Making the sustainable choice: embedding Life Cycle Analysis in supply chain

— 10.06.16

by Jody Dalton

A fascinating partnership between researchers at the Management School and the Faculty of Engineering led to a recent sell-out event, with industry leaders at the heart of it.

A number of industry delegates from throughout Europe joined academics at the University of Sheffield on 22 April 2016 for the Materials Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) Workshop, a one-day event organised jointly between the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) and EPSRC funded projects ‘Designing Alloys for Resource Efficiency’ (DARE) and ‘Substitution and Sustainability in Functional Materials and Devices’ (SUbST).

The keynote presentation was given by Louis Brimacombe, head of environmental technology at Tata Steel, who explained how LCA has a role in understanding the benefits of a circular economy, where not only environmental considerations but also the social and economic performances of a material are crucial for making sustainable decisions.

Following his presentation, Louis Brimacombe said: “LCA is core in achieving sustainability across supply chains. It not only helps industry makes informed decisions, but identifies where we can improve resource efficiency, sustainability and circular economy.”

At the end of the workshop one of the main organisers of the event, Professor Lenny Koh from Sheffield University Management School, who is also the director of AREC, said: “This event, which delegates agree should become annual, has evidenced the important role and influence of supply chain LCA in resource efficiency and the sustainability of materials supply chains in flagship projects at the University of Sheffield, including DARE, SUbST and SIMULIFE. LCA must be designed into the development stages of any new materials or products/services to search for the most sustainable option before scale-up. For existing materials, products and services, their life cycle must be continuously assessed through LCA.”

Presentations and a summary of breakout discussions will be posted at in due course.

For information on the following, email:
AREC and LCA: Lenny Koh (
DARE: Mark Rainforth ( or Jean Simpson (
SUbST: Ian Reaney (


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