The need identification considers two major aspects:
1. Benchmarking (national and international on the existing LCM capacities: LCM initiatives, tools and case studies relevant to each sector at global level and results of the hotspots analysis)
2. Sector maturity assessment results based on Sect. 3.2
For the needs identification, the LCM champion involves relevant stakeholders to build up a SWOT matrix to identify and categorize significant internal factors (i.e. strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (i.e. opportunities and threats) to integrate LCM in their sector. In order to better prepare and facilitate this phase, some preparatory documents are sent in advance to different stakeholders to facilitate their participation during the SWOT preparation.
Stakeholder engagement is a key aspect of the needs identification and a solid baseline for the action plan development that fits the needs of the sector. It is especially important for the implementation phase as the actions are “owned” by the participants. The step is also very important to educate the new stakeholders joining the process.
By the end of this phase the results of the first three phases are presented in an open meeting with all stakeholders. The aim is to make more and more stakeholders familiar with the process and findings, and motivate them to contribute to a successful implementation in the later stages.
Each sector develops very detailed action plans based on the SWOT matrix and the identified needs and expectations. The experience with the first wave helped to develop major common indicators related to each action.
A non-exhaustive list of major common indicators is provided here: primary target, title description, goals, costs, time frame, potential action leader, starting time and duration, frequency, priority and management indicators.
In addition and to help cross cutting actions to be developed, actions are grouped in three major categories:
1. Sector specific actions
2. Replicable actions (to one or more sectors)
3. Cross cutting actions (joint actions of two or more sectors)
The LCM action plans are developed in parallel, enabling the sectors to identify cross cutting actions. This process is managed by the regional LCA Platform [avniR], through the network of “Life Cycle Champions”. Champions have been trained in the nine sectors; they meet regularly to exchange experiences in implementing life cycle approaches, identify cross cutting projects and to monitor sustainability performance advances within different sectors. The study was done through different waves. The latest sectors incorporated learnings from the first wave of sectors are shown in Fig. 7.4. Several actions are ongoing and some are finalized within different sectors. The results show significant improvements in SMEs within most sectors. The efficiency and effectiveness of the actions are monitored within a scoreboard developed together with LCM champions. Unfortunately, due to confidentiality restrictions, at the moment, no detailed results can be shown to highlight the improvements of the sustainability performance of products, processes and organizations achieved within the case study of Northern France.