Life Cycle Assessment for sustainable solutions

Northwestern University’s Science Café presents

The Full Cycle

Life-Cycle Assessment Expert Looks for Sustainable Solutions

Presented by Assoc Professor Eric Masanet

Chemical and Biological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Which is better for the environment: Paper or plastic? 

Local or imported foods?  Printed or digital media? 

Answering such questions requires a holistic environmental analysis approach known as life cycle assessment (LCA). 

And when we perform an LCA, the answers can sometimes surprise us. 

Come join us to learn about how LCA works, who's using LCA to make decisions, and how it's been applied to provide science-based answers to some interesting environmental questions.   

You may never look at products the same way again!


Free parking across street.

You can order and eat dinner during the presentation.  The burgers are great!

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  • Ronnie

    Very clear presentation. Good examples.

    January 15, 2014

    • Bob M

      Too bad I had to miss it.

      January 15, 2014

  • Bob M

    20 years ago Garbage Magazine used to perform these studies and print the results. It was published by the writers of Old House Journal but it ran for only 3-4 years. It was a great magazine that the average person could understand and they drew readers in with interesting stories.. Their toxic enemy number one was chlorine. Other chemicals were more toxic but chlorine is used in so many ways. I won't tell you the conclusion of their paper v. plastic study; but there is some new data on this topic.

    The magazine eventually folded because they couldn't resolve the appearance of a conflict of interest between their studies and advertisers. How do you prove the magazine isn't being influenced by the paper manufacturer with an ad on page 7 and not offend them by saying their product uses too much bleach?

    Too bad I've got a conflict Wednesday.

    1 · January 14, 2014

    • Bob M

      Garbage Magazine's conclusion on paper versus plastic: from cradle to grave the two are about equal in toxicity because of the large amount of energy used in producing paper bags and the toxicity of the chemicals in the plastic bags.

      January 15, 2014

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