Innovation Talks

Innovation Talks

What is lifecycle assessment and why should I care with Jim Fava

September 25, 2023

Jim Fava is the former Executive Director of the Anthesis Group, an organization that supports businesses and governments in understanding and navigating risks and opportunities. Known for his holistic desire to make the world a better place, Jim has been deemed the “Father of Modern-Day Life Cycle Assessment” and regarded as one of the leading figures in the industry. A pioneer in sustainability, Jim has made significant contributions to the sustainability and environmentalism movement for more than 40 years. Today, alongside Neil D’Souza, Jim co-hosts Five Lifes to Fifty, a podcast that explores the intersection between society, business, environment, and technology and negotiating the path to sustainable products.

Jim joins me today to discuss product life cycle assessment and how it can help provide an understanding of impact over an entire product life cycle. He outlines three golden rules for life cycle assessment. He describes the applications and limitations of product life cycle assessment. He shares the story of how The Coca-Cola Company realized the impact of all materials and challenged its suppliers to be greener. Jim also highlights why, when designing a product, you have to think about not just sales, but also how it’ll be used, disposed, reused, recovered, and recycled.


“Life cycle assessment is a process that identifies environmental and social issues associated with a product and how those issues can occur at various stages of a product’s life cycle.” - Jim Fava


This week on Innovation Talks:

●     Three golden rules for life cycle assessment

●     Why there are no green products, only “greener” products

●     The stages of a product’s life cycle and the impacts throughout

●     Life cycle assessment from the perspective of innovation portfolios

●     Why life cycle information is essential, but not sufficient

●     Introducing the LCA Standards in the International Organization for Standardization

●     What Jim’s most proud of in his career


Resources Mentioned:

●     Book: Greener Products: The Making and Marketing of Sustainable Brands by Al Iannuzzi


Related Episode:

●     Golden rules for a sustainable business with Jim Fava

Connect with Jim Fava:

●     Podcast: Five Lifes to Fifty

●     Jim Fava on LinkedIn


This Podcast is brought to you by Sopheon


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