Capacity-Building for Life Cycle Sustainability Management

Capacity-building for LCSM means a process of building (i) capabilities to use the range of LCSM topics (see Fig. 19.2), (ii) relationships among key stakeholders and users and (iii) awareness-raising on the importance of a holistic life cycle perspective covering social, economic and environmental aspects in decision-making. Training is just one element of the capacity-building process, which usually focuses on providing skills for a specific problem (e.g. by learning how to generate LC data or to use LCA software).

However, as can be seen from the example India, it does not make sense to provide technical training if the managers are not convinced that LCSM is the way to tackle sustainable development challenges in organizations. Therefore, a package of training courses is needed, including LCM CMM and technical assistance for its implementation in developing countries, as done between 2012 and 2013 (Swarr et al. 2015a, b).

The parameters analyzed in 18 countries show that multiple training activities on both LCA and LCM, so in Thailand and Brazil, found a critical mass of experts to contribute to mainstreaming LCSM. A critical mass is developing, due to emerging efforts, in South Africa, Turkey, the other Latin American countries analyzed and the Asian countries except Indonesia and the Philippines. In the two latter countries, the level of LCA training activities is at a very early stage.

In Egypt, Morocco, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, the offer of LCA and LCM training activities does not exist or is very limited. Consequently, mainstreaming LCSM cannot be envisaged in the short term, and the international community is asked for support in form of basic training activities.

LCA Studies and LCA Databases

The existence of LCA studies indicates the availability of local resources in terms of life cycle experts and tools and minimum funding to cover the costs of performing these studies. Subsequently, it also indicates the availability of some local foreground data, which can feed a national LCA database, so in China, Mexico, Malaysia and Thailand.

Survey findings in the area of LCA studies and LCA databases (beyond the list of countries with a database) are presented below:

• In Brazil, Chile, India, South Africa and Turkey, a breakthrough is expected, as international organisations (e.g. UNEP and the European Commission jointly) or projects (the ecoinvent project on Internationalisation (sustainable- as well as national organizations (e.g. Fundación Chile) are making progress with international and local resources.

• Colombia, Peru and Argentina are at an early stage of discussions on how to generate data and establish LCA databases (Quispe et al. 2014; see RPCV 2005).

• There is very little or no evidence of local LCA studies and no records at all concerning the development of databases in the remaining countries.

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