The Life Cycle Initiative is a public-private, multi-stakeholder partnership enabling the global use of credible life cycle knowledge by private and public decision makers.
Hosted by UN Environment, the Initiative is the interface between users and experts of Life Cycle approaches. It provides a global forum to ensure a science-based, consensus-building process to support policies. It delivers authoritative opinion on sound tools and approaches in order to achieve global goals more efficiently.

Implemented in

  • Africa
  • Asia / Pacific
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • North America

Sectors of activity
Environmental Services, Scientific Research, Development and Innovation, Industrial Sector

Type of initiative
Research, Analysis, Assessment

Start date


The Life Cycle Initiative works in partnerships to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and Nationally Determined Contributions for the Paris Agreement faster and more efficiently by bringing Life Cycle Thinking to the mindsets of decision makers with the practical knowledge and tools to enhance the sustainability of their decisions. Partnerships are targeted with key global initiatives such as the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Global LCA Data Access network (GLAD), as well as relevant regional or national initiatives such as Europe’s Environmental Footprint or China’s National Green Product Policy.
The Initiative fosters progress towards sustainable development in two ways. First, it advances the understanding of life cycle thinking by private and public decision makers and of the decision-making process by life cycle experts. This is in order to improve decisions that need assessing, and comparing products, technologies, lifestyles and economy-wide choices.
Second, the Initiative builds consensus on, and facilitates access to environmental, social and economic life cycle knowledge (LCA data, methods, indicators, etc.).


As collected through the One Planet Reporting

Output level

Knowledge resource and technical tool

  • Global Guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment Indicators and Methods (GLAM)
  • The Sustainable Consumption and Production Hotspot Analysis Tool (SCP-HAT)
  • Global Life Cycle Assessment Data Access network (GLAD)
  • Global Best Practices on Emerging Policy Issues of Concern under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
  • LCA Technical Helpdesk

Training for SCP

  • Life Cycle Thinking E-Learning Modules

Impact and Results

In its new 2017-2022 phase, the Life Cycle Initiative aims, by 2022, to:

Mainstream the use of Life Cycle Thinking into at least four global areas of decision- and policy-making for sustainable development, showing positive impacts towards the achievement of global agenda goals through partnerships in at least 15 countries and 30 companies.

Train at least 2,500 policy makers, business decision makers, and LCA practitioners on the ways Life Cycle Knowledge can be best used in enhancing the effectiveness of decisions / policies towards sustainable development, and share at least 20 impactful success stories on how Life Cycle Thinking has improved the positive impact of their decisions.

Offer a solution to access all LCA databases globally in an interoperable way, alongside a library of recommended impact assessment factors linked through a global nomenclature system for priority (environmental, social and economic) impact areas defined by policy and industry users.

Next steps and how to get involved

There are two ways to get involved in the Life Cycle Initiative.

Become a member:
The Secretariat of the Life Cycle Initiative invites you and/or your institution to join us as we move into an exciting and highly active period, delivering strong results for all stakeholders in the years to come. Please download the membership application form (available here: and return signed to

Become a funding partner:
Sponsors may provide core funding and additional, programmatic funding to the Initiative.
Funding partners can gain visibility as a supporter – through conferences, reports, our website and newsletters. Additionally, they can exert influence by maintaining close links to the debate, the discussion spaces and Assembly. Finally, funding partners can access advice and expertise through a global forum of experts and practitioners. For more information, including funding rules please visit our website (available here: