Our projects

Open source Input-Output LCA model and tool to estimate life cycle impacts of products and services

Biomass energy, or bioenergy, is energy produced from renewable biomass, for which the assessment of environmental impacts through life cycle assessment (LCA) presents a number of challenges, in particular methodological ones. The general objectives of this study are to analyze current practices for carrying out LCAs of biomass energy, and to provide recommendations on current and future best practices.

Food choices have a significant climate impact, which can be unknown to the public. The CIRAIG, commissioned by Polytechnique Montréal, has been tasked with calculating the climate-warming impact of the menus offered by the cafeteria, aiming to enable students to understand the impact of their meals and change their eating habits to reduce it.

Circular Transition Indicators

Designed for business by business to unleash the transformative power of the circular economy, Circular Transition Indicators v4.0 offers a universal and quantitative framework for evaluating how circular a company is.

This report presents the inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to the consumption of the Montreal community for the year 2017. The inventory covers all activities and operations taking place within the Montreal community, including household purchases and activities, spending by the Ville de Montréal itself, capital investments (e.g. the purchase of buildings or machinery) taking place within the community, as well as federal and provincial government spending benefiting the community.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive use of medical masks, two life cycle analyses were conducted to evaluate the environmental impacts of end-of-life management of single-use masks used in Quebec, but also of different types of reusable and single-use masks.

CIRAIG contributed to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report “Single-use supermarket food packaging and its alternatives: Recommendations from life cycle Assessments”. This report compares the environmental impacts of single use plastic packaging versus alternative options for supermarket food, intended for home consumption, and provides recommendations to policy makers.

Nine Pilot projects were launched to test the application of the UNEP 2020 Guidelines of Social Life Cycle Assessment of Products and Organizations and their submitted reports are presented in the subsequent chapters of this document. The latter applies Social LCA to products, services, and organizations and showcases the benefits and challenges its implementation entails, as well as recommendations to overcome them. The road testing is very diverse: the UNEP Guidelines were applied to different sectors (automotive, metal, food, Cosmetic, plastics packaging), in different companies ranging from multinationals to sector associations, and across 5 continents (Germany, Italy, Indonesia, India, US, Ghana, Ecuador).

This Charter is governed by 13 principles that are expressed in the form of 3 commitments, namely: To guarantee human rights in the digital age; To ensure the primacy of the general interest and the common good; Putting data to work for the future.

The Circular Economy Action Agenda is a rallying call for businesses, governments, researchers, consumers and civil society to work together to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Since its first edition in 2009, the practice of social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) has evolved from a small circle of academic practitioners to one that now includes stakeholders from industry, policy makers, and business. This means having updated information and guidelines that do not need prior à understanding of lifecycle approaches. It also means ensuring that the right tools are in the hands of those who can inform the decision-making processes. These updated Guidelines fulfils both these objectives.

Sara Russo Garrido participated in the full formal academic review of the Product Social Impact Assessment Handbook with the Product Social Impact Assessment Partnership led by Pré Sustainability.

A database containing information about 17 OECD jurisdictions using and promoting life cycle approaches in their public policies.

Canadian Analytical Framework for the Environmental Evaluation of Electricity

Sustainable maritime and coastal management following an integrated approach combining the assessment of ecosystem services on a territorial scale under a life cycle perspective

An object class to hybridize lifecycle assessment (LCA) and environmentally extended input-output (EEIO) databases

Integrating potential environmental impacts of marine litter into LCA

Article published in “Sustainability”: Carbon Footprint of Beef Cattle by Raymond L. Desjardins, Devon E. Worth, Xavier P. C. Vergé, Dominique Maxime, Jim Dyer and Darrel Cerkowniak.

This book, written under the auspices of the Institute for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Circular Economy (IEDDEC), presents the reflections of some fifty experts, notably in environment, industrial or chemical engineering, management, but also in economics, geography, anthropology and philosophy.

Gestimat makes it possible to perform comparative analyses of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to the manufacture of materials (from cradle to factory door) for various building structure scenarios. The CIRAIG helped in calculating inventory data for the Gestimat project by Cecobois.

A group project on the assessment of use and depletion of water resources within LCA

The EDDEC Institute, which brings together the expertise of researchers from Polytechnique Montréal, HEC Montréal and the Université de Montréal working on the transition to a circular economy, has carried out a research project to evaluate the circularity potential of three strategic metals for Québec: copper, lithium and iron. This project also made it possible to determine the main environmental impacts of these metals along the value chain. The final report summarizes this work, the detailed results of which are presented in the progress reports below.

As part of the public consultation on the issues and impacts of a ban on single-use shopping bags in retail businesses on the territory of the City of Montréal, the CIRAIG produced a brief to provide its thoughts on the life cycle of shopping bags. These thoughts are both environmental and socio-economic in nature, with the inclusion of social life cycle analysis concepts, and may serve to fuel the debate within the City of Montréal. Since knowledge on the subject is limited, this document provides the avenues of study needed to fully understand the potential impacts of implementing a policy to reduce the use of single-use bags in the Montréal context.

O-LCA is envisioned for organizations of all sizes, both public and private, in all sectors, and all over the world. We devoted special efforts to make the new methodology operative for all of them. Furthermore, the guidance document defines the so-called “experience-based implementation pathways” and provides particular methodological support according to previous experience of the organization with other environmental tools. Eleven experiences of the so-called “First Movers” of O-LCA illustrate the process and benefits that the methodology could bring to organizations. Eight sectors and four regions are represented in the case studies.

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