Resource "criticality" in life cycle sustainability assessment – methodology for assessing geopolitical-related supply risks

Alexander Cimprich

University of Waterloo/

I am a candidate for a Master of Environmental Studies (MES) in the Sustainability Management program of the School of Environment, Enterprise, and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. I completed my Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) in SEED's Environment and Business program. My research interests pertain to application of industrial ecology principles and approaches towards sustainability of resources, materials, and products. My Master's work concerns integration of resource "criticality" assessment into Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) as a complement to classical environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).Along with my supervisor, Prof. Steven B. Young, I have been working with researchers from the University of Bordeaux and University of Augsburg to advance a method we call Geopolitical Supply Risk (GPSR). While early iterations and case studies are already published, my role has been to help connect GPSR to a functional unit of a given product -- a central concept in LCA. In so doing, I have also been helping extend the GPSR method to include material substitutability. While early iterations of the GPSR method aimed at measuring probability of supply disruption, substitutability affects vulnerability to supply disruption. Supply risk depends on both probability and vulnerability. Along with extending the GPSR method, I have been working with Prof. Karim S. Karim -- in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Waterloo -- on a novel case study of dental x-ray equipment.


While environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology is relatively well developed, integration of socio-economic dimensions in LCA is comparatively weak. The term life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) has emerged... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Alexander Cimprich (University of Waterloo/)
  2. Steven B Young (University of Waterloo/)
  3. Christoph Helbig (University of Augsburg)
  4. Eskinder Gemechu (University of Bordeaux)
  5. Andrea Thorenz (University of Augsburg)
  6. Axel Tuma (University of Augsburg)
  7. Guido Sonnemann (University of Bordeaux)
  8. Karim S Karim (University of Waterloo/)

Topic Areas

• Life cycle sustainability assessment , • Advances in methods (e.g., life cycle assessment, social impact assessment, resilience a


TS-16 » Material criticality and resilience 3 (13:45 - Tuesday, 27th June, Room G)

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