The main objective of the project is to develop a sector-specific web based open source toolbox for boosting Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in SMEs. Selected sectors for the LCA to go project are Bio-based plastics, Industrial Machines, Electronics, Renewable energy, Sensors, Smart Textiles.

Industries assert LCA as the most successful tool to address environmental impacts during the design process but only large companies widely use this tool. One reason for the significantly low use of LCA approaches in SMEs is the high complexity and time input, resulting in increased expenses. Most of standards have a general perspective on life cycle and ecodesign but the implementation of suitable measures in the companies needs experts and well trained staff. SMEs on the other side do not have (in most cases) an environmental department to take care of the necessary coordination.

To overcome these barriers LCA to go focuses on dedicated needs, where sound and robust LCA data directly is of obvious, explicitly expressed business interests to SMEs.

project phases

LCA to go intends to provide a thorough sectoral guidance for SMEs and scientifically justified simplifications and to complement the standardisation activities with an SME oriented perspective.

LCA to go intends to prepare selected SMEs and help them to develop own life cycle optimized products.

A redesign cycle of the web based tools and a broad campaign to boost the application of LCA approaches in SMEs of the target sectors will be realised. These include the development of accredited training courses and numerous LCA to go seminars along with participation in leading technology conferences to get the engineering staff from SMEs involved.

Web tool development will follow an open source concept, providing for the end-user easy to use apps for most eminent needs (design support, interest in quantifying environmental benefits of a given technology, product or system).


As every sector is characterised by very specific needs regarding environmental assessments and data, a thorough dialogue with the SMEs on their particular interests comes first. Free webtools will serve dedicated needs of the target sectors, addressing the specifics of the technologies and implementing parameterised models, such as calculators for energy-break-even-point of photovoltaics, Product Carbon Footprints (PCF) based on technology parameters of printed circuit boards, energy profiles for passive electronic components based on the umbrella specification approach already implemented for material data, and Key Environmental Performance Indicators (KEPIs) for smart textiles. Selected Product Category Rules will be developed to provide a robust guidance for SMEs. The web-tools will be made available as open source software, to be adapted to other sectors. The approaches will be tested in 7 sectoral case studies, involving suppliers, end-product manufacturers and engineering companies.

at a glance
Total Cost:5.09 million Euro
EC Contribution:3.5 million Euro
Instrument:FP7, Small or medium-scale focused research project
Duration:48 months
Start Date:
Consortium:18 partners from 9 countries
Project Coordinator:Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

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