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Seminar Series - Life cycle approaches supporting progress towards the SDGs

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3rd Seminar Series of the Imperial Life Cycle Network, with Dr Llorenç Milà i Canals of the UN Environment Programme Life Cycle Initiative

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UNEP Life Cycle Initiative's work to support progress towards the SDGs with life cycle approaches

Life cycle approaches are indispensable to Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), and more generally to the Sustainable Development agenda. Conscious of this, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) set up in 2002 the Life Cycle Initiative (then labelled UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative), to enable the global use of credible life cycle knowledge. The Initiative structures its work towards achieving the 2030 Agenda goals faster and more efficiently by ensuring that key decisions and policies are informed by life cycle thinking, and thus target the key hotspots / drivers of impacts while addressing unavoidable trade-offs. At the highest level, this work of the Life Cycle Initiative provides technical and policy advice and tools in key processes and sectors, such as the design of national SCP and climate change strategies, UNEP’s approach to tackling plastics pollution, or better ways to assess life-cycle toxicity of chemicals in products in the context of SAICM, to name a few. And this is grounded on programmes to develop further capacities to apply life cycle approaches globally, and to ensure that the necessary life cycle knowledge is available, agreed, accessible and interoperable. The seminar will illustrate these programmatic areas with examples of where the work of the Life Cycle Initiative is contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals or the Paris Agreement, and will offer opportunities for the audience to engage in this process.

Speaker summary

Dr Llorenç Milà i Canals, Head of the Secretariat of the UN Environment Programme Life Cycle Initiative

Llorenç is the Head of the Secretariat of the Life Cycle Initiative, based in Paris. The Life Cycle Initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership launched in 2002 and hosted by UNEP, with the aim of enabling the global use of credible life cycle knowledge by private and public decision makers. It currently joins the efforts of over 100 institutions (governments, businesses, and science and civil society) as well as hundreds of individual experts that contribute to the improvement and sharing of life cycle knowledge, and its use in policy and decision making. Llorenç joined UNEP’s office in Paris to lead its life cycle thinking work in 2013, after working in academia and industry in Spain and the UK. He works across teams in UNEP to embed the intelligence of life cycle systems thinking into programmes such as the One Planet network, the International Resource Panel, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, etc. and key partnerships such as the New plastics Economy Global Commitment with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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