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102-0307-01L  Advanced Environmental, Social and Economic Assessments

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersA. E. Braunschweig, S. Hellweg, R. Frischknecht
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentOnly for Environmental Engieering MSc.

AbstractThis course deepens students' knowledge of environmental, economic, and social assessment methodologies and their various applications.
ObjectiveThis course has the aim of deepening students' knowledge of the environmental, economic and social assessment methodologies and their various applications.

In particular, students completing the course should have the
- ability to judge the scientific quality and reliability of environmental assessment studies, the appropriateness of inventory data and modelling, and the adequacy of life cycle impact assessment models and factors
- knowledge about the current state of the scientific discussion and new research developments
- ability to properly plan, conduct and interpret environmental assessment studies

In the course element "Implementation of Environmental and other Sustainability Goals", students will learn to
- describe key sustainability problems of the current economic system and measuring units.
- describe the management system of an organisation and illustrate how to improve its sustainability management (especially planning and controlling), based on current ISO management standards and additional frameworks.
- discuss approaches to measure environmental performance measurement of an organisation, including 'organisational LCA' (Ecobalance)
- explain the pros and cons of single score environmental assessment methods
- demonstrate life cycle costing from a sustainability viewpoint
- interpret stakeholder relations of an organisation
- (if time allows) describe sustainable supply chain management
ContentPart I (Advanced Environmental Assessments)
- Inventory database developments, transparency, data quality, data completeness, and data exchange formats, uncertainties
- Software tools (MFA, LCA)
- Allocation (multioutput processes and recycling)
- Hybrid LCA methods.
- Consequential and marginal analysis
- Impact assessment of waterborne chemical emissions, sum parameters, mixture toxicity
- Spatial differentiation in Life Cycle Assessment
- Workplace and indoor exposure in Risk and Life Cycle Assessment
- Subjectivity in environmental assessments
- Multicriteria Decision Analysis
- Case Studies

Part II (Implementation of Environmental and other Sustainability Goals):
- Sustainability problems of the current economic system and its measuring units;
- The structure of a management system, and elements to integrate environmental management (ISO 14001) and social management (SA8000 as well as ISO 26000), especially into strategy development, planning, controlling and communication;
- Sustainability Opportunities and Innovation
- The concept of 'Continuous Improvement'
- Life Cycle Costing, Life Cycle Management
- environmental performance measurement of an organisation, including 'organisational LCA' (Ecobalance), based on practical examples of companies and new concepts
- single score env. assessment methods (Swiss ecopoints)
- stakeholder management and sustainability oriented communication
- an intro into sustainability issues of supply chain management
Students will get small excercises related to course issues.
Lecture notesPart I: Slides and background reading material will be available on lecture homepage
Part II: Documents will be available on Ilias
LiteratureWill be made available.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course should only be elected by students of environmental engineering with a with a Module in Ecological Systems Design. All other students should take the individual courses in Advanced Environmental Assessment and/or Implementation of Environmental and other Sustainability goals (with or without exercise and lab).

Basic knowledge of environmental assessment tools is a prerequisite for this class. Students who have not yet had classwork in this topic are required to read an appropriate textbook before or at the beginning of this course (e.g. Jolliet, O et al. (2016). Environmental Life Cycle Assessment. CRC Press, Boca Raton - London - New York. ISBN 978-1-4398-8766-0 (Chapters 2-5.2)).