Circular Economy and LCA





Offered by

Supply Engineering




Students must have completed 5. semester at one of VIAs Engineering programmes or equivalent at other educational institutions.

Main purpose

The purpose of this course is to:
a) Provide the students with knowledge of the principles of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and how to carry out and interpret LCA analyses of chosen product and services relevant for engineers.

b) Provide the students with knowledge of the principles and contents of Circular Economy (CE) and make them able to use this knowledge for business development in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGD).

c) Learn how LCA analyses can be used in relation to making decisions leading to development of Circular Economies.


Students completing this course will be familiar with:
  • The international guidelines for LCA analyses (ISO standards 14040 and 14044).
  • The step-by-step working process that must be followed when carrying out an LCA analysis.
  • The principles behind defining functional units, system boundaries and time scopes for LCA analyses.
  • Chosen data sources providing data for LCI´s and LCIA´s.
  • Different environmental impact categories.
  • The common way to graphically present end results of LCA analyses.
  • How the UN system influences global development within CE.
  • The UN SGDs


Students completing this course will be able to:
  • Define functional units, system boundaries and time scopes for LCA analyses according to the guidelines.
  • Carry out LCA analyses for simple production or service system scenarios according to the guidelines.
  • Compare competing production or service systems based on an LCA analysis.
  • Present and interpret results of LCA analyses and discuss these in relation to decision-making.
  • Search for and identify relevant data for Life Cycle Inventories (LCI).
  • Prepare simple Life Cycle Inventories (LCI) and carry out Life Cycle Impact Assessments (LCIA) based on these, according to the guidelines.
  • Graphically present the results of LCA analyses and explain how these are related to the former steps of the analyses.
  • Carry out an LCA by using the program “LCABYG”.
  • Identify barriers to change of CE development.
  • Identify opportunities for CE business development.
  • Make a simpel business model.
  • Formulate individual change of behavior to promote CE.
  • Evaluate business cases in relation to fulfilling the SDG.
  • Promote circular economy as an innovation tool for companies.


Students completing this course will be able to:
  • Define comparable scenarios for competing production/service systems in order to analyze the respective environmental impacts of these
  • Relate results from LCA analyses with the ideas of CE to suggest sustainable choices in given situations
  • Discuss how working towards fulfilling the SDGs requires individual as well as a political change of behavior
  • Reflection about business models and product development in CE.



Teaching methods and study activities

The course is offered in the autumn semester. The course has a duration of 12 weeks. Expected workload for the student is 137.5 hours, including 4 lessons per week with a total of 48 lessons.
Student Activity Model
According to the Study Activity Model, the workload is divided as follows:
Category 1, Initiated by the lecturer with the participation of lecturer and students: 49 lesson – 36%
Category 2: Initiated by lecturer with participation of students: 49 hours – 36 %
Category 3: Initiated by students with participation of students: 30 hours – 22 %
Category 4: Initiated by students with the participation of lecturer and students: 10 hours – 7%






Mandatory course activities completed.
Mandatory assignments handed in before deadline and accepted.
Type of examination:  
A case based written exam with internal examiner.
Allowed tools:
Not passing the course - a new course assignment will be given, to be accepted and evaluated in equal manner as within the course.

Grading criteria

Grading based on the Danish 7-point scale.
Exam accounts for 100 % of final grade.

Additional information



Allan Abildskov og Christian Hylgaard

Valid from

8/1/2020 12:00:00 AM

Course type

Global Business Engineering Classic
Business and Management