Project summary

What about expanding the use of life cycle methods as a holistic approach when conceiving and implementing public policies related to environmental protection and resource efficiency?

The LCA4Regions has been contributing to a more effective implementation of environmental policy instruments by the application of Life Cycle Methodologies. How? Have a look at our journey!


from 1 Aug 2019
to 31 Jul 2023

Environment and resource efficiency

Why LCA4Regions?

Currently, many individual policies are implemented in isolation of others. On top of that, life cycle expertise resides mainly in the business sector while public authorities are much less familiar with the techniques and their functioning. However, the full success of policy implementation depends on similar expertise also in governmental authorities. The outcomes of improved public policy implementation are greater concordance with stated sustainability objectives, fewer unwanted side-effects and greater transparency in the compromises and offsets that need to be made to move ahead on sustainable economic targets.

Each project region has its own characteristics, methods of design and implementation of policies. Nevertheless, all of them face a common challenge: the adoption of a more efficient use of natural resources to reduce the non-desirable secondary effects (spill-overs) that generate negative economic and environmental impacts

Embark with us on our journey to the Life Cycle Approach!

Expected results:

7 Actions Plans to improve 7 policy instruments funded by the ERDF in the following regions: Navarre (ES), Satakunta (FI), Baixo Alentejo (PT), Lombardy (IT), Lodzkie (PT), Kaunas (LT), and Zahodna (SI).

This is achieved through, inter alia, intense local stakeholder group involvement, 7 Transnational Learning Journeys, exchanges of experiences, study cases and the compilation of good practices. These activities are intended to clarify the success factors and barriers for the application of life-cycle management approaches for policy implementation.

Action plans will contribute to:

1) improve policy instruments introducing the LCA in all steps of policy cycle management

2) Enlarge the circle of end-users that will benefit from making conscious decisions on resource efficiency and investments using the LCA

Discover the LCA4Regions Action Plans!

What policy instruments does the project address?

The strategy of the ERDF OP of Navarra 2014-2020 has been carried out considering the needs and challenges at regional level defined in the strategic territorial diagnosis (S3,

In this programming period, some of these issues are being addressed through the thematic objective 4 of the ERDF OP, which promotes measures to support energy efficiency, smart energy efficiency and management and the use of renewable energy.

In order to improve the policy instruments, it is necessary to introduce a more integrated and systemic approach that can consider all the impact generated by the policies. The Life Cycle Approach can improve the use of the natural resources by means of the minimisation of the spill- over effects that usually are generated by concentrate the policies only in one or two objectives

Thus, LCA methodology applied to this actions will help to encourage the transition to a low carbon economy and a more efficient use of resources. Moreover, the proposal of the Commission of the ERDF regulations fund 2021-2027Includes as specific objective OP2, a greener, lower-carbon Europe promoting a clean and fair energy transition, green and blue investment, the circular economy, climate adaptation and prevention and risk management. The application of LCA could generate better results in terms of reduction of waste and material flows and pollution that could be considered as the main challenges of the EU regions for the next ERDF programming period.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Government of Navarre
  • Industrial Association of Navarra-AIN

The competitiveness of Lithuania and its ability to restore and further enhance the welfare lost during the crisis is primarily built on the ability to innovate and launch new products, services, businesses, social processes and models. A very small share of enterprises implementing all types of innovations, introducing limited business expenditure on research and technological development, low commercialisation of the existing Lithuanian scientific potential signal the need for substantial changes.

Natural resources that are essential for the functioning of Lithuanian, European and global economies are becoming increasingly scarce; therefore in the long run only resource-efficient growth will be possible. According to the statistical data, Lithuania is still behind the EU-27 average in terms of the level of investment into eco-innovation and underestimates the technological, in particular resource-efficiency-based, breakthrough of SMEs, which determines the economic growth in the country.

Due to increased prices for materials, energy and other resources, it is important to encourage SMEs to implement eco-innovative products, processes and organisational eco-innovation. New or technologically upgraded production methods and service provision processes, also new business models and new management systems will give a competitive edge to SMEs, cut production costs, increase volumes and thereby contribute to the economic growth.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Kaunas University of Technology

Policies 1,2 and 3 of the Regional Programme have the objectives for development of competitivity and vitality. They fortify human activity and productivity as enterpreneurs and workers. They improve the vitality by enabling growth in areas of renewable industry, energy, food systems, bioeconomy, circular economy, as well as secure services and improve attractivity of regions by taking charge of conservation, protection, promotion, and development of natural and cultural heritage and biodiversity. Through LCA4Regions project these policies will obtain contents, and best practises that are collected throughout this project can be implemented. The implementation of the Regional Programme of Satakunta is funded by the Sustainable growth and jobs 2014-2020, Structural funds programme of Finland. Since Structural Funds are clearly diminished in the region in this programming period, it is essential to improve the governance of this funding instrument and increase the benefit from existing projects by wider dissemination and capitalisation. With LCA4Regions and interregional cooperation, the implementation of the Satakunta regional programme will be improved by providing more explicit and tangible support to promotion of new regional development models for the sustainable, resource-efficient economy. These actions also support the evaluation process and defining the implementation plan of the Regional Programme.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Pyhäjärvi Institute

The main objective is to promote the environmental, urbanistic and landscape quality of the territory as a distinctive factor. Some of the measures are the development of innovative solutions and pilot actions in the field of sustainable development, support to the monitoring of environmental parameters and qualification of the urban environment and consequent rehabilitation.

Taking into consideration that circular economy is considered in the national and regional policy instruments namely in the number 1 b) of article 40 of the specific regulation for competitiveness and internationalization and where is stated that must be developed projects that incorporate the principles of eco-efficiency and circular economy in order to promote more efficient use of resources, encourage the reduction and reuse of waste and minimizing the extraction and use of raw materials, one of the major issue is that regional entities should be able to improve their process and include LCA in there processes. There exists also the necessity to change the regional productive profile, through the incorporation of Innovation. The main challenge is to eliminate barriers that still exist on the processes, knowledge and innovation levels, which require the dissemination and diffusion of new knowledge, that should be carried out as a priority.

Which partners are working on this?
  • CIMBAL - Baixo Alentejo Intermunicipal Community

The Lombardy Region’s 2014 - 2020 Regional Operational Programme (ROP) under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) provides investment funds of nearly one billion euros (€970,474,516) with the priority objectives of the Region’s economic growth and social development as well as the enhancement of its productive capabilities. The ERDF ROP promotes a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth model in line with the objectives identified in the “Europe 2020” strategy and with the regional government’s development policies promoting the competitiveness and sustainability of its businesses and the entire economy of the Region. The ERDF ROP strategy lays emphasis on building an economy which uses resources efficiently, guides the development of new technologies and processes, and underpins Lombardy companies’ competitive advantages by making use of EU-wide networks, in line with the flagship initiative entitled “A resource-efficient Europe”. With this in mind, and in keeping with the provisions of the Environment and Energy Regional Programme measures to be taken under the ERDF ROP Axis IV have the main following aim: to reduce the energy consumed in public buildings and by public lighting.This must be done in connection with the sustainabe urban development. Through the Interreg project improvements can be done for the connection of the measures and to support the beneficiaries for the presentation of better proposals which take into account the potential multi-impacts.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Lombardy Region

The objective is to link the stakehodlers - economic entities, educational and research area, NGOs, authorities and individuals - in the value chain according to the principle of completed continuous flows, as well as to develop new business models for transition to a circular economy.

Goals till 2023 are:

a. Improve the material efficiency index from 1.07 (2011) to 1.50 (2020)

b. Establish 5 new value chains with the completed material flows

Focus areas and technologies:

1. Technologies for biomass processing and development of new biological materials

2. Technologies for the use of secondary raw materials and reuse of waste

3. Acquisition of energy from alternative sources

The implementation of the industrial symbiosis model represents a development opportunity not only for the chemical industry, which is one of the most competitive in Slovenia, but also for a range of traditional industries such as, for example, paper, wood and textile industry, agriculture and food processing industry and services. In the field of "Extraction of secondary raw materials", Slovenia does not show the disclosed comparative advantages.

The reason why it should be improved lies on the fact that there is a lack of credible industrial symbiosis model for transition of knowledge and technology from academia to industry. It should empower research area to incubate ideas further to scientific achievements, not only simple transition through licensing and patenting.

Which partners are working on this?
  • National Institute of Chemistry

The objective of the Regional Operational Programme is to increase the competitiveness of the Lodzkie Region, ensuring in parallel the improvement of living conditions of its inhabitants through the principles of sustainable development. The priorities are aligned with the EU 2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The specific objective of measure V.2 is the limited storage of waste in the region.

The effect of interventions undertaken in the area of environmental protection will be: improvement of adaptation to climate change, saving resources and protecting ground and surface water purity, improving the environment (especially biodiversity) and orientation of tourism in areas of natural value in accordance with the principle of sustainable development.

The implemented projects in the field of waste management will significantly contribute to the increase in the weight of waste other than landfilling, which will significantly affect the preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural environment, as well as the protection of natural resources.

Lodzkie sees the need of improvement of the ROP and well asits Waste management plan in relation to Life Cycle Assesment and dignosis of regional corelations and value chains.

Lodzkie will be able to improve and update regional development documents in order to implement LCA methodology and enviromental approach.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Lodzkie Region