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Regional LCA: a European award for an innovative approach

(c) Irstea

05/09/2017

On Sunday, May 7, 2017, Eléonore Loiseau, a researcher at Irstea Montpellier,* was awarded the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) Young Scientist Award by SETAC Europe (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) during its annual conference in Brussels. This award recognizes the young researcher, member of the ITAP JRU [1] in the Elsa Competitive Cluster, whose research on evaluating the environmental impact of development scenarios while identifying pollution transfers between regions is a promising approach supporting ecological transition in regions.

Eléonore Loiseau developed the idea of regional LCA in her PhD thesis [2], defended in 2014. Her research is based on the assertion that for all regional development plans or projects, local stakeholders need quantitative evaluation methods to help them perform an extensive environmental diagnosis and compare the various possible development scenarios. Initially designed to evaluate the environmental impact of a product or service using a life cycle approach - from the extraction of raw materials through to the end of life - the methodological framework of LCA was adapted to regional assessments and applied to the Thau Basin, taking into account the range of production and consumption activities involved.

Eléonore continued her work on regional LCA by jointly supervising a dissertation on combining economic and regional LCA models to evaluate the economic and environmental performances of regional projects, as applied to the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park. She also supervised a dissertation on the inclusion of the effects of landscape fragmentation on biodiversity in LCA. The multidisciplinary nature of her research meant that she was recently able to participate in a review of the green economy as part of the PEER network of European researchers [3]. This led to the publication of 3 scientific articles and a technical report.

The Young Scientist Award that Eléonore received this Sunday will encourage her to continue her research and eventually to develop operational tools to ensure that the environmental assessment of regions becomes standard practice. The award was also a clear message of support for the young Itap-ACV team and the ELSA Competitive Cluster, created at the initiative of Irstea in 2009.

For further information

 

[1] ELSA Competitive Cluster

[2] Creation of a regional environmental evaluation process based on the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodological framework, as applied to the Thau Basin region, 2014, supervised by Véronique Bellon-Maurel and Philippe Roux, Irstea

[3] Publication. Towards a green economy