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Bring Life-Cycle Thinking and LCA into Your Community College Curriculum

Bring Life-Cycle Thinking and LCA into Your Community College Curriculum with This 3-Part Course

  • Relevant to all disciplines and levels
  • Especially helpful for Environmental Sciences & Engineering Students
  • Three-part design allows instructors to adapt content to class needs
  • Includes hands-on use of Life Cycle Assessment software

Course Description

This module provides the tools to introduce students to basic life-cycle thinking concepts and their importance in environmental management and sustainability, while also offering hands-on experience in life cycle assessment (LCA) modeling. The module is organized into three parts, allowing instructors to choose the depth of the content.

Download a sample from the instructor guide


1The first part covers basic life-cycle thinking concepts via videos and plenary discussions, to get students thinking about the environmental life cycle implications of everyday products and new technologies. This module is relevant to all disciplines and levels, particularly those educational institutions wanting to cultivate sustainability thinking across disciplines.

2The second part goes a step further into the technical aspects, introducing key concepts of the LCA framework for quantifying systemic impacts. Here, students will learn about the methodology as well as the corresponding ISO standards and key concepts, with an emphasis on impact categories. Many students will find this useful, but this topic is of particular interest and utility to first-year students of environmental sciences and engineering, as LCA is used widely in environmental management.

3The third part consists of a software exercise of a simplified LCA in EarthSmart, giving students a hands-on experience with LCA calculations and result interpretation. This part concludes with a plenary discussion and reflection on the results.

Learning objectives

  • Ability to apply life-cycle thinking when discussing the environmental implications of products and services
  • Familiarity with the basic concepts, practice and rationale of LCA
  • Knowledge of an LCA software tool, EarthSmart
  • Ability to interpret LCA results

Community College Instructors:
EarthShift Global is offering FREE 6-month access to the curriculum
and a 6-month license to EarthSmart for you and your students.

Get started today by providing your academic credentials and requesting access from
[email protected]. Expect a response in 2-3 business days.