Life-cycle approaches to sustainable consumption: Scope and Feasibility. SETAC-Europe meeting, Prague Congress Center , 21 April 2004
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The 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg called for a comprehensive set of programs focusing on sustainable consumption and production. According to world leaders, these programs should rely on life cycle assessment (LCA) to promote sustainable patterns of production and consumption. While cleaner production is a well-established activity, policy makers do not know how to achieve sustainable consumption and how life cycle assessment might help them in this endeavour. This is why we organized this workshop, which took part during the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Europe (SETAC-Europe), one of the most pre-eminent scientific organisations in the development of LCA. In this workshop researchers presented proposals for how to use LCA in the work with sustainable consumption. The proceedings includes two case studies for the use of LCA and input-output analysis for assessing household environmental impacts, a paper which outlines different options for using LCA in connection to sustainable consumption, a paper on the use of LCA in connection with marketing of sustainable solutions, and a paper on assessing the acceptability of solutions that have been identified to be more environmental over the life-cycle. These presentations were discussed, and participants are asked for their feedback and critical evaluation. The proposals and the discussion will be used to provide input to the European Commission and its work on sustainable production and consumption. The workshop results will be used in a further evaluation of feasibility and scope of LCA-based approaches to sustainable consumption. This is the basis for recommendations for future research, development and implementation activities. This workshop was sponsored by the 6th framework programme for research of the European Commission through contract NMP2-ct-2003-505281.