I am reporting here the content (unedited besides the bold parts) of a twitter thread I wrote recently. Just in case you don’t like social media…and I truly understand if you don’t. But if you do have twitter click on the tweet below for the original thread and especially to read the insightful comments!

Is LCA pseudo-science? For some yes, but not for all..

Got the confirmation today 1 that many academics in certain very pure universities see LCA as a pseudo-science. Applied stuff. Nothing new tbh, and I don’t completely disagree actually. What concerns me is that the LCA community is not really listening to such signals.

For the record, my answer to this is: one can keep things clean and play safe in a “pure science” environment. No stakes whatsoever. But in LCA we are close to policy, industry, stakeholders. Where decisions are made, interests clash, practice meets theory. Things get dirty.

There are definitely non-scientific aspects about many LCA-related products out there (studies, guidelines, standards, etc.). As academic the only stance I can get is full transparency, reproducibility, and independence. And integrity.

But I can’t avoid all the other non-scientific processes to happen out there. Only call them out for what they are. I am possibly one of the most critical towards LCA, and I believe we should all be. Huge limitations. My work is trying to improve its scientific content.

Maybe one day we’ll do without LCA2. For the time being, academics criticising this should either try doing it better or go back to their lab and keep quiet. And LCA practitioners blindly trusting the tool should really wake up and get a sense of what is the perception out there.

Note: this belongs to the same culture that won’t fund pure methodological LCA research because LCA is too applied to be fundamental science, and then complains or is shocked when sees LCA studies with poor methodological basis (sic!)

Not a secret that many LCA researchers most often must “sneak in” work on general LCA method development into otherwise domain specific research projects/proposals (e.g energy or agriculture or whatever) - you simply won’t get the money if you ask them for “LCA research”…


  1. Early November 

  2. Believe it or not, we won’t. There will always be somebody popping up with the brilliant idea: “…but what if we account also the impact of all the activities that are needed to…“ Better to get this LCA thing to work properly, it’s the only way out.