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Harvard School of Public Health

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Fall 2008

Department of Environmental Health and the Department of Health Policy and Management
Dr. G. Norris, Dr. J. Spengler
5.0 credits
Course offered 2008-2009. Offered alternate years.
Lectures, seminars, case studies. One 3-hour session each week. Additional special web Base software sessions.

Policy-makers, communities, civil society, academics and business leaders around the world are increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impacts of production and consumption.
Part of the response is the increasing use by industry and governments of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), a growing and diversifying set of methods for systems analysis of environmental, economic, and social impacts of products systems. This course will enable participants to develop a hands-on, in-depth understanding of the frameworks, principles, tools, and applications of life cycle assessment.

The course is designed to enable participants to become capable and self-reflective practitioners of LCA. Thus, we will delve into the methods of life cycle assessment, working practical problems of real-world significance using state-of-the-art software and data. Once we have developed a practical and in-depth understanding of these methods, we will go further, to consider the strengths, weaknesses, barriers and opportunities associated with current application of the methods in industry and policymaking. Finally, we will look at emerging US and global trends in life cycle methods and application, as this field is increasingly called upon, since the Johannesburg 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, to address the full spectrum of social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability. (8.06)


Course evaluations are an important method for feedback on the quality of course offerings. The submission of a course evaluation is a requirement for this course. Your grade for the course will be made available only after you have submitted responses to at least the first three questions of the on-line evaluation for this course.

Fall 2006

Department of Environmental Health and the Department of Health Policy and Management
Dr. G. Norris, Dr. J. Spengler
5.0 credits
Course offered 2006-2007. Offered alternate years.
Lectures, seminars, case studies. One 3-hour session each week. Additional special web Base software sessions.

Policy-makers, communities, civil society, academics and business leaders around the world are increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impacts of production and consumption.
Part of the response is the increasing use by industry and governments of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), a growing and diversifying set of methods for systems analysis of environmental, economic, and social impacts of products systems. This course will enable participants to develop a hands-on, in-depth understanding of the frameworks, principles, tools, and applications of life cycle assessment.

The course is designed to enable participants to become capable and self-reflective practitioners of LCA. Thus, we will delve into the methods of life cycle assessment, working practical problems of real-world significance using state-of-the-art software and data. Once we have developed a practical and in-depth understanding of these methods, we will go further, to consider the strengths, weaknesses, barriers and opportunities associated with current application of the methods in industry and policymaking. Finally, we will look at emerging US and global trends in life cycle methods and application, as this field is increasingly called upon, since the Johannesburg 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, to address the full spectrum of social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability. (8.06)


Course evaluations are an important method for feedback on the quality of course offerings. The submission of a course evaluation is a requirement for this course. Your grade for the course will be made available only after you have submitted responses to at least the first three questions of the on-line evaluation for this course.

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