Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Master's Degree Programme on BIOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
First Semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The course aims at providing students with concepts, definitions and metodologies to assess through a life cycle perspective the impacts generated by human activities on ecosystems and human health. Students become aware of the interdependency between production chains and environmental impacts generated throughout the chain for obtaining a product or a service.
The course also aims at providing the basic concepts of environmental certification according to the ISO 14000 standards, with regards to the most important EU directives on environment, energy and waste.


It is necessary to hold basic scientific knowledge for the understanding of environmental problems, human impacts on ecosystems, resources scarcity and related transformation processes (Chemistry, Physics, Ecology) together with basic informatics competences.


Definition and evolution of the concept of sustainable development. Environmental problems. Definition of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. Goal and scope definition. Choice of boundaries: physical, geographical, temporal. Impact categories. Data quality. Inventory of mass and energy flows. Environmental impacts assessment. Interpretation of results.
The allocation problem: partition of environmental impacts to products and co-products: mass allocation, energy allocation, economic allocation. System expansion and avoided allocation.
LCA and circular economy. LCA and agro-food chains. LCA and waste. LCA and energy systems. The 2030 Agenda, SDGs and the role of LCA.
Open source and commercial LCA software. Commercial and free database.
The environmental certification ISO 14000: environmental certification systems and their voluntary adoption - System of environmental management - ISO standards 14000/2015 - ISO standards 14040/2006 and ISO 14044/2006 for LCA
Environmental labels :
Standard ISO 14020/2002: Labels and Environmental declarations.
Standard ISO 14024/2001: Environmental declarations type I. Ecolabel.
Standard ISO 14021/2002: Environmental declarations type II. Auto-declarations.
Standard ISO 14025/2006: Environmental declarations type III. Definition of Product Category, PCR - Environmental Product Declaration, EPD.

Introduction to environmental sustainability. Environmental problems and climate change. Definition of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The LCA phases. Methodological aspects. Application of the LCA methodology to products and services. LCA software. Environmental certification.

Teaching Methods

Frontal lectures, use of the LCA software, lab exercises.


ILCD, 2010. The International Reference Life Cycle Data System. ILCD Handbook: General guide for Life Cycle Assessment: detailed guidance. Joint Research Center-Institute of Environment and Sustainability, European Commission. European Commission, Ispra, Italy. 414pp. It can be download at: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC48157/ilcd_....
ISO 14040 -14044 – 14020 – 14021 – 14024 – 14025
Publications and teaching material provided during the lectures.

Learning assessment

Oral examination

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