UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change

The UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF is an international centre of excellence in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and a leading source of innovative research on LCA and its application on mitigating climate change.

It was founded in December 2010 by agreement between the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), being ESCI-UPF (Barcelona, Spain) the host institution.

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We explore different ways to increase the sector’s sustainability through life cycle assessment of food throughout its supply chain, application of the principles of the circular economy, both to production and consumption, and the promotion of healthier and less environmentally impactful consumption habits.

Waste Management

We develop methodology and applications for better waste management. We foster an objective assessment of management options, looking for areas of improvement and helping in its communication.

Sustainable construction

In the future, it will be necessary to analyse the applicability of current LCA methods to high-complexity systems, such as Cities. These include more facilities and conceptual differences which should be tackled from a new perspective. They shouldn’t be considered as an addition of construction products and buildings. Instead, cities are a complex concept requiring a more holistic approach.

New materials

We do research by using our expertise for environmental, economic and social evaluation of new materials and technologies developed by the producers and provide them with sustainable development, eco-design and circular economy alternatives. By doing so, we can guide and inform businesses, manufacturers and policymakers about the environmental impacts of new products and technologies developed.

The Chair


To join efforts for research and education with partners across the globe in line with the principles defined by the UNESCO to streamline the life cycle perspective in decision making when dealing with sustainability challenges.


The Chair aspires to change the world for the better, being a national and internationally trusted source of high-impact research, policymaking, and business partnerships on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and circular economy, and their application on mitigating climate change.


  • Amplifying UNESCO’s and ESCI-UPF's work and mission: UNESCO and ESCI-UPF comparative advantage, relevance and added-value.
  • Applying knowledge to experience: Expertise in ecodesign, LCA, environmental communication and design of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) oriented to products, services and organisations.
  • Improving, sharing solutions for a circular economy: Innovation capacity.
  • Working globally to fulfill public administration, businesses and society's needs: Convening power and leadership on sustainability.



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