Networking

The survey results and additional literature sources confirm the existence of national life cycle networks in all countries covered by the survey, except Egypt, Morocco, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. Where networks are operating, websites have been identified except in Turkey and Indonesia. A website helps to improve co-ordination and communication, and is a requirement for effective dissemination and communication.

The analysis of networking capacity is based not only on the amount of networks' members, but also on specific capacities measured as per the estimated number of life cycle practitioners per 10 million inhabitants in the country. 2014 population figures are used for these calculations (Worldometer 2014). The values presented in Table 19.2 range from 0.3 in Indonesia to 22 in Thailand.[1] This result suggests that a critical condition for mainstreaming LCSM is the number of experts available in the country.

Gender Aspects

Gender equity is a pre-requisite for sustainable development (UNCED 1992).

The survey results in Table 19.2 show differentiated developments in countries where valid information is available. The average indicates a value of 40 % female participation. Only in Thailand and Argentina did females comprise the majority. The figures were more balanced in Latin American countries, Malaysia and South Africa.

Table 19.2 Mainstreaming status in selected rapidly growing and emerging countries (a–d.1) showing the number of LCA practitioners per 10 million inhabitants and gender distribution in life cycle networks

Country

# of LCA practitioners per 10 Mio inhabitants

Proportion of women (%)

Mainstreaming conditions (Total = a + b + c + d.1) [0–9]

Thailand

22

56

9

China

7

42

8

Mexico

11

37

7

Brazil

4

31

7

Malaysia

10

40

6

South Africa

6

35

6

Argentina

10

73

5

Peru

7

39

5

Chile

18

38

5

Colombia

12

44

5

India

2

23

5

Turkey

4

24

4

Egypt

1

13

2

Indonesia

0.3

13

2

Philippines

nr

nr

1

The Russian Federation

nr

nr

0

Morocco

nr

nr

0

Saudi Arabia

nr

nr

0

nr not representative. No more than three persons have been identified in that country; hence, the result cannot be considered representative

Mainstreaming Conditions in Selected Countries

While Thailand ranks the highest score (with a total of 9) and has very favourable conditions for mainstreaming, the respondents argue that the market is still under development. With 22 LC practitioners per 10 million inhabitants, it is plausible that Thailand needs more capacity and experts to be able to cover the demand in more public policy areas and the private sector.

The conditions for mainstreaming LCSM in China, Mexico and Brazil, with scores of 7 or 8, are sufficient, but the fact that the market for LCA professionals is still relatively small suggests that the demand may need to be boosted by encouraging a strong uptake of LCSM within more industrial sectors and by enforcing current legislations or regulations. Expanding the number of LCA professionals per 10 million inhabitants in these countries, which rank below Thailand, is an urgent need in order to be able to grow with the market. This can be achieved, for instance, by having more universities provide education on LCA in natural science and engineering programs and on LCM in business schools and economic faculties.

The next set of countries – South Africa, Malaysia, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, India and Turkey – with 4–6 points, have conditions for mainstreaming LCSM in the right direction. However, they still lack two essential ingredients: the business case for companies and the political will (e.g. to establish a national LCA database or create a policy requiring the use of LCA) through which progress is acknowledged and financial resources are made available. Without this push, the impact of efforts made by the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, national life cycle networks or other groups at the global and regional level will go unnoticed (UNEP/SETAC 2009a).

There is a last group of countries that has not yet developed mainstreaming conditions (scores from 0 to 2). These countries require tailored strategies and outreach approaches by taking into consideration their major challenges, in co-operation with key players in that country. Funding a core group of potential leaders in the life cycle area and a nationally-recognized organization like the Chambers of Commerce – take the example of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in India – that can provide matching resources (e.g. experts' time, venues, etc.), is fundamental for any programme to be successful. The survey results concerning the number of LCA practitioners per 10 million inhabitants, the proportion of women in life cycle networks and the overall rating

regarding the conditions for mainstreaming LCSM are summarized in Fig. 19.1.

Fig. 19.1 LCA professionals per 10 million inhabitants vs. female participation and status of mainstreaming conditions

  • [1] The Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines were not considered in this part of the analysis, as the responses provided were not representative
 
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