Promoting Life Cycle Thinking, Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Management Within Business in Brazil

Marina Santa Rosa Rocha, Luiz Gustavo Ortega, Yuki Hamilton Onda Kabe, Maria da Graça C.B. Popi, Felipe Duarte, and Maria Luisa Nerys

Abstract The development of life cycle assessment in Brazil began in 1994. Business companies were involved in this process by the government, and in this way life cycle management developed. To support and disseminate LCA and LCM, a group of nine companies created the Brazilian Business Network for LCA in 2013. In 2014, the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development became the coordinator of the Network. Despite the many challenges in promoting the theme in Brazil, the Network is advancing and benefits from the representativeness of large companies and their power to push governments, peers and their value chains.

Keywords Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development • Life cycle assessment • Life cycle management

Introduction

The development of life cycle assessment (LCA) in Brazil began in 1994 with a subgroup to discuss the subject within the Supporting Group for Environmental Standardization (GANA, acronym in Portuguese). This group was supported by the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT, acronym in Portuguese) (Ribeiro and Cherubini 2014). This represented the first step towards the dissemination of LCA in Brazil.

After this, a few important guidelines and studies were developed until the creation of the Brazilian Life Cycle Association (ABCV, acronym in Portuguese) in 2002. This association aims at the dissemination and consolidation of life cycle management in Brazil, working along with businesses, academic institutions, governments and organized civil society (ABCV 2015, see Ribeiro and Cherubini 2014).

Four years later, in 2006, a project for constructing the Brazilian Life Cycle Database started. The governmental institution responsible for this project was the Brazilian Institute of Information on Science and Technology (IBICT, acronym in Portuguese), which is a federal institute associated to the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry. In 2010 this project led to the creation of the Brazilian Life Cycle Assessment Program (PBACV, acronym in Portuguese). This program was approved by the National Council for Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (IBICT 2015).

The coordination of the program was delegated to INMETRO (National Institute for Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality) in cooperation with IBICT. The objective of PBACV is to “support the sustainable development and the environmental competitiveness of the Brazilian industrial production and promote the access to internal and external markets” (BRASIL 2010b, see Ribeiro and Cherubini).

Despite all these activities and the involvement of some industries in PBACV, the engagement of some key businesses was still lacking. Therefore, some key companies created the group “Brazilian Business Network for LCA”.

 
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