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LCA Practice & Reporting


Title course: LCA Practice and Reporting

Coordinator(s): Jeroen Guinée and Bernhard Steubing

Other involved teacher: Reinout Heijungs

Entry requirements

This course is part of the MSc Industrial Ecology (joint degree between Leiden University and Delft University of Technology). MSc-IE students should have attended and successfully completed the ‘Analytical Methodologies and Tools (4413ANMT6Y)’ course or the course ‘Methods: Analysing Physical Processes (4413MAPPT)’. All participants are expected to have basic knowledge of environmental science and basic knowledge of matrix algebra.

For students of the master’s programme Industrial Ecology that intend to do their Thesis Research Project on a topic which involves LCA or is closely related to LCA with a first supervisor from CML, this course is mandatory.”

Description course

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a science- and evidence-based method for quantifying the environmental burdens and impacts related to the whole life cycle of a product or service system. LCA is and has been used to analyze and asses a wide variety of product/service systems, ranging from packaging materials to national waste management or energy scenarios, and from building materials to food products.

Learning goals:

This course aims to provide sufficient scientific and practical skills to perform an attributional life cycle assessment study on your own.
After this course, students should be able to individually:

  • Draft a concise, to-the-point proposal for their own LCA research including a brief literature review

  • Perform a methodologically consistent and proper LCA study

  • Create and develop a proper LCA model in CMLCA

  • Present and analyze results, identify problems and propose solutions

  • Plan and monitor research

  • Report an LCA study and its findings transparently and comprehensively

  • Identify, justify and report LCA's key methodological assumptions and choices

  • Critically evaluate and discuss the possibilities and constraints of their LCA study

Education format

The final grade is based on the research proposal (10%), presentation (10%) and case study report including the LCA model developed with the CMLCA software (80%); the grade of case study report and CMLCA file together should at least be 5.5 to pass the course.

Class schedule

The course starts with an intensive theory week (5 days; 9 to 5). After this week students will perform their own LCA study. A minimum of 80% attendance is required for the theory week.

Assessment forms

During the period in which students are working on their LCA case study a one-day meeting will be organized at which students present their progress and preliminary results to their fellow students while receiving and providing valuable feedback for finishing their research and report.
While performing their LCA research students will have access to a forum through which they can discuss possible bottlenecks and exchange tips. The instructors will closely monitor the discussions and join when appropriate.


MS Teams and/or Brightspace Leiden will be used for communications and distributing study material.


MSc Industrial Ecology students can register for the course and exam via uSis. Other students need to contact the study advisors of the programme via