Thursday, 29 August 2013

LCM 2013 - Session on LCA Critical Review

On August 26, 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden, I co-chaired a lively conference session with Dr. Mary Ann Curran.

The session on LCA Critical Review (CR) at LCM 2013 was loud and informative. The speakers were excellent and well balanced from industry, academia and consultancies. The room was packed to overflowing (see image). From the high caliber questions and discussion it was apparent that numerous people in the room had experience on critical review panels, and care deeply about its success and effectiveness.

Several themes developed, resulting in some convergence of opinion around areas like the need for quality and rigour. There was good debate on areas such as when CR is actually necessary and what role reviewers need to play -- partner or third-party.
SB Young on stage at the LCM 2013 critical review session (photo by Johan Wingborg)
We concluded the session with a “quickfire” discussion that lasted about 20 minutes. Audience members were encouraged to provide short comments or questions, and the chair moved rapidly around the room, thus encouraging significant and energetic input from experts present, from the presenters to respond and from thoughtful observers on the theme.

Critical review rigour and quality is an area to watch in the future. One activity upcoming is the new ISO 14071 standard on Life cycle assessment -- Critical review processes and reviewer competencies.