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May 10, 2018

Thoughts on Education for Sustainable Development

The concept of sustainability was first introduced to education at an international level by the UNESCO-UNEP International Environmental Education Programme in 1975, jointly administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) (Yarime & Tanaka, 2012). The term “Education for Sustainable Development; ESD” the United Nations first mentioned it in its Agenda 21, which was developed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and is now widely used (McKeown, 2002). In Chapter 36 of the agenda, ESD was described as a key strategy for meaningful, sustainable development in developed and developing nations. The United Nations realized that the strategy was important to help countries shift from the conventional to a sustainable form of education. It was also essential to take into consideration education into the process of sustainable development to tackle the environmental challenges and other development issues such as equity. The goal of ESD was to promote sustainable development and to improve the capacity of people to respond to environment and development challenges. For that to be attained, Agenda 21 articulated four components: (1) improvement of primary education, (2) reorientation of basic education to address sustainable development, (3) development of public awareness, and (4) training of capacities. These components focused on enriching human wealth through improving education, reducing environmental impacts, and improving the economy, while society is the starting point for all. However, since then, the concept of ESD and its implementations have shifted, advanced and changed as new concerns rose up.
May 14, 2017

Thoughts on Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data conversion

Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data conversion is a problematic task in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCI data are available in various structure and file formats in LCA software packages. Import and export of LCI will not be a successful task with most of the cases. When importing to an LCA software, a mapping file is needed in addition to the data to be imported. Otherwise, the process might be performed manually (manual insertion of flows, quantities, etc.). The several LCI data providers make their data available in MS-Excel file format which is very helpful for manual calculations with MS-Excel, but it is hard to import MS-Excel based data to LCA software packages. If the LCI data is prepared in ecoSpold (. XML) or ILCD file format, then the import processes would be much easier. However, if the LCI data are few, then it might be a much simpler and time-saving method if the data are inserted manually to the LCA software. If the LCI data contain large inventories, then the task would be complicated if no mapping files of the data are available to the end-user. Hence far, I found that the best path to import LCI data or to perform conversion from one file format to another is by using the format converter tool offered by OpenLCA (http://www.openlca.org/format-converter). This handy tool can convert the LCI data file format from one format to another including ecoSpold 1 and 2; ILCD; and CSV. Another way is by using the OpenLCA software itself, which offers data conversion from and to those file formats in addition to MS-Excel (. xlsx). The user can import the data first to OpenLCA and then export it to the desired file format. Once imported, the user can also explore the imported data in the OpenLCA environment and […]
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