Life Cycle Initiative

Fostering and Communicating Product Chain Information

Value chain actors play an important role in shifting the behaviour and lifestyles of customers in favour of sustainable consumption. In order to cope with their joint responsibility to promote sustainable consumption, retailers and manufacturers are in need of a collective strategy. Such efforts will make it possible to effectively influence the existing consumption patterns while at the same time promote sustainable production along supply chains.

Networking on life cycle approaches

In this vein, the UNEP/SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) Life Cycle Initiative (LCI) project aimed to develop new forums that bring together value chain actors to create leading edge sustainability networks. Over one thousand life cycle experts worldwide worked collectively to provide guidance and build awareness for life cycle approaches to environmental problems.

Building upon shared responsibilities within value chains

Two workshops were organised to bring together the different value chain actors. The first Expert Meeting held in January 2009, in Paris, France, focused on life cycle thinking in the retail sector. Participants recognised the significant potential for sustainability actions within the retail sector and reemphasised the shared responsibilities of retailers and manufacturers to promote sustainable consumption and production.

The challenge to improve product life cycle information

The second workshop was held in April 2009 in Wuppertal. This workshop brought together over thirty key actors under the title “How to work collectively to enhance the communication of product chain information to consumers?” This unique event enabled discussion among major retailers and manufacturers on the main challenges to promote sustainability in value chains.

The workshops were organised by the CSCP on behalf of the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative (LCI).