Systems Science Friday Noon Seminar Series

One Government's Use of LCA: An Introduction



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The scale and extent of humanity’s global demand, in terms of total material output from the technosphere, has been estimated at 30 trillion metric tons and rising. Extracting, manufacturing, transporting, selling, using, and disposing of these materials and products has led to vast environmental impacts. This trend and its impacts are no different in Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is tasked with protecting the quality of Oregon’s environment. And so in December 2012, to address the rising demand for and impacts of materials, Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission adopted Materials Management in Oregon: 2050 Vision and Framework for Action. The 2050 Vision imagines a future where Oregonians “produce and use materials responsibly: conserving resources, protecting the environment, [and] living well.” It was informed and inspired by DEQ’s prior experience with life cycle assessment (LCA), and life cycle thinking is at the core of this Vision which “seeks to reduce environmental impacts by managing materials throughout all stages of their life cycle.”

To achieve the 2050 Vision, an array of new projects that employ LCA are now underway. This presentation will begin with an introduction to the concepts and methodologies of LCA and highlight a current project where Oregon DEQ is using LCA to reduce impacts of an essential building material, Concrete.

Biographical Information

Peter Canepa joined the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in January 2017, providing Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) expertise to Oregon’s Materials Management program. Peter’s primary role is to support projects, primarily through the application of LCA, that advance Oregon towards achieving its 2050 vision for sustainable materials management. Prior to this role, Peter spent 8.5 years with Thinkstep. Peter holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management and a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies.


Oregon. Department of Environmental Quality, Life cycle assessment -- Environmental aspects, Environmental impact analysis, Life cycle assessment -- Methodology


Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Natural Resources Management and Policy

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One Government's Use of LCA: An Introduction