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Overview of the ORIENTING side event at the SETAC Europe Annual Meeting

Last May, the ORIENTING partners held a parallel event in the context of the SETAC Europe 33rd Annual Meeting 2023 in Dublin. This session, titled “Interpretation and integration in Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment: methodological challenges and the way forward in ORIENTING”, aimed to present the latest state of play of the project with emphasis on the integration and interpretation phases of the LCSA, to share preliminary findings and challenges identified after the application of the methodology in the context of some of the project’s case studies, and to exchange with the participants on specific methodological aspects.

During the event, that counted nearly 50 attendees, the partners introduced the ORIENTING project and presented two of the case studies to emphasize the choice of the weighting and aggregation approaches in relation to different decision contexts: Ternua and Stora Enso.

The session had also the participation of Cecilia Askham (NORSUS) and Marco Cinelli (Leiden University College) to present the work undertaken by GLAM (Global guidance for Life Cycle Impact Assessment and methods) Task Force on weighting.

After both presentations, the participants discussed with the ORIENTING partners about different topics, such as equity weighting, advantages and disadvantages of providing previously defined weights versus case specific ones, weighting information provided through survey questionnaires and the meaning of sustainability in ORIENTING.

The open and constructive discussion among participants led to the following main suggestions for the finalisation of the work:

  • ORIENTING should deliver a generic weighting scheme.
  • Users are hoping to test different weights within the tool and how these influence the results and/or conclusions.
  • The importance of clarifying what one seeks to do with the assessment, as this helps define which weight is wanted and which aggregation is preferred.
  • Alternatives approaches for the aggregation were suggested, for further tests.
  • The importance of clarifying that the single score will not be the «real» result of an LCSA study, but it is meant to complement it.

For more information about the event, you can find the presentations used on the session (ORIENTING and GLAM weighting) and the minutes.

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