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Life-LCA: Life cycle impacts of a human being

Project description:

Private consumption is responsible for around 72% of global CO2 emissions. Lifestyle changes (especially of people in industrialized countries) can make a significant contribution to sustainable development.

There are already different approaches to analyze the environmental impact of individuals and / or to stimulate a more sustainable way of life, including footprint calculators, regional studies (e.g. on Germany) or apps. However, these approaches often only consider one environmental impact or only certain stages of life, and are therefore too unspecific to reflect individual consumer behavior.

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) offers a way of analyzing a multitude of environmental impacts along the entire life cycle. Originally with the focus only on products and processes, there is now also a specific LCA method for human beings. The so-called “Life-LCA” can increase environmental awareness by measuring individually caused ecological impacts and contribute to more sustainable consumption by showing optimization and reduction potentials.

The idea of ​​the Life-LCA was pursued for the first time when the entrepreneur Dr. Dirk Gratzel made an inquiry to the Technical University of Berlin (TUB), whether it is possible to quantify the environmental damage he caused in the course of his life. Further, measures to reduce and compensate for caused impacts are proposed. The TUB carried out a pilot project and calculated his individual life cycle assessment.

The specific goals of the FG Sustainable Engineering are:

- Life cycle assessment of a human being

- Compensation for a person's remaining environmental impacts


Duration: 2017– open


Project partner:

• Dirk Gratzel (entrepreneur)

• TU Berlin

• Greenzero.me


Topics: Sustainable consumption, life-cycle assessment, compensation, resource efficiency


Further information:

• More details on the methodology can be found here:

Life LCA: assessing the environmental impacts of a human being — challenges and perspectives



• See data and tools (insert link if possible) for further information regarding data collection


• Website of the project partner greenzero.me



Public contributions on the topic:

·         Washington Times (Newspaper)


·         The Hindu (Newspaper)


·         Spiegel Magazin


·         Zeitfenster Aachen - Lecture by Dirk Gratzel




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