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Life Cycle Management
How business uses it to decrease footprint, create opportunities and make value chains more sustainable
UNEP - Life Cycle Initiative - SETAC

About this document
Who should read this issue brief?
This issue brief can be given to company inhouse experts and non-specialist managers as well as company suppliers so that they can learn how to apply life cycle managementpractices throughout the value chain. This is a very practical guide that can be read by all managers and employees – from those at the “front line” working directly with suppliers, to people on the production line or in the warehouse, or staff dealing with marketing, design and development. What is vital (as the case studies underline) is that the message of sustainability and the concept of lifecycle management spread out along the value chain – both inside and outside the company.

Why read this issue brief?
This issue brief outlines a business approach that goes beyond short-term success and aims at long-term value creation: life cycle management. It gives examples of how global businesses are using it to reduce, for instance, their products’ carbon, material and water footprints, aswell as improve the social and economic performance of their offerings in order to ensure a more sustainable value chain. These efforts improve a company’s performance, strengthen corporate credibility and stakeholder relations and enhance shareholder value. Traditionally, the focus on improving production conditions has been at a local level. Today, as more products (goods and services) aretraded regionally and globally, we need international initiatives that incorporate life cycle thinking and approaches to help businesses respond to the challenges posed by today’s global marketplace.

What does this issue brief cover?
This issue brief gives a clear and practical introduction to life cycle management by:
● ●

Explaining key concepts in plain language Giving “real-life” examplesof how businesses put these concepts into practice Outlining why life cycle management business practices are so important to businesses





Describing some of the key tools that businesses can use Providing a list of resources that readers can use to find more information on sustainable business practices





Discussing a way forward for businesses towards the vision of thesustainable value chain.

Life Cycle Management
How business uses it to decrease footprint, create opportunities and make value chains more sustainable

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Acknowledgements
Producer
This Guide has been produced by UNEP and SETAC.

Editor
Winifred Power, Power Editing

Supervision, technical editing and support
UNEP DTIE (Sonia Valdivia, Guido Sonnemann), SETAC (Michael Mozur), GeraldRebitzer (Alcan Packaging), Allan Jensen (Force Technology) and Brigitte Monsou (ADDE).

Contributors
Atherton, John, ICMM; Fava, James, Five Winds International; Jensen, Allan, Force Technology; Mozur, Michael, SETAC; Sandberg, Per, WBCSD; Rebitzer, Gerald, Alcan Packaging; Sonnemann, Guido, UNEP DTIE; Swarr, Tom (former UTC); Tantawy Monsou, Brigitte, ADDE; Valdivia, Sonia, UNEP DTIEEditing
Power Editing, Ireland

Design
JDK Design, Ireland

Photography
Most of the pictures were purchased from iStockphoto

Contributions
UNEP and SETAC would like to thank everybody who has contributed to this Issue Brief providing valuable background, ideas, and comments, especially the contributors and the companies who provided examples: Dora Almassy (Veolia), Emmanuelle Aoustin(Veolia), Gina Downes (Eskom), Lienne Carla Pires (3M), Gerald Rebitzer (Alcan Packaging), David Russell (Dow), Wulf-Peter Schmidt (Ford of Europe), Wayne Wnuck (UTC). Thanks also to Bernard Mazjin, Ghent University for their comments.

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Contents
Acknowledgements Acronyms Foreword Executive summary
So what is life cycle management?

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The business case for life cycle...
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