Chapter 2: Evolution of life cycle thinking as part of the global sustainable consumption and production agenda
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Life cycle thinking (LCT) enables the identification of hotspots, or points in the life cycle where the greatest sustainability impact occurs, and helps to inform decisions about product design, production processes and end-of-life management. It also helps to promote more sustainable product design and development by encouraging the use of environmentally friendly materials and processes throughout the entire product life cycle. As such, LCT has gained more and more relevance throughout the last decades and serves nowadays as the basis for various sustainability methods, approaches, policies and regulations. This chapter traces the history of how LCT developed over time, provides an overview of a few key actors involved in the promotion of LCT in the past through to the present day, and lays the foundation for next steps and future actions to accelerate the application of LCT.

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