International research consortium on Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainable Transition

The Consortium aims to perform operational and strategic research via:

  • continuous improvement and development of robust life cycle and sustainability metrics and tools;

  • the integration of these metrics into complex modeling frameworks to identify strategies and pathways for a sustainable transition to net zero.

Academic partners

The Consortium benefits from the research expertise of several research institutions:

Previous collaborations

The Consortium benefits from the collaboration of industrial and governmental partners:

Scientific Program

The research program is articulated around three interconnected research axes.

To meet the challenges of reaching a net-zero future while limiting vulnerabilities and impact shifts, robust indicators are required to quantify the consequences of different courses of action and sort out which should be prioritized.

With this in mind, the first research axis aims to consolidate and further develop metrics and tools to assess sustainability in value chains, in particular with regard to environmental and social life cycle impacts. This axis builds on the experience and outcomes the CIRAIG helped develop in recent years. It is resolutely focused on pushing the boundaries of methodological advancement and establishing innovative approaches to pursue the development of robust, relevant and cutting-edge analysis, metrics and tools. Furthermore, the Consortium will continue to contribute to methodological development, consensus building and harmonization in environmental and social life cycle assessment by playing an active role in different international initiatives (ISO, UNEP, WBCSD, etc.) and collaborative projects.

This axis is divided into four main research themes.

  1. Improving flow modelling in value chains to model more representative and flexible life cycle inventories.
  2. Developing relevant environmental indicators by modelling the environmental mechanisms of emissions and resource consumption. 
  3. Developing relevant social metrics and creating effective cross-linkages with other fields and applications.
  4. Improving carbon neutrality roadmaps through life cycle thinking

Our global economy is a complex system that includes and extends beyond industrial value chains. Understanding how the system and humans within it react and directly impact business activities and policy decisions is key to a sustainable transition. Focusing on this complexity is necessary to reveal optimal sustainable transition pathways and understand the dynamics of change by assessing sustainability beyond individual products and embracing a system perspective that encompasses production and consumption activities. Because the life cycle approach is critical to identify potential impacts along value chains, there is a need to improve our understanding of the interconnections of complex systems at different scales (process, industry, society) by considering competing activities under constraints to reveal optimal solutions that account for scaling and rebound effects and anticipate trends with prospective modelling.

This research axis sheds light on the roles of the energy-material-impact nexus and renewables (materials and energy) in a changing environment to assess risks and opportunities for businesses with regard to optimal sustainable transition pathways. 

  1. Assessing the role of resource- and material-focused circular economy strategies to achieve sustainable decarbonization This theme aims to develop robust methodologies to measure the impacts and benefits of material-focused strategies and reveal optimal transition pathways toward a global circular economy.
  2. Assessing the role of energy to achieve a net-zero economy. This theme proposes research developments to explore opportunities to change the supply, demand, and connections between energy carriers.

Organizations are facing increasing pressure to achieve a sustainable transition towards net-zero while ensuring other interconnected sustainability challenges such as limiting biodiversity loss, managing resource scarcity and preserving their social licence to operate are addressed. Innovative applied and operational research, as well as analysis and tools that address the challenges faced by decision makers are key to support this transition.

This research axis aims to provide operationalized research to make the knowledge, tools and metrics that are developed useful to stakeholders to support strategic decision making, operational decisions and innovation. It includes two components:

  • Operational research closely connected to the partner’s needs
  • Applied analysis and tools for decision making

Becoming a partner of the consortium

Being a partner generates value for your organization:

  • Customized projects and support
  • Continuous access to leading-edge research and the state of the art
  • Sharing of practices
  •  Training

Example of past realisations

20 years of solid experience in the development and transfer of knowledge and tools to inform decision making in eco-design, responsible sourcing, strategic positioning, public policy guidance and decarbonization plans.

Leading the development of the Impact World+ and Aware environmental impact assessment methods.

Creation of the Quebec life cycle inventory database, covering 10 key sectors of the Quebec economy and integrated into the global Ecoinvent database.

Active member of international projects and committees, including ISO, UNEP, FAO and WBSCD.

Working group


Affiliated professors

Subscribe to our newsletter !