Liselotte Schebek, Local Organizing Team, TU Darmstadt, Institute IWAR

The SETAC Europe 25th Life Cycle Assessment Symposium will be held from 28–30 September 2020 in Darmstadt, Germany. Its overarching theme will be “The Role of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in Raw Material Sustainability, Circularity and Criticality.”

The extraction, processing and use of raw materials are associated with global environmental impacts such as climate change, soil degradation and loss of biodiversity. The development of concepts for the sustainable use of resources is, therefore, gaining in importance in research and development. The circular economy is one of these concepts and follows the idea of minimizing resource input, waste, emission and energy leakage by slowing, closing and narrowing material and energy loops. When assessing the sustainability of such concepts, it is important to consider the criticality of the materials used. Based on existing concepts of criticality, materials that combine a high economic importance with a high risk of supply distribution can be identified. LCA contributes in identifying environmental impacts from extraction of critical materials.

The symposium focuses on LCA as a methodology to assess the sustainability of raw material consumption. The proposed sessions of the scientific program cover the most important economic sectors and interest areas associated with the consumption of raw materials such as industry, building, mobility, energy, waste management and bio-economy, and include innovative technologies and products as well as cross-cutting organizational and management approaches and transition pathways of society.

As the local organizer, the Chair of Material Flow Management and Resource Economy (SuR – Stoffstrommanagement und Ressourcenwirtschaft) hosts this symposium at the Institute IWAR of Technische Universität Darmstadt. The Institute IWAR, comprising five chairs, provides a broad range of environmental research, covering water supply, wastewater technology and management, circular economy and spatial planning. The SuR chair has a focus in the fields of resource and energy efficiency and circular economy, using life cycle assessment, material flow analysis and scenario analyses as methodological approaches for sustainability assessment.

By hosting the symposium, we wish to provide an inspiring setting for a scientific discourse, in view of developing a future resource and energy efficient economy. The SuR chair invites researchers, practitioners, policy makers and experts from academia, business, governmental and non-governmental organizations to join the symposium.

Abstract submission will be open from 2 March to 4 June 2020. Authors are invited to submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation during that time.

Upcoming Deadlines

  • 6 April: Open online registration
  • 4 June: Abstract submission closes
  • 10 August: Early bird registration and presenter registration deadline
  • 31 August: Late registration deadline

About Darmstadt

Darmstadt is located in the southwest of Germany, in the middle of the Rhine-Main area, an economically strong metropolitan region in the middle of Europe. The neighborhood to Frankfurt, Offenbach, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Mannheim and Heidelberg favors intensive cultural, scientific and economic interlinkages. The low mountain range Odenwald, close to Darmstadt, offers the immediate possibility for recreation and sports activities in nature.

Darmstadt – Mathildenhöhe

Mathildenhöhe, an historically significant work of architecture in Darmstadt. Photography by Ulrich Mathias

Darmstadt holds the title “City of Science.” It was awarded to Darmstadt by the State of Hesse in 1997 and acknowledges the national and international reputation of the city in the fields of science and research. Central research institutions in Darmstadt are a Technical University, Technische Universität, two universities of applied sciences, and numerous public and private science and research institutions. With the new science and congress center designed by the Viennese architect Talik Chalibi and named “darmstadtium” after the chemical element that was discovered in Darmstadt in 1994, Darmstadt has created a central place for the exchange of ideas, scientific knowledge, intellectual and artistic creations.

Darmstadt’s Mathildenhöhe, an historically significant work of architectural art by Jugendstil, is currently under consideration for inclusion in the list of World Cultural Heritage Sites. In 1899, Großherzog Ernst Ludwig founded an artists’ colony on the Mathildenhöhe, which was active until the beginning of the First World War. Well-known artists – among them Joseph Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens – worked there and provided important impulses for the development of modernism.

Up to now, Darmstadt has maintained its reputation as a city with a high cultural status and, with its outstanding musical institutions (Academy of Musical Arts, International Music Institute Darmstadt (IMD), Institute for New Music and Music Education), it is known as a world city for new music and jazz. The promotion of contemporary music began in Darmstadt with the cultural reconstruction in the period immediately after the Second World War. In 1946, the “International Summer Courses for New Music” were initiated. Since then, they developed into one of the most important international forums for modern music. They still take place every two years with the participation of outstanding composers and performers.

The German-language literary scene annually visits Darmstadt when the renowned and highly endowed Georg Büchner Prize is awarded during the autumn conference of the German Academy.

With a colourful jazz life, many readings and concerts, a lively cabaret and theatre scene and the museums, Darmstadt welcomes visitors.

For further information, visit

We are looking forward to meeting many of you in Darmstadt.

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