn't.
  • LCA takes a holistic view of environmental interactions that covers a range of interrelated activities, from the extraction of raw materials from the Earth and the production and distribution of energy, through the use, and reuse, and final disposal of a product.

Dr. David E. Meyer received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Kentucky in 2006 as an NSF IGERT fellow. The focus of his research was the development of various nanocomposite materials for environmental separations ranging from ground water remediation to mercury removal. He has brought his knowledge of nanomaterials to the U. S. EPA as a chemical engineer working in the Systems Analysis Branch of the National Risk Management Research Laboratory within the Office of Research and Development to study the potential life cycle impacts that can be attributed to the use of nanotechnologies. The ultimate goal of his work is the creation of a comprehensive integrated decision-making framework for the development of sustainable nanotechnologies. This will require establishing a suitable system of valuation for nanomaterials relying on metrics that account for potential socio-economical impacts in addition to traditional environmental impacts.

Life Cycle Assessment-based Product Claims

Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST
Presenter: Dr. Wesley Ingwersen, EPA’s Office of Research and Development
Please register in advance: Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

  • Within the US and abroad there is significant activity to create and promote LCA-based claims, but there are numerous challenges involving their use, the practical demands of making these claims, their administration, and the consistency of the information presented.
  • Claims about the environmental performance of products have proliferated in recent years and provide a variety of information of variable quality and legitimacy.
  • Life cycle assessment-based claims offer a potentially superior option that is quantifiable, determined in a standardized way, and take into account the full life cycle of a product.

Dr. Wesley Ingwersen is an Environmental Engineer in the Sustainable Technology division at the EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory. His research focuses on using Life Cycle Assessment and other tools for sustainable supply chain design for consumer products and biofuels. Dr. Ingwersen is particularly interested in LCA-based product claims and actively participates on the international PCR Taskforce as well as the PCR committee through the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida in 2010 and has been a LCA certified professional since 2008.

A Decision Theory Approach to Sustainability-Based Decision Making

Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST
Presenters: Dr. Tarsha Eason, EPA’s Office of Research and Development and Bill Smith, City of Tacoma
Please register in advance: Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

  • Making decisions on one aspect alone is challenging, when coupled with the unique intricacies of handling multiple factors inherent in sustainability, the difficulty of decision making skyrockets. This webinar provides a life cycle view of incorporating sustainability into decision making.
  • It highlights the path forward to sustainability, incorporates background information on decision theory and analysis and its application within the EPA and presents key initiatives and projects related to sustainability based decision making.
  • Bill Smith from City of Tacoma will present on how Tacoma is incorporating LCA into their policies and practices through their designation of being the first Life Cycle City.

Dr. Tarsha N. Eason is a Research Engineer working in the area of decision theory and analysis in the Sustainable Technology Division of the US Environmental Protection Agency National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a former EPA Federal Post-doctoral associate and previously served as the Associate Director of Operations of the Research Center for Cutting-Edge Technologies (RECCET) in Tallahassee, Florida where she managed the business functions of the Center and aided in mentoring graduate and undergraduate students on renewable energy and manufacturing research. Tarsha received her Ph.D. (2006) and M.S. (1998) in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and a B.S. (1996) in Electrical Engineering from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida A&M University. Her research activities and interests include sustainability based decision making, decision theory and analysis, sustainability metrics and indicators, resilience and complexity, information theory, systems engineering and renewable energy.

Bill Smith is currently the Senior Environmental Specialist for the City of Tacoma’s Environmental Services Division and has been involved with Solid Waste and resource conservation issues for over 20 years. Bill serves on the steering committee of the Northwest Product Stewardship Council and is chair of the Council’s packaging subcommittee and co-chair of the Materials Management work group of EPA’s West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum. Bill was a local government representative to the EPA dialogue on sustainable financing for municipal recycling and has participated in several national and regional dialogues related to packaging and printed paper. Bill holds a master’s degree in Environment and the Community from Antioch University in Seattle and was a recipient of the EPA National Notable Achievement Award in 2009 for his work on the West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum.

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