Document Type



East African Institute


Life Cycle Management is a new framework to meet our present global challenges towards more sustainable patterns of production and consumption. In this context, LCM is offering a platform for the private and public sector. Thinking in systems and along product/service life cycles offers insights into how decisions should be made to improve a systems performance. The LCM concept has emerged out of industrial practice, but offers also opportunities for the public sector. In a new global understanding all market actors, policy makers, industry and consumers are essential players that need to find common platforms to achieve triple bottom line success - for all actors. In so far, LCM is rather opportunity driven as risk management or risk aversion driven. The LCM framework build on factual information and uses a variety of procedural and analytical tools, which themselves serve as underpinning of programs, management systems and, finally, corporate and policy strategies. The LCM Definition study positions existing tools, concepts and strategies in one overall framework, that allows sufficient flexibility to meet specific needs and thus also allows for flexibility for implementation. LCM is not a new “super”-tool that superimposes a new approach over existing successful practice. Opposite, LCM offers for the first time an umbrella framework, where tools that had been used in isolation before, can become mutually reinforcing and thus maximize their respective use. LCM is broad and flexible and reaches out to the public and private sector equally. The global challenges ahead of us require all market actors, and in particular industry and governments to align concepts and approaches to achieve the respective aims for all parties. Governments and the public sector need to provide the “right” framework and guidance under which the private sector then can realize its business objectives. Then this happens in a coordinated fashion.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication ( Name of Journal)

UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative