- Study format:
- certificate course
- 5 days
- Next implementation will be in 2019
- Course fees:
- 2,750 €
- RWTH Executive Certificate
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a holistic environmental assessment method for goods and services. LCA considers the entire life cycle of these products, from the extraction of raw materials to the final disposal of waste. In addition, LCA takes into account multiple environmental impact categories, such as global warming, fossil depletion, and human toxicity. Due to its holistic scope, LCA developed into a widely accepted tool for
environmental assessments in both industry and academia, and has been standardised in ISO 14040 and ISO 14044.
This certificate course promotes the use of LCA in practice. The course is targeted at executives in industry and the public sector without previous LCA knowledge. Participants will learn the methodological basics of LCA and acquire the practical skills needed to independently conduct simple LCA studies within their organisations. In addition, participants will learn to interpret LCA results and to use LCA-based information to improve the environmental profile of both their company-specific supply chains and the processes within their organisation. A special focus lies on carbon capture and utilisation.
For the successful completion of the course, participants will sit an examination in order to obtain the official RWTH executive certificate issued by RWTH Aachen University.
The course will be carried out in collaboration between the Chair of Technical Thermodynamics (LTT) at RWTH Aachen University, the RWTH International Academy gGmbH, and partners from industry. The LTT is responsible for course content and course conception. The individual sessions will be held by Professor André Bardow and Arne Kätelhön.
Industry partners will provide a professional view on how LCA is practically employed. In addition, the course includes an industrial case study building the basis for practical sessions, in which participants will learn to conduct an LCA using specialised software. The collection of data is carried out in an industrial facility.
Exemplary module plan (subject to modifications)
The course will be held on 5 consecutive days. The first day is targeted at getting to know the participants and their expectations, as well as providing a high-level introduction into LCA and its relevance for industry. In addition, participants get an overview of the four phases of an LCA, which they will study in more detail in the following days: Goal and Scope Definition, Life Cycle Inventory, Life Cycle Impact Assessment, and interpretation.
The second day starts with two theoretical sessions on Goal and Scope Definition, and the Life Cycle Inventory phase in the morning. After lunch, the group will be transferred to an industrial production site to deepen the understanding of industrial LCA applications and to get to know a specific industrial production process in the field of carbon capture and utilisation. This production process will be the focus of the case study which participants will work on for the next three days. Hence, the participants collect the data needed for the case study right at the production site.
On the third day, the third phase of LCA, Life Cycle Impact Assessment, is discussed thoroughly. In addition, commercial LCA software tools and databases are presented to provide the basis for the modeling course later that day. In the modeling course, participants will be divided into small groups working together on the case study and getting a hands-on experience in computer-aided LCA.
The fourth day focusses on the interpretation and the use of LCA data for process improvement. For this purpose, the participants obtain the theoretical background for interpreting LCA results and learn to model alternative production pathways to assess process improvement options. The improvement options will be discussed based on their CO2 abatement costs. In addition, participants get an insight into communicational aspects of LCA. In the evening of the fourth day, the participants prepare a presentation of the case study to be held in the morning of the final course day.
The fifth day starts with the individual group presentations. Based on the presentations and the following discussion session, the learning success of each participant is evaluated. Successful participants are awarded with the official RWTH certificate. The course closes with a comprehensive feedback session.