Quantis teammates Jon Dettling, Sébastien Humbert, Xun Liao and Melissa Zgola are headed to LCA XVII, taking place on October 3-5. A landmark in the North American ecosystem of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) practitioners, it gathers upwards of 60 speakers from a variety of industries, academia, policy-makers, non-profits and other partners in sustainability. Ahead of the event, Quantis Senior Sustainability Consultant Melissa Zgola sat down for a Q&A to give her take on top topics and practical learning opportunities.
1+ Quantis is a long-standing sponsor of the event: what brings the team back every year?
Melissa Zgola: ACLCA organizes the largest annual LCA conferences in North America. It is therefore essential for Quantis to attend en force, as it is an ideal opportunity to share and debate insights with leading LCA practitioners. We have regularly attended the event and Quantis’ US Director Jon Dettling now represents Quantis with a seat on the ACLCA board, where he can help set the tone for the future of LCA.
2+ What is Quantis presenting this year?
MZ: We’ll be presenting on quite a few topics that show our latest solutions for the advancement of LCA. We’re fortunate to be given such a prestigious platform and we plan to take full advantage of it:
First off, we can’t wait to promote the newly released Land Use Change Guidance and get a sense of how our audience engages with the proposed approach to GHG accounting from land use change and deforestation in corporate supply chains.
As the European Product and Organization Environmental Footprint initiative prepares to enter its transition phase, we’ll be looking into how an LCA-based approach to product labeling may have major implications for North American businesses.
We’ll be demonstrating how regionalized agricultural LCA help practitioners streamline the generation of high-resolution crop production datasets anywhere in the world.
Leveraging our work with a consortium of ICT companies and MIT, we’ll also be showing how robust parametric LCA models support early-stage design decisions for complex and rapidly evolving product categories.
3+ Which LCA and sustainability topics do you expect to generate some debate?
MZ: I’m sensing a global drive towards more transparency and accuracy in lifecycle thinking, with more and more sectors getting on board by the day. This means we’ll probably be hearing a lot about making LCA more actionable for business. I’ll be particularly interested in hearing how LCA can promote the global shift to renewables and the circular economy, while we keep working on acknowledging uncertainty and knowledge gaps in our models.
4+ Are there any “not-to-be-missed” sessions?
MZ: In line with our belief LCA drives market-ready solutions for a more sustainable future, I’ll personally be keeping tabs on how it can contribute to policy-making, inform battery and storage technology choices, help us better understand the life cycle impact of chemicals and, last but not least, salute industrial leadership in the net positive and footprinting initiatives.
A Senior Sustainability Consultant with Quantis, Melissa Zgola specializes in using Life Cycle Assessments and other metrics-based approaches to help agri-food and consumer goods businesses evaluate, improve, and communicate their operational and product environmental performance. She holds a Technology and Policy Program masters’ from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s in Environmental Engineering Technology from Cornell University.