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ReCiPe2016, RGGI | Meet Us at ISIE, ISSST | Call for Abstracts

April 2017 Sustainability Newsletter


Power plant in ConnecticutAfter Eight Years, a Strong Report Card for RGGI

Eight years after its launch, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap-and-trade program has made big reductions in emissions from Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic power plants, while also boosting energy efficiency, spurring the transition to clean energy, and improving public health.
Read more on our blog...


Join us for our insightful Sustainability Brown Bag Webinars during lunch time at 1 PM EST.Join Us April 18, 2017 — Tuesday at 10:00 AM, EDT
for a Free Webinar
ReCiPe 2016: a Harmonized Life Cycle Impact Assessment Method at Midpoint and Endpoint Levels

ReCiPe is a state-of-the-art Life Cycle Impact Assessment method used to convert life cycle inventories to a limited number of impacts, such as global warming, human toxicity, acidification and eutrophication. ReCiPe was first introduced in 2008 and has since had a number of important updates. This webinar provides an photo of Mark Hujebregtsoverview of the key elements of ReCiPe 2016 including the updates made in the method.

Join the presenter Mark Huijbregts of the Institute for Water and Wetland Research, Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands​ to learn more and ask questions! Read More on our Brown Bag Webinars.

Register Now! April 18th Webinar


Get Ready to Share Your Logo for American Center for Life Cycle AssessmentWork! Submit Your Abstract for LCA XVII by May 8, 2017

The LCA XVII Abstract Center is now open and accepting abstracts for the LCA XVII Annual Meeting, taking place October 3-5, 2017 in Portsmouth, NH. Submit an abstract and showcase your work to a global audience of colleagues and experts at the premier North American meeting for environmental life cycle assessment.

Log in and Submit Your Abstract here.


Special Session Submissions

Special sessions are designed to be more interactive than our traditional conference sessions. For more details, see special session guidelines here. Deadline for special session abstracts: May 8, 2017. 
Submit Your Special Session Abstract Today!

Pre-Conference Workshop Submissions

Share your specialized Life Cycle Assessment experience and host pre-conference workshop on Monday, October 2, 2017, the day before the start of the LCA XVII conference in Portsmouth, NH. Application deadline: May 8th. Results will be announced June 12th. Follow this link to find out about hosting a Pre-Conference Workshop or submitting a proposal.

Find Out AStudent winners of ACLCA 2016, Sarah Ann Pace, Harold Rickenbacker, Jasmina Burekll That LCA XVII Has to Offer Students!

Student Poster Contest Submissions

Students are offered the opportunity to participate in our annual Student Poster Contest. This contest is offered only to currently enrolled students. Any student may enter by submitting an abstract through the submission process. Please check the box for the student poster contest.

The Student Poster Contest is sponsored by Earthshift Global. Follow this link to submit your poster here.

Last Year's Winners

Last year's winners were Sarah Ann Pace, Harold Rickenbacker, Jasmina Burek featured in the photo above. Their abstracts are as follows:

Indoor Air Quality Assessments of Diverse Buildings in an Energy Conservation District

Harold Rickenbacker, William Collinge, Vaclav Hasik, Melissa Bilec  

University of Pittsburgh, United States of America

The environmental impacts of electricity generation, water consumption, and vehicle emissions can be significant in dense industrial hubs and urban settings. Energy conservation districts across the U.S. have joined the 2030 District Challenge to reduce water use, energy consumption, and carbon emissions by 50% by the year 2030.

The Pittsburgh 2030 Districts represents nearly 70% of the total commercial real estate square footage in downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland. Unique to the Pittsburgh’s 2030 District is the focus on indoor air quality (IAQ) in the built environment. Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Improved indoor environmental quality has a link to worker performance, reduced absenteeism, and reduced health care need.

Through our research, we aim to ultimately understand potential benefits and trade-offs to energy conservation and IAQ in energy conservation districts. Using LCA based models to assess the impacts of improvements over time, we aim to quantify the impacts energy conservation districts have on ambient air quality and IAQ. EIAQ parameters include ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, temperature, relative humidity, volatile organic compounds, black carbon, and particulate matter.

We have completed IAQ assessments of seven representative buildings ranging from a LEED Platinum certified to older buildings, vintage 1900s. We will present indoor/outdoor ratio of criteria pollutants to elucidate infiltration and penetration factors, which are impacted by HVAC functionality, building envelopes, and source emitters within the built environment. We will also present our LCA models and IAQ results with a focus on human toxicity and global warming potential.

Development of Mass Balance Based Water Use Impact Assessment Method

Sara Ann Pace, Alissa Kendall, Jean VanderGheynst  

UC Davis, United States of America

Water use is an increasingly important issue in industrial ecology and life cycle assessment (LCA), especially in water limited areas and the global scale. Currently, the International Organization for Standards (ISO) does not have a prescribed method to track water use in LCA to evaluate potential impacts on the environment. Historically, practitioners have not focused on impacts related to freshwater consumption and use. Most of their focus have been on greywater consumption in LCAs because it is an indicator of water quality and pollution.

The focus of this study evaluated the current state of the art for water use impact assessment in LCA to develop a new mass-balance based life cycle impact assessment method for water use. The method is applied to organic waste conversion scenarios in water limited areas, including California and Dubai, to aid in minimizing freshwater use. Input and output values, including embodied water in moisture content of organic material, and chemical reactions in the processes are tracked in this method to determine potential areas for water reuse. This method is intended to be used to analyze water use in both water limited and water rich areas. It incorporates inventory methods and determines impact associated with water scarcity and other potential environmental impacts, including human health, ecosystem quality, and resources.

A Second Life: Environmental Impact of Greek Yogurt Whey Treatment Options

Jasmina Burek [1], Karolliny Nunes da Silva [2], Greg Thoma [1], DaeSoo Kim [1], Peggy Tomasula [3], Winnie Yee [3] 

1: University of Arkansas, United States of America; 2: Federal University of ABC; 3: USDA ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, PA

In 2015, Greek yogurt was more than 50% of the total U.S. yogurt market share. The cost and environmental concerns of acid whey treatment or disposal are high. Producers report that for every 7,000 gallons of raw milk used to produce traditional Greek yogurt, there is 4,200 to 4,900 gallons of acid whey. But, the research on Greek yogurt environmental impact and acid whey treatment options is limited. The Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) surveyed the U.S. yogurt producers and collected data on cup set and stirred-types of yogurt, but not for the Greek yogurt.

To address Greek yogurt sustainability, the USDA ARS developed traditional Greek yogurt production computer simulation, which in addition to DMI survey data were used to a build a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment model of Greek yogurt production and consumption. The results showed that Greek yogurt has a 40% higher climate change impact and 65% higher water depletion indicator when compared to cup set or stirred-types of yogurt. This was due to a higher quantity of raw milk input per functional unit. Currently, acid whey is commonly used by farmers as a liquid animal protein feed, plowed into the ground as a liquid fertilizer, or is fed to biodigesters. Among these three options, the cradle-to-grave LCA results showed that anaerobic digestion has a potential to reduce climate change impact of Greek yogurt by 4%. But, acid whey can also be used to produce whey protein concentrate (WPC) and lactose using reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration membrane technology and drying. Options to use WPC include use as a bulking agent (instead of maltodextrin), sweetening agent (instead of dextrose) or a mineral fortifying agent (Ca and P) or to replace sweet dry whey. Dry WPC and lactose production increased total impact of the yogurt processing plant due to a spray drying process and it is only because of the allocation principle that traditional Greek yogurt environmental impact was reduced.

This research is important for dairy producers and policy makers to re-think current whey treatment options.


Logo for ISIE and ISSST joint 2017 conference

Meet Us at the ISIE and ISSST Joint Conference!

A Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of HP’s MultiJet Fusion Additive (3D Printing) Manufacturing with Injection Molding

Authors: Dr. Tom Etheridge (HP Inc.), Lise Laurin (EarthShift Global), Nathan Ayer (EarthShift Global)

Attend this presentation to learn about the key insights from an investigation of the life cycle impacts of producing automobile parts using HP’s MultiJet Fusion 3D printing system, as well as the potential environmental benefits of some unique features of 3D printing such as dematerialization and extended product life.

Assessing the Sustainability of 3D Printing of Plastics

Authors: Lise Laurin (EarthShift Global), Dr. Tom Etheridge (HP Inc.), Nathan Ayer (EarthShift Global)

Attend this presentation to learn about our use of anticipatory LCA and S-ROI to explore the environmental, social, and economic impacts of introducing 3D printing to plastics manufacturing. This work represents the first application of S-ROI to an emerging technology and includes an investigation of risks and opportunities associated with a broader introduction of 3D printing in this industry.

Life Cycle Assessment of Technology Options for Printing on Flexible Packaging: Indigo 20000 Digital Press vs. Conventional Flexographic and Rotogravure Printers

Authors: Nathan Ayer (EarthShift Global), Dr. Tom Etheridge (HP Inc.), Lise Laurin (EarthShift Global)

Come see our poster presentation on the life cycle impacts of printing technologies for the emerging flexible packaging industry. We explore the environmental impacts of HP’s Indigo 20000 Digital Press relative to conventional technologies across a range of print job sizes and production regions, and express the LCA results relative to the economic breakeven points for each technology.



New!  Sustainability-ROI Quarterly Newsletter

EarthShift Global brings you the latest sustainability research, analysis and developments in their newsletter, SROI Vision for a Sustainable World.We will bring you the latest research, analysis and developments in this important area that may affect the work you are doing today.

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Upcoming Classes

FREE Impact Assessment Course (PDF)

Online Training

April 18, 2017—   S-ROI:  Three-Hour Survey Class with Hands-On 3Pillars Section -  1:00 pm to 4:00 pm EDT (17:00-20:00 UTC)

April 25, 2017—  Impact Assessment Methods - 10:00 am to 1:00 pm EDT (14:00-17:00 UTC

April 27, 2017—  Handling Recycling In Life Cycle Assessment–Interactive Training - 9:00 am to 12:00 pm EDT (13:00-16:00 UTC) 


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