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Pilot projects on Guidelines for social life cycle assessment of products and organizations 2022

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).

Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) is a methodology developed in order to assess the negative and positive social impacts of products and services, along their life cycle. Guidelines for S-LCA were first published in 2009 as a project of the UNEP/SETAC Life cycle Initiative (today UN Environment Life Cycle Initiative). In the last 10 years, further developments and numerous implementations have been carried out, defining in more detail the methodology, its indicators and impact assessment methods. After those ten years, a revision of the current version of the Guidelines became necessary. The project for the revision of the Guidelines of Social Life cycle assessment of Products, and the related Methodological Sheets started in September 2017 led by Social LC Alliance. the review project was sponsored by the UNEP Life Cycle Initiative from May 2018 on. The project was designed with two main phases:
  1. Methodological review of the Guidelines and update of methodological sheets
  2. Implementation of the new Guidelines in pilot projects
This report presents the submitted reports of nine pilot projects conducted between 2019 and 2022 to test the applicability of the Guidelines as well as the benefits and challenges in its implementation.

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