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Life Cycle Assessment: A Metric for the Circular Economy Editors: Aiduan Borrion, Mairi J Black, Onesmus Mwabonje


The print version of this book is planned for release on 24 March 2021. Information about this book is subject to change without notice.

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This book contains 400 pages.

Publication details


Copyright year
2021
Print ISBN
978-1-78801-445-8
PDF eISBN
978-1-78801-620-9
ePub eISBN
978-1-83916-136-0

About this book

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an established methodology used to quantify the environmental impacts of products, processes and services. Circular economy (CE) thinking is conceptual way of considering the impacts of consuming resources. By taking a closed loop approach, CE provides a framework for influencing behaviours and practices to minimise this impact. Development of the circular economy is a crucial component in the progression towards future sustainability. This book provides a robust systematic approach to the circular economy concept, using the established methodology of LCA. Including chapters on circular economic thinking, the use of LCA as a metric and linking LCA to the wider circular economy, this book utilises case studies to illustrate the approaches to LCA. With contributions from researchers worldwide, Life Cycle Assessment provides a practical, global guide for those who wish to use LCA as a research tool or to inform policy, process, and product improvement.

Author information

Dr Borrion is an LCA expert with over ten years’ experience in the field. She has performed and researched LCA for a wide range of applications in the engineering, design, food and energy sectors. She contributed her LCA expertise to the £27m BBSRC sustainable bioenergy centre (BSBEC) and is currently leading LCA research in both UK- and EU-funded projects. She led the development of UCL’s LCA CPD course entitled “Conducting a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): from Theory to Practical Application”, developed in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Since the launch of the course in 2016, it has attracted over 60 participants from 16 countries including USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Brazil and many European Countries. Alongside her academic post at UCL, Dr Borrion is the European Editor of Environmental Engineering Science, the official journal of the Association of the Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP). Dr Borrion has published in a wide range of highly impact journals, including Nature Energy.

Dr. Black has combined academic and industrial experience of applications of agricultural and forestry materials for non-food uses, which over time has incorporated LCA and Sustainability of supply chains for biofuels, bioenergy and biorefineries to comply with developing UK and EU policy requirements, and cement, leather and textiles industries in developing countries. She has worked on the issues associated with these developing industries i.e. land use/land use change, food vs. fuel and carbon accounting in forestry and agro-forestry, and has put LCA and sustainability assessment of biomass supply chains into practice in Europe, North and South America and Africa. She has previously worked for Du Pont (UK) Ltd, AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds (HGCA), USBiodiesel Group, and Drax Power Ltd and as a Research Associate at Imperial College London, Centre for Environmental Policy and Research Fellow at University of Surrey, Centre for Environmental Strategy.

Dr Mwabonje is a Research Fellow at Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP). He is currently working on the EU Calculator project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 with an overall aim of developing pathways towards the decarbonisation and resilience of the European economy in the time-frame 2030-2050 and beyond. He also co-manages the Bio-SuccInnovate project sponsored by Climate KIC. The objective of the Bio-SuccInnovate project is to ensure that Succinic acid produced using lignocellulosic feedstock is assured through the use of robust quantitative assessment criteria based on specified supply chains including GHG emissions reductions and broader Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) indicators. He is an experienced LCA practitioner, expert in assessing feedstocks for biomass and biofuels energy technology options.  He has conducted feasibility studies for renewable energy installations for various clients in the UK and has substantial international experience in managing projects for clients in the USA, Kenya and South America. He obtained his PhD in water and environmental health engineering from the University of Surrey, where his thesis focused on sustainable systems of wastewater treatment. Dr Mwabonje has a BSc in Chemistry from Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya and an MSc in Environmental Strategy from University of Surrey.