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SS FORUM: Practicing LCA - Case Studies and Career Paths

Event Type
Guest Lecture
Sarah Cashman
Center for Sustainable Systems
School of Natural Resources and Environment
January 11, 20132:00pm - 3:30pm
1040 Dana

Life Cycle Consultant
Franklin Associates
a Division of Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG)

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool that is being used more and more by organizations to assess the environmental impacts of their processes, products and services from a cradle-to-grave perspective. The presentation will briefly outline LCA methodology and demonstrate how LCA provides companies with the comprehensive set of quantified environmental metrics required to assess the full spectrum of environmental impacts of a product or process. It will include case studies on:

  • Quantifying energy and emissions for recycling postconsumer plastic resins
  • Developing LCAs on current and novel packaging technologies for research and development purposes
  • Capturing a more complete picture of the environmental implications of different tire waste management options
  • Building an industry average carbon footprint for bio-based chemicals

The talk will also share perspective from a recent SNRE alum on joining Franklin Associates after graduation. Primary skills and responsibilities required for a career in LCA consulting include data collection, construction of life cycle inventory databases and models, preparation of LCA reports, development of presentations for non-technical audiences, proposal writing and management, and other project management tasks such as developing budgets and client relations.